Thursday, 2 November 2017

Dublin Liberties Whiskey #TweetTasting

#TweetTastings are coming thick and fast at the moment for @TheWhiskyWire and I was lucky enough to be selected for the latest one from @DublinLiberties

Dublin Liberties started building their distillery in January of 2017 and are looking to open in early 2018, they currently sell two drams - a blend Oak Devil and a 10yo single malt Copper Alley.

As usual with these things an unmarked parcel arrived in the post a few days before the tasting, the dramples came in two lovely squared off bottles. 

On the night we all joined together on twitter to share our opinions.

First up was the Oak Devil blend at 46%, a blend of Irish malt & grain whiskeys, which have been matured in bourbon casks.

Nose: very pale in colour, quite fruity on the nose initially, fruitiness develops into distinct pear and apple notes - a little like when stewed in custard! A little honey but not getting a lot of spice - not living up to it's name!
Palate: smooth and oily on the tongue, a sweet tropical fruit mix with lots of spice - yummy! It is a little like spicy apple pie but with more tropical notes - pineapple pie maybe?
Finish: long and spicy finish, lingers on the tongue! Hints of honey and that stewed tropical fruit. Nice!

Other peoples opinions:

Second was the Copper Alley single malt at 46%, finished in 30 Year Old Oloroso Sherry Casks.

Nose: colour lives us to it's name - beautiful! Initial nose : peppered honey! getting some sherry.
Palate: waxy oily on the palate with some peppery notes on the tongue develops into Christmas flavours - dried fruit, nuts, spices, sherry, slightly drying - tasty! As you taste it the nose changes slightly getting icing sugar to go with the Christmas festival on the palate!
Finish: similar long spicy finish to the Oak Devil - peppery honey lingering on the tongue!

Other peoples opinions:

Overall I actually preferred the blend over the single malt, I think it delivered more spice on the palate and finish - right up my street!

Thanks to Steve, Dublin Liberties and my fellow twitters for a great evening! You can follow the whole evening here #DublinLibertiesWhiskey

Other reviews:

Who else was tasting?
@TheWhiskyBoys @MaltMusings @brawspirit @whiskyfreak123 @Whiskey_JAC@JasonVaswani @spikeydog120 @AlpacaJo @moonbites @allthingsbooze @ocdwhisky@RealDramRob @WhiskyUnplugged @T_M_Cocktails @dbcwhisky @bigfootrunning@cache1337 @DaveMcKinnon__ @whiskyrepublic @JoeFHolmes @TheWhiskyphiles@PhilScott101 @Marc_Liberties @suzisgrapecrush @LaCaveDeCobalt @WhiskySpeller@dram_gazette @Girl_Whisky @malthound

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

200 up? Let's go to Belgium!

As many of you know I've been blogging, tweeting and more importantly tasting whiskies since the beginning of the year and last night I managed to hit to 200 mark!

I decided that for the occasion I'd do something a little different and decided to share a recent drample swap from @Dram_Gazette with @Maltman_Mike and do a live Hangouts session to 'virtually' sample the dram together.

A few weeks ago I was talking to @Dram_Gazette about our shared love of old grain whiskies and as he hadn't tried the wonderful DL Strathcylde 25yo I offered to send a sample. As usual these things gain momentum and we ended up swapping three drams. Noting the strange regulations of our wonderful post office I dispatched my samples under plain cover (!) and a few days later received three dramples from @DramGazette. In amongst these were two Belgium whiskies which, as well as having never tried, I'd never even heard of.

The first dram, my 200th, was the Gouden Carolus Sola Jerez - 3rd Anniversary Edition from the Stokerij De Molenberg and is described as a limited edition in connection with the 3rd anniversary of the stokerij (Distillery). This whiskey is a special blend of their 1st distillate from 2010 and several test distillates that were already produced in 2007.

How's your Belgian?

"The whiskey features soft-sweet fruit keys with apricot, orange, fig and raisins hanging from the first fill of Bourbon barrels and the Oloroso sherry barrels where the whiskey has been received. All in all, it is a sunlit whiskey with the taste of Spain. This whiskey consists of first distillates Stokerij De Molenberg 2010 (33%) matured in Oloroso sherry barrels and tasting distillates 2007 (67%) matured in first-fill Bourbon barrels (6 years) - Oloroso sherry barrels (3 years)" - an interesting combination!

The second dram, my 201st, was Sunken Still, a 4yo rye from Graanstokerij Filliers. This has an interesting back story - "Sunken Still Whisky is an ode to the brave Filliers Distillery workers who drowned our pot still in the nearby river Rekkelinge during the Great War. Doing so prevented the Central Forces from disassembling it and using the raw materials for the war effort."

