Teeling Single Pot Still
Single Pot Still — IrelandTasted August 1, 2021I visited the Teeling distillery last month, took in a tour (self-guided these days), and I got to sample this spirit and take some home. The overall impression of this single pot still is of a spirit too young yet to be considered good. The nose appears very young, grainy and chemically (is it the feints that smell more like that?). In addition to apples and superglue, I get a bit of a farmyard smell and detect grass and hay like the Distiller tasting notes highlight. It hits the palate hot and peppery, which is not unusual for a pot still whiskey. But I don't get much else other than a hot, young spirit - it could just as well be tequila. There is no finesse. You won’t find comparisons to John’s Lane or Redbreast. It is very much like a new make; a poitín taste. Who knows what the years will bring to this but for now I just think it's mediocre.
The Whistler P.X. I Love You
Single Malt — IrelandTasted June 18, 2021Cooley Distillery, now owned by Beam Suntory, are like the MGP of Ireland. They do have a few brands of their own (Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell, Connemara) but their distillate is used in probably 40 or so brands of Irish whiskey and is the source of most of the “output” of the glut of newly established whiskey companies waiting on their own distilleries to be built or their own stock to mature. Teeling is Cooley. Glendalough is Cooley. Fercullen is Cooley. If you have some Knappogue Castle you are drinking some of the Cooley-Aid. The Whistler range from Boann is also sourced from this same distillery in County Louth. The Boann distillery was opened in 2017 in the neighbouring County Meath and they are laying down stock with an expectation of releasing their first whiskeys after 5 years. If the World Whiskey Awards are a source to be trusted then Boann are not doing too badly with their early efforts. They won the 2021 award for “World's Best New Make & Young Spirit”. In the case of this NAS whiskey, Boann have taken non-chill filtered, non-coloured Cooley stock that was previously aged in ex-bourbon casks and then they finished it for at least 9 months in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. What jumps out first is a pleasing mix of aromas: raspberry, blackberry, fresh sawdust, vanilla, a touch of eraser and a hint of cough medicine. The sherry finish is most prominent on the palate with a syrupy klaxon of forest fruit and fig chutney. It holds for a medium length finish that is gently drying, with a tail-whip of spice. This is good. Very good. It is my first sampling of what Boann are offering and, while this isn’t their own distillate, based on their selection and further maturation of the Cooley stock I now trust them sufficiently to pay attention to what else they offer and what they do next. #DAD
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted June 11, 2021Nose: floral scent, smoke but reminds me of burning dry forest brush, a light whiff of chocolate, vegetal funk, spent match sulphur Taste: smoke, woody, salt, grilled grapefruit, menthol, slightly bitter Finish: salty, paracetamol Not a big fan of this. Reminds me of a cross between a Kilchoman Machir Bay and a Ben Nevis 10. But in a "sum is lesser than the parts" kind of way.
Lagavulin 1999 Distillers Edition (Bottled 2015)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted May 15, 2021This is like Toy Story 4. Good but not hitting the same heights as before. The problem: too Woody.
Compass Box Hedonism
Blended Grain — ScotlandTasted May 8, 2021Some whiskies are like big, bad wolves – huffing and puffing, frantically trying to flatten your house. Other whiskies are the quietest zephyrs which, nevertheless, blow you to smithereens. Nose: Cream, strawberry mousse, peach, Rich Tea biscuits, toasted grain, hay bale Taste: Sweet mmmmmm arrival, deliciously light, orange and clove, barley sugar, and a hint of rhubarb Finish: Dry, short to medium, lemon drops Masterful simplicity and balance.
Del Maguey Pechuga Mezcal
Mezcal Joven — Oaxaca, MexicoTasted April 30, 2021Final mezcal in a Del Maguey tasting, and what should have been the pinnacle. Nose: clean and green, pine, eucalyptus, nail polish, cashew nuts, incredibly strong smell of pet shop. Also chicken fat but that could be the power of suggestion. Taste: menthol, aniseed, some salt, bitter fruit. This is unlike anything I’ve ever had, so in that sense it is very interesting and I’m glad to get the experience of trying it. But the aniseed taste reminds me of sambuca which is off-putting due to my strong dislike for that spirit.
Del Maguey Tobalá Mezcal
Mezcal Joven — Oaxaca, MexicoTasted April 30, 2021Third mezcal in a Del Maguey tasting. Nose: more muted than the others, farmyard, vegetal, touch of smoke too? Taste: Sweet oily arrival that turns dry, vegetal, spicy, peppery. Overall, it’s interesting and best of the night. But I would not seek out a bottle or another drink at a bar. I don’t think mezcal is my thing, which is fine – the whiskey rabbit hole is deep enough.
Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal
Mezcal Joven — Oaxaca, MexicoTasted April 30, 2021Second mezcal in a Del Maguey tasting. Nose: ashy, clay, new make, farmyard Taste: peppery, more spicy than the Vida, oily and sharp. No better than the Vida and I’m not on an upward trajectory in this tasting it appears.
Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
Mezcal Joven — Oaxaca, MexicoTasted April 30, 2021I took part in a Del Maguey tasting and this was first up. So, my first ever mezcal. Nose: smoke, paint thinner, byre, green, herbal, eucalyptus, Taste: oily, spirity, metallic, pine nut, white pepper Not a good start to the night. Too harsh and spirity. I had expected so much (too much, perhaps) from mezcal based on good reviews here and elsewhere, and the lovely stories of terroir and family-run, hand-crafted production.
Bushmills 10 Year Single Malt
Single Malt — Northern IrelandTasted April 18, 2021Enjoying both a Bushmills 10 and Laphroaig 10 this evening. A world apart yet only 33 miles between the distilleries.