Category Archives: Irish Whiskey

Whiskey Irreverent with Stefan Part 2

Green Spot Chateau Leoville Barton review (part 2): Consummation

Apparently based on reader feedback, some of you drunken SOBs felt slighted due to the lack of details around the actual contents of the bottle. While what follows is that actual review, I would like to say I write it under protest as I am not normally one to succumb to this new-fangled hipster lifestyle that you all have clearly adopted as your battle flag. I mean seriously, how do you call yourself a man when you focus on the actual contents of the bottle rather than the superficial packaging?! I was so outraged by this feedback that I had to spend an entire day with my beard trimming consultant and listening to music you probably won’t hear about for months just to get in the right headspace. But since Richard told me I had to here goes….

Yeah it was ai’ght.

Next.

– Stefan

Whiskey Irreverent with Stefan

A friend asked if he could post a review for our blog of the new Chateau Leoville Barton finished Green Spot. So of course I said “sure why not.” This is the first in a potential series titled “Whiskey Irreverent with Stefan” and I hope you enjoy.

Green Spot Chateau Leoville Barton review : Foreplay

Let’s start from the beginning. Just looking at the packaging it is obvious this is not a bottle for the common man. There are no cute pictures of ponies or fruit or old men smoking cigars, just words. And not just regular words; there are not just Irish words on the cardboard tube but French ones too. Plus it’s green. I mean Pappy 23 doesn’t even come in a protective cardboard tube. Just some crappy velvet bag that will only contain the shards of glass if you drop it. This tube will let you get St Paddy’s day in Boston schnockered and still protect your coveted Irish coffee mixer without so much as even a scratch as the po-po grinds your face into the ground and books you for pissing in public. In a church. On a Tuesday.

Sinner.

Looking at the bottle, the label clearly states that it is better than all other Irish whiskeys. Which, by extension, means that he who possesses such a magnificent bottle (and cardboard tube) is clearly better than all those who don’t possess it. Which is most of you if you are still reading this review rather than sitting in the tank after emptying the aforementioned bottle into your drunken Irish gullet. In a church. On a Tuesday. The bottle is clear like a Flint Michigan water and the shoulders are abrupt and possess notes reminiscent of an Eastern European gymnast. Looking at the liquid inside, it is obvious that this is the creation of at least 5…no….6 men who possess beards of Paul Bunyan status. But you already knew that.

The cork is noble and draws influence from Lady Di (or is it Gaga?). The impact of both Greco and Roman wrestling is obvious and one wonders how the bottle ever made it to market with such an obvious conflict between the two styles, especially when you consider how global warming complicates the entire debate beyond that of common dinner table banter.

Clearly this is a bottle that transcends generations, except baby boomers, who can’t appreciate an expression of this voltage unless it is mixed with carrots and puréed. When one finally peels the foil off the cap like a bride’s gown on her wedding night to reveal its magical contents is there really anything else let to say?

– Stefan

Lord Lieutenant Kinahan’s 10 Year Old

Lord Lieutenant Kinahan’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey Aged 10 Years
Bottle Number: 080583, Batch 1

46% ABV
$60 to $70
Website
kinahan_s-10-year-old-single-malt-irish-whiskey-1
What the Bottler Says:
Kinahan’s was founded in 1779 on Trinity Street, Dublin. In 1807 Kinahan’s attracted the attention of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, so much so that he ordered for the whiskey to be kept exclusively for himself. This resulted in each cask being marked ‘L.L.’ (Lord Lieutenant).

In 1863 the Court of Dublin awarded Kinahan’s L.L. whiskey with legal protection against other Irish producers who were trying to invade the brand. This event is recorded in the Dublin archives, precedenting the first protection of a whiskey trademark in history.

By the mid 19th Century Kinahan’s L.L. whiskey came to the attention of many American connoisseurs, including Jerry Thomas, “the father of American mixology”. Kinahan’s L.L. is known to have been the whiskey of choice for Jerry Thomas since 1862.

