Irish Whiskey Staples

By Hunter

Coming from my background of Scottish spirit appreciation, undertaking a tasting with its rival, southern brethren is something that I can not say I relish. Though my genealogical roots are steeped in both Irish and Scottish factions (along with many other European nations) my heart lies in the land of Scots; their remarkably ranging whiskies able to captivate one’s most demanding phenomenological imagination. In this sense I worry that those spirits of Irish origin may pale in contrast, and, behold, I would argue this claim is true. But leave that argument for now, and appreciate that Irish spirit for what it does best: indulgence in opulence. For myself, quality Irish spirit offers such wonderful hedonistic experience that it must have been conceived with intentions of being enjoyed in lounges belonging to those decadents of the past. Rich and silky, why would one strive for lofty heights when it is so comfortable and relaxed down here? All of your friends are waiting for your company; see, there is old Jameson, and Cooley, oh, and here comes Mr. Teeling. That is what Irish whiskey seems best at my friends, warm company and mellow enjoyment. What could trump that? One doesn’t need fanciful “layers” and “depth” when it comes to such experience. As we can always call on the pretensions of these spirits as laughable, Irish whiskey is the one who snickers at those who try, those who attempt to souse out the nuance of the glass. Come over here, instead, and just enjoy a glass. We’re all friends here, and you won’t find a restriction here for whose allowed get on the Irish whisky ride. Here is what we tried during Irish Whiskey Staples.

Jameson 18 Year
Start with a classic, start with a bang. If Jameson could make there standard even a 1/10th as good as this perhaps people would begin to give Irish whiskey a second chance. Everyone knows their first Irish whiskey experience, and if it was remotely good, well then you weren’t drinking Jameson Classic. This 18, on the other hand, is remarkable in its sultry, honeyed, tropical fruit punch bowl ways. A tall glass of this please; and lucky as you are, it won’t be a Scot serving it so you’ll at least get a proper ounce. $135

Jack Ryan Single Malt 12 Year
A richer bodied spirit in contrast to the Jameson by virtue of the malted barley spirit backbone. Vibrant and full of life, more like a Scotch than a classic Irish and a great way to introduce your friends to the Irish way of life. More custard and applesauce like with a perfumed background. Touches of fragrant woodshop and cinnamon smelly-felts. $110

Teeling Revival 15 Year Batch IV
Employing unique barrels to enhance the character of this spirit, Teeling chose to mature this particular spirit in Muscat Port Barrels, something I know little to nothing about. What I can say though is that this spirit is waxy, honeyed, peppery and has characters of orchard fruit juice. Very enjoyable, interesting, and definitively outside the standard context of Irish spirit. One of my favourites of the night. $175

Tyrconnell Madeira Cask 10 Year
Another unique barrel - though this one represents the more rounded, citrus-driven, nougat-like, classic Irish spirit. Holds qualities of orange Turkish delight and candied ginger. This spirit is very easy going, taking the title of the 2nd favourite of the night. I could imagine this one as being perfect after a long day of work; no thought required, just enjoyable. $98

Dunville’s Old Irish PX Cask 10 Year
Using the most sought after of barrels on the market at the moment, pedro ximinez sherry casks offering those richly decadent strokes that are appealing to many different palates. Thicker, if you haven’t caught on that is the thematic progression of this lineup, then the aforementioned with plenty of date and fig tones. Fruit leather, nuttiness, brandy snap tones; great for the old fashioned cigar lit evenings. $92

Black Adder Drop of the Irish
Young, potent, oily, and snappy, this unfiltered beast is a hearty spirit not for those with heart conditions of any sort. It is uncanny to see both young and full proof Irish spirit, and this is a key example of what to expect. Lemon candies, minerals like chalkiness, pink lady and granny smith apples, white pepper, big vanilla, lots going on for being so youthful. Fun and enlightening for an experience most will not be able to enjoy. $150

Connemara Peated Cask Strength
Truly strange to taste peated whisky from other lands, but a peated spirit from Ireland is even more uncanny. Considering that Ireland is the birthplace of the spirit I know and love, seeing it in peated form feels like something straight out of the past. It may not be immediately clear why this feels old timey, but one must imagine that most Irish spirit is currently unpeated, whereas centuries ago at its inception it was likely commonly found in peated form. Smokey kilns, barbeque sauce, freshly chucked wood chips, and a bit of soya character going on here. Interesting to say the least. $72

 

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