Drumshanbo Single Pot Still
Single Pot Still — Ireland
Reviewed December 26, 2020 (edited February 8, 2022)
N: Blackberry jam. Other berries with cream. There's a pungent, floral herb in it - it's vegetal, almost like a green onion, but much softer and sweeter. I feel like I shouldn't like it here, but I do. Toasted nuts with orange citrus - almost an orange marzipan. Hearty oat bread. At times, two other scents float over all of this: 1) pot still spices and 2) an amorphous fruity scent that's like what happens when you open the door to a smoothie bar, just more subtle and far less sweet. P: Sweet caramel. Nutty orange again, but less citrus acid now - more like orange candy. Hint of chocolate comes with the blackberries. Vanilla extract with almond. Tiniest bit of charred red fruit, just enough to prove the wood, I suppose. Mouthfeel is thick, somewhere between creamy and oily. Still feels more in the medium body range than other single pot still whiskeys. Finish adds more chocolate early. That's a feint. Late in the glass you notice the pot still spice building deep at the back of the throat, then suddenly your tongue is on fire every time it moves. Doesn't end there: some time after that, when you've probably finished the glass (but not yet poured another), you notice that the sides of your tongue are numb: the tannins have arrived, and brought a bitter end to the party, literally. A decade plus of serious IPA drinking puts me in a place where I kinda like a little bitterness in a whiskey, so it's a fun ride. YMMV. I dig this - it's so many different things at the same time, and it's tasty - but I really wanted to LOVE this: 1) it's a single pot still whiskey (which I love), 2) it isn't made by Irish Distillers (which make fine juice, but having options matters and I like more craft options), and 3) this comes from a part of Ireland where no one has mass produced whiskey in over a 100 years (geographic diversity leads to distinct and interesting flavor profiles - look at Scotland, or just food). Reality is this is probably a half step behind the Powers single pot stills, Red Breast, the Spot whiskeys - all Irish Distiller products. Perspective: this is the first whiskey released from the Shed Distillery (as far as I know), which has only been in operation since 2014. They seem well-funded and hell-bent on making a name for whiskey in northwestern Ireland. A half step behind the big boys on your first try is pretty damn good. Lets see what else they release and how they progress over the next, say, ten years. Could be interesting... I hope it is.
70.0 USD per Bottle