Category Archives: Irish Whiskey

Advent Day 7: Roe & Co Irish Whiskey

Diageo’s new brand was the surprise on day 7 of Advent…

Roe & Co Blended Irish Whiskey
45% ABV
$35
Website

What the Blender Says
Roe & Co is made from finest hand-selected stocks of Irish malt and grain whiskies, aged in bourbon casks. Using her 30 years of experience, Master Blender Caroline Martin has created a versatile, premium whiskey. Roe & Co is a luxuriously smooth blend with a perfect harmony between the intense fruitiness of the malt and the mellow creaminess of the grain whiskies. The high proportion of first-fill casks gives notes of creamy vanilla balanced with its hints of fruit and soft spice and a remarkable depth for such an elegant and refined whiskey. Roe & Co is non-chill filtered and bottled at a higher than usual ABV of 45%. Perfect in a cocktail, with a mixer or on its own Roe & Co will initially be available in the hottest bars around Europe.

On the nose Roe & Co is creamy, delightfully fragrant and remarkably rounded with notes of soft spice and mellow spun sugar along with warm hints of woody vanilla. The quality and perfect balance of the blend is immediately apparent on the palate through its velvety texture and sweet flavours including spiced pears and vanilla. The finish is lingering and gentle, ending with a light creaminess. The sweet pear notes readily apparent in Roe & Co are a wonderfully apt tribute to the once-great Dublin whisky distillery of George Roe & Co. Among the remnants of George Roe’s distillery are its old windmill tower, known as St. Patrick’s, and a magnificent pear tree dating from 1850.

What Richard Says
Nose: Vanilla sugar, nutmeg, and citrus zest.
Palate: Tinned pears, vanilla custard, and hard tack.
Finish: Apple skins and a lingering bitter oakiness.
Comments: There is nothing wrong with this pleasant whiskey but it isn’t anything special either. It is not unlike numerous new-ish Irish blends. See it out? Nah, just grab a Jameson.
Rating: Average

Advent Day 4: Boutique-y Irish 13 Year

I’ve wanted to sample some bottlings from That Boutique-y Whisky Company for quite a while. So I was pretty excited when Day 4 brought this…

That Boutique-Y Whisky Company Irish Single Malt No. 1 Batch 2 – 13 Year Old
48.4% ABV
$80
Website

What the Bottler Says
Ah, lovely Irish whiskey! Booming now, but it wasn’t so many years ago that the number of distilleries dwindled precariously, all joining forces at one stage simply to survive. It should also be remembered, however, that Irish whiskey has a long and glorious history and was the most popular spirit in the world back in the 19th century including (whisper it…) in Scotland!

Tasting notes:
Nose: Fruity and Floral; Banana skins and Melon initially, softening to Banana custard. Jasmine brings the floral element. There are hints of icing sugar and cinnamon spice.
Palate: Soft and sweet initially, Cantaloupe melon, brown sugar, then warming woody spices follow.
Finish: A nice balance between sweet melon and wood spice that lingers

What Richard Says
Nose: A beautiful ripe fruity sweetness. Diced melon fruit salad comes to mind.
Palate: The palate is not nearly as sweet as you would expect from the nose. It is malty with more of a burnt sugar sweetness.
Finish: Oak, black pepper, and a touch of ground cinnamon. When that fades, you are left with a lingering bitterness that is not very pleasant.
Comments: I don’t love this expression. There are a lot pieces here that make this stand out from standard offerings available but I’m not itching for more. I’m glad I got a dram of this instead of the whole bottle.
Rating: Average

Tis the season for…Advent!

Did you ever have one of those chocolate advent calendars when you were a kid? I did. I didn’t have one every year but the few times I did I really enjoyed it. It was fun to open a new box every day leading up to Christmas and see what surprise laid in wait. Wouldn’t it be a form of Christmas magic if such a thing existed for whiskey? Well…it does. Whiskey advent calendars have been a thing for a few years now. It’s taken me until this year to give one a try.

