KWM Whisky Advent 2017 – Hyde 1938 No. 6 President’s Reserve
For the second straight year we have an offering from up and coming Irish Whiskey producer Hyde. Hyde is among the wave of new Irish distilleries that have opened up in the last few years. Most of them do not yet have stocks of mature whisky, so they are releasing whiskies produced under license. Last year we featured the Hyde Sherry Finish Single Malt on Day 9. This year we have the Hyde 1938 No.6 President’s Reserve Irish Whiskey, named for Ireland’s first Prime Minister Douglas Ross Hyde. Bottled at 46% the whiskey is composed of 8 year old single grain and much older single malt. The whisky has been married and finished in Oloroso sherry. Blended whiskey is composed of both malt and grain whiskey.
Single grain whiskey is a style of whiskey with roots in both Ireland and Scotland. Irishmen Sir Anthony Perrier introduced the first continuous still at Spring Lane Distillery, Cork in 1822. Just a few years later Scotsman Robert Stein, inspired by the “continuous still”, improved on the design by the addition of partitions in the column. His “patent still” was installed at Cameronbridge Distillery in Fife, but it failed to take hold. It didn’t go unnoticed however, an Irish Exciseman, Aeneas Coffey took the design and added a couple of pipes allowing the spirit to recirculate. The result was a lighter, cleaner distillate, that didn’t require multiple distillations.
The Coffey Still was a hit and embraced all over the world. The still was adopted by distilleries all over Europe and America. It was especially well received in Scotland and England for whisky and gin respectively. Curiously, the only country that didn’t adopt it with open arms was Ireland. Irish distillers felt the still produced bland, tasteless, inferior whiskey. Ironically the failure of the Irish to adopt the Coffey Still and other similar still types is one of the reasons cited for the decline of the Irish whiskey industry by the early 1900s.
About the Hyde Family: (In their own words) “The Hyde family have a long tradition of being involved in the Irish drinks business. From 1640 until 1962 the family ran a tavern located just outside the picturesque town of Bandon in West Cork. The Hydes sold traditional Irish Whiskey and draught stout straight from wooden casks, tapped by hand with a mallet and brass tap. The drink business runs through twelve generations of the Hyde family tree. At one stage in 1916, their grandfather, granduncle and grandaunt were all publicans in Bandon. Today, Alan and Conor Hyde are the first generation not to own a tavern, but they continue the family tradition by producing some of Ireland’s finest whiskey.”
About Hyde 1938 Whiskey: (In Their Own Words) “The Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey is a premium blend between 18 year old single malt whiskey and 8 year single grain whiskey, matured in Bourbon Barrels and finished for 9 months in Oloroso Sherry Casks and limited to just 5,000 bottles. The label commemorates the inauguration of Ireland’s first President ‘ Douglas Hyde ‘ in 1938.”
Hyde 1938 No. 6 President’s Reserve – 46% – 8 Year – Married 9 Months in Oloroso Sherry – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: hard toffee, caramilk, toasted marshmallow and lightly salted Marcona almonds; Weetabix, All Bran with milk and berries and a side of fresh squeezed oranges. Palate: creamy, floral and grainy: notes of dusty winter wheat and caramel corn; warming and spicy; more fresh squeezed orange juice with honeydew and cantaloupes; at first it is a little warming, evolving into assorted Jujubes. Finish: the finish is light, clean and short; the floral notes and Jujubes fade away quickly leaving vanilla and warming oak tones. Comment: this is a light, silky and pleasant dram.” - $90 for 700ml and $12 for 50ml