It's described as being "left to mature on Bourbon barrels to create a smooth and balanced whisky with sweet and fruity flavours. Distilled in traditional copper pot stills at the Filliers Distillery. This whisky is our interpretation of a legend."

So - what did they taste like?

Distillery: Stokerij De Molenberg

Whisky : Gouden Carolus Sola Jerez - 3rd Anniversary Edition
Characteristics : 500ml, 46% ABV
Colour : Old Gold
Nose : Floral, fruity with some toffee notes
Palate: Sweet, quite dry with fruity hints - mainly apricots and currents, a little spice on the sides of the tongue
Finish : Medium length - quite spicy
Overall : A really impressive dram - the spice builds up gradually, none on the nose, a little on the palate and a lot on the finish - yummy! My first Belgium whisky and definitely worth hunting out!
Link : Sola Jerez

Distillery: Graanstokerij Filliers

Whisky : Sunken Still
Characteristics : 500ml, 45% ABV
Colour : Pale Gold
Nose : This is a rye whisky but on the nose it was exactly like a gin, some floral botanicals and berry notes come through - but all very nice!
Palate: An interesting oily creaminess with spice all over the tongue!
Overall : I really enjoyed this one as well, an interesting nose gave way to a typical rye spiciness - some nutmeg and pepper - which went down really well.
Link : Sunken Still

Many thanks to @Dram_Gazette for the dramples and @Maltman_Mike for sharing my 200th dram!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Wemyss #TweetTasting

Last week I was lucky enough to be selected for @SteveRush latest @TweetTasting - this time trying whisky from the independent family bottling, and soon to be distilling, company Wemyss.

Based in Edinburgh the company produces a range of single cask malt and blended scotch whiskies, on this occasion we were trying two additions to their Family Collection released in August of this year, both blended malts are bottled non chill-filtered, at natural colour and are 46% abv.

Vanilla Burst is a blend of only 2 Speyside single malts with a light and fruity character that were chosen to mature in 15 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrels. The 4800 bottles of Vanilla Burst perfectly demonstrate an intense 1st fill bourbon wood influence on a light and sweet Speyside malt Scotch whisky.

Treacle Chest is a blend of only 2 Highland single malts with a sweet, cereal character that were chosen to be matured in just 14 1st-fill ex-sherry hogsheads. The resulting 6300 bottles of Treacle Chest are a perfect example of how rich and weighty 1st fill ex-sherry casks influence unpeated Highland Scotch malt whisky.

We also got to try one of their regular range - Spice King, known for its sweet spicy character, this blended malt whisky has over ten single malts from across Scotland and a signature malt from the Highlands and Islands. 46% abv.

A few days before the tasting a parcel arrived containing a beautiful presentation box:

As an additional bonus Wemyss had included a bottle of Spice King Old Fashioned. Their presentation was go good Billy wanted to frame them!

I preferred to drink them and at 7pm the tasting began!

First up the Vanilla Burst

Nose: very grassy, obvious vanilla, some toffee, lots of icing sugar, the longer it is in the glass more spice is developing.
Palate: lots of spice - a little creamy fruit and some dry biscuit notes
Finish: short spicy finish - definitely pepper. Leaves a little apple aftertaste on the palate.

Other People's thoughts:

Next the Treacle Chest

Nose: a little vanilla, some brown sugar and a little citrus peel, getting a little smoke but there's no peated barley. Nose a little more gentle than the VB, a little sherry coming through but also some thick honey.
Palate: a little spice on the palate, some honey or treacle(!) - a little oily or buttery
Finish: slightly disappointed with the finish, lets it down, spicy but quite short.....

Other People's thoughts:

Final dram the Spice King

Nose: this wasn't the spice bomb I expected - more earthy and malty - some grass.
Palate: WOW - it's a completely different dram! Lots the spice and also an oily sweetness and some brine! The spice isn't really in for face - it just lingers.
Finish: long lingering chilli finish - nice!

Other People's thoughts:

Overall I preferred the Spice King to the first two but it was interesting that on the nose the Vanilla Burst probably had more spice! Three good blends that are worth hunting out and trying.

And a s a bit of a treat an Old Fashioned.

This was the first time I'd tried a whisky cocktail - this one was pre-made with Spice King and all we needed add was some ice and a slice or two or orange peel.

I loving the nose on this, it was the whole of Christmas in a glass - whisky, spices, especially cinnamon, orange - yummy!

Many thanks to Steve for organising, Wemyss for supplying and all my fellow twitterers for sharing the experience!

Other reviews: