Talisker 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedNose: Smoky and not lacking in peat! Some apple. Briney seaweed and sea salt. Palate: Kind of oily. Saltiness is subtle and blends well with the peat smoke. Apple and pear mixing with some citrus for a delightfully sweet taste. Firm feel. Finish: Long. Citrus stronger than apple here. Some sweetness. Sea salt a little bit stronger. Feels like taking deep breaths of seaside air feel. Overall Thoughts: It feels as if I’m drinking this right near the shore. Very pleasant and comfortable and doesn’t go overboard (sea joke...) with the flavor and burn itself out. The smoke and the peat aren’t overpowering like some other whiskies in the region. Very nice dram.
Single Pot Still — Ireland, IrelandTastedNose: Sweet fruit and honey. Some grain. Delicate amounts of flowers and spices. Palate: Faintly sweet. Honey notes blending with some malty flavor. Hints of spices. Finish: Brief but enjoyable. Honey making it nice and smooth. Some grassiness on the way down as well. Hearty and full. Overall Thoughts: This is a good one. I would place it as a beginner whiskey to be honest but I do think it has a charm to it that anyone could casually enjoy. It has the body of an Irish whiskey and it is very easy to enjoy. I wouldn’t say it’s anything to write home about but I will consider buying a slightly bigger bottle to keep around for a movie-watching whiskey.
Wolfhound Irish Whiskey
Blended — IrelandTastedNose: Fruity, citrus mostly. Some caramel. Shortbread biscuits. Ethanol smell is very overpowering. Palate: Grassy and grainy. Very plain and not much coming through. Some lemon notes not doing any favors. Finish: Brief-medium. Alcohol burn on the way down. Sour aftertaste but not a total turnoff. Overall Thoughts: Definitely glad I only got the $1.99 sample bottle. Very much a budget whiskey and a mixer at best. The packaging would let you believe it’s a gentle giant but I found it a bit too strong. The aroma seems sweet off the bat but once it breathes a bit it just smells of hand sanitizer.
Blended — Northern IrelandTastedNose: Sweet honey. Bright citrus fruits and apples. Some light malt. Flowery aroma. Palate: Slightly oily feel. Buttered biscuit. Fruity and sweet. A citrusy tart taste. Somewhat malty. Finish: Medium. Malt lingering. Slight tang and waves of citrus. Overall Thoughts: Never been a fan of Bushmills. It’s not the worst whiskey in the world but it’s never my first choice. It’s got enough flavor to please someone just looking for a simple glass of whiskey but I would never say this is impressive by any means.
West Cork Black Reserve
Single Malt — IrelandTastedNose: Spices and fruits, mainly apples and pears, maybe some cherry. Some vanilla and honey. Some sweet bread/cookies coming through. Oak notes are strong with some light smoke. Palate: Smoothness of vanilla and sweetness of dried fruits. Honey comes in waves. The oakiness of the barrel is stronger on the nose than the palate but it’s certainly there. Pleasant! Finish: Medium-long. Very smooth sweetness towards the end and the honey stays the strongest. Overall Thoughts: A friend gave me a glass today after I helped them move. This was very pleasant from beginning to end. It’s my first experience with West Cork distillers and I’m hooked. It’s delightfully flavorsome and is not rough by any means. A very smooth and enticing whiskey!
Slane Irish Whiskey
Blended — IrelandTastedNose: Oaky and sweet. A little bit of pleasant grassiness. Some honey and caramel hints. Palate: Sweet and slightly oily. Butterscotch, caramel, and confectionary sugar. Slight hints of toasted barley. Some fruitiness as well. Finish: Medium-long. Fruitiness strongest here. Caramel notes as well. Overall Thoughts: A sweet one! Very pleasant. Almost tastes like a brighter version of Jameson. I could certainly enjoy this one again and again. I’ll have to go out and buy a bigger bottle.
Writers' Tears Copper Pot
Blended — IrelandTastedNose: Apples right at the start but subtle. Some vanilla and hints of honey. No doubt it’s a copper still, copper coming through after a few whiffs. Simple nose. Palate: Slightly oily but not in a bad way. Sweetness of apples and honey blending beautifully. Some grassiness and malt. Oaky on the way out. Finish: Medium-long. Oak and honey stronger on the finish. Still fruity and the slightest touch of vanilla. Overall Thoughts: I am very fond of this whiskey. It’s not revolutionary by any means but it’s delicious without going overboard. It’s hearty and full while keeping things simple so anyone and everyone can enjoy it. This one is certainly something I’ll keep buying. Highly recommended.
Jameson Irish Whiskey
Blended — IrelandTastedNose: Floral with a touch of copper pot aroma. Subtly fruity, mainly banana and apple coming through. Some rich sweetness of vanilla. Slightly oaky as well. Palate: Pretty quiet actually despite having such an active nose. Very slight amounts of fruit blending with a decent amount of malty flavor. Some grassy notes and slight spice. Finish: Brief. Malt strongest here and the oak from the nose comes back to say goodbye. A pleasant and crisp finish. Overall Thoughts: I certainly won’t act like this is the first time I’ve ever had Jameson. It’s the most popular Irish whiskey on the planet. And I think it holds that title for a good reason, it’s a damn good whiskey. No, it isn’t the greatest thing you’ll ever have in your life, but it’s complex enough to start a flavor/aroma debate, and it’s not offensive or overpowering in the way that some lower-priced whiskeys are. I always have a bottle of Jameson at home. Never a bad choice, in my opinion.
Kilbeggan Single Grain
Single Grain — IrelandTastedNose: Pears and apples blending with caramel. Some malt. Cut grass. Subtle honey and coconut. Palate: Buttered biscuit. Honey. Toasted almond. Some spice towards the end. Finish: Hints of oak and malt. Vanilla coming through. Slightly spicier here. Overall Thoughts: A decent whiskey! Certainly not a typical flavor but definitely interesting and complex. Relatively lower price but of a higher quality than it’s price tag. I’ll happily try the other Kilbeggan whiskeys in due time, they seem to know exactly what they’re doing!
The Pogues Irish Whiskey
Blended — IrelandTastedNose: Slightly sweet hints of cream and honey. A touch of caramel. Barley smell comes through nicely as well. Palate: Caramel and vanilla. Fruitiness with some subtle spices and honey. Still sweet but very thin, somewhat watery. Finish: Brief. Somewhat sour and dry. Dried fruit lingers the longest, mostly apricot and apple. Not particularly pleasant. Overall Thoughts: A little underwhelming. The liquor store I bought it from did a good job of selling it as they made it seem like I’d be blown away but I’m starting to think they just wanted to sell a slick black bottle and didn’t actually taste it. The nose is the strongest part of this whiskey and I honestly would consider this a shooting whiskey and nothing more.