I chose the standard “Whiskey Advent Calendar” from Master of Malt as my first foray into Advent whiskey style. It’s around $170 which seems to be a pretty good deal for a month (more or less) of whiskey fun. So since we finished running through reviews and coverage on all the new releases flowing through Whisk(e)y Apostle HQ recently I thought it would be fun to chronicle Advent this year.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

– Richard

Green Spot Château Léoville Barton

Green Spot Château Léoville Barton Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Bordeaux Wine Casks
46% ABV
$65
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Château Leoville Barton is hte latest addition to the Spot whiskey family. This whiskey represents the coming together of two historic families, two stories of Irish endeavor and enterprise who together are the inspiration for this special edition whiskey.

Initially matured in a traditional mix of ex-Oloroso sherry and ex-Bourbon barrels the whiskeys were then transferred into the ex-Bordeaux wine casks for between 12 and 24 months. This imparted distinctive, floral flavors of varying intensity, resulting in a perfectly balanced whiskey. Celebrating an Irish heritage, the collaboration between Green Spot and Château Leoville Barton is not just the coming together of two unique stories; it is the fusion of two unique histories that as one deliver an exceptional whiskey.

Nose: It is the contribution of the French oak which drives the initial aroma adding some crisp woodland notes to the spicy Single Pot Still character. The wine seasoning brings a delicate touch of floral perfume and a hint of ripe berries such as raspberries and strawberries; these are in addition to the orchard fruits typical of Green Spot.
Taste: The familiar mouth coating effect is a very satisfying balance of oak and spices. Some vanilla sweetness works in harmony with the dry wine influence, while the fresh orchard fruits and French oak combine effortlessly with barley grains to complete the complexity.
Finish: The rich French oak character is slow to fade leaving the wine and spices of France and Ireland with the last word.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Crisp apples, green grapes, wine tannins, and cedar wood.
Palate: Wet toothpicks, black pepper, orange blossoms, and a nice vanilla cream sprinkled on Granny Smith apples and peaches.
Finish: Tannic with lingering black pepper.
Comments: As I’ve shared this whiskey with others it tends to be polarizing. Those that drink a fair amount of Irish don’t like it as much as those that are relatively new to the spirit. I like it okay but it doesn’t stun me like Yellow Spot and the Redbreasts do. It is a nice diversion from the regular but not something that I would go out of my way to seek out.
Rating: Stands Out

Jameson Cooper’s Croze

Jameson The Cooper’s Croze Irish Whiskey
43% ABV
$70
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Our 5th generation Head Cooper, Ger Buckley, knows everything there is to know about wood, casks, butts and barrels. To celebrate his passion for Coopering, we have created The Cooper’s Croze, the first of the Whiskey Makers Series to launch in the U.S. Focusing on the profound influence the wood yields on a whiskey’s character, The Cooper’s Croze uses virgin American oak, seasoned bourbon and Iberian sherry barrels.

The whiskey’s namesake – the croze – is named after Ger’s favorite tool, an implement used to make the groove into which the head of the cask or barrel is positioned.

Tasting Notes
This non chill filtered whiskey effortlessly carries the charred virgin oak character with vanilla sweetness from the seasoned bourbon barrels and rich fruit flavors and a fine balance of floral and spice notes from the sherry barrels.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Sweet vanilla cream and hints of sherry fruits.
Palate: Creamy, fruity, sweet, and grassy.
Finish: Light and mildly woody with lingering vanilla notes. It turns spicy and bitter late in the finish.
Comments: This is the first of the “Whiskey Maker’s Series” that I’ve seen in Atlanta. It’s clearly Jameson and a tasty Jameson but not anything exceptional up against Jameson’s regular line up. At $70 this is pretty pricey with not much payoff. Average retail prices but if it was in the $40 range it would stand out a bit more.
Rating: Average