Our Single Malt Irish Whiskey has been matured exclusively in ex-bourbon barrels for at least 10 years. Our Malt Master carefully samples the aged whiskey, cask by cask. He will only select single malt which overlays the original mellow, rich and full flavoured character that is unique to a forgotten Irish Whiskey of ‘L.L.’ flavour.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Richer, fuller, more well rounded and robust on the nose. Dark fruits and oatmeal raisin cookies.
Palate: Pleasant creamy sweetness with just a touch of light saltiness. Oranges, cherry pie, and cocoa powder come forward with a peppery woody back palate.
Finish: The finish is slightly dry and a little bland.
Comments: I saw this and thought “ugh, another bland sourced Irish Malt” but this is really a nice and enjoyable dram. It’s more flavorful and attention grabbing than I expected. I can’t say it’s a $70 malt but if it was under $50 I would recommend it highly.
Rating: Stands Out

Egan’s 10 Year Old

Egan’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey Aged 10 Years
47% ABV
$50
Website
Egans-Irish-Whiskey
What the Bottler Says:
While bourbon and Scotch get more press, Irish whiskeys have quietly become the fastest growing, barrel-aged spirit in America. They’re accessible, highly aromatic and loaded with an abundance of palate pleasing flavors. In addition, years of steadily increasing popularity have not significantly driven up their price, thus keeping them relative bargains.

Among the brands fanning the category’s popularity is recent arrival EGAN’S SINGLE MALT IRISH WHISKEY. Although new to the U.S. market, the whiskey can hardly be referred to as an overnight success. It actually represents a legacy of nearly 160 years. The founders established their firm on Bridge Street in the heart of Tullamore, County Offaly.

“For our initial foray into the American market we’ve selected a single malt that’s been barrel-aged for 10 years and bottled at 47% alcohol (94 proof),” says Jonathan Egan, 6th generation owner. “We firmly believe it to be one of the finest Irish single malts on the market. After a few minutes left alone with our whiskey, we’re confident that malt enthusiasts and aficionados will become lifelong fans.”

While I can’t speak for others, I’m convinced he’s right. The Egan’s Single Malt is bottled non-chill filtered, which leaves it unaltered and in full possession of its character. The whiskey has a fetching golden/amber appearance, a light, silky textured body and a generous fruit and malt bouquet. The longer you allow it to breath and fully oxygenate in the glass, the more of its engaging aromas will come forward. Egan’s has a slightly warm entry that quickly expands, filling the mouth with flavors of honey, malt, cranberries, apples and a bevy of baking spices. The long, dry finish reveals the added flavors of caramel and baking spices. With a price tag of under $50, it’s a virtual steal. Kudos

What Richard Says:
Nose: For a 10 Year old Cooley product the nose on this is more barrel forward. That lighter, grassy fresh, crisp apple Irish nose tucks itself way in the back behind the barrel.
Palate: Light, crisp, and fairly drinkable. I read somewhere that a fellow was referring to some of these rebranded Cooley malts as “relabeled Tyrconnell” or something to that effect. That’s fairly on par. I find this base whiskey to be unoffensive and fairly drinkable. However, in and of itself it does not leave much to bring you around for another go.
Finish: A little hotter than you would expect for an Irish whiskey of this age. It leaves you with impressions of wet wood and industrial solvents.
Comments: Meh. If this was $30 to $35 I would say average for a reasonably priced 10 year old Irish whiskey. Approaching $50 (and fortunately Matt bought this on sale) it’s an easy pass. There are a lot of whiskeys I would rather spend $50 on.
Rating: Probably Pass

Yellow Spot

Yellow Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Aged 12 Years
46% ABV
$99
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Yellow Spot whiskey was last seen in Ireland in the mid to late 1960’s. Created and sold by Mitchell & Son Wine and Spirit Merchants, Yellow Spot was always a 12 year old whiskey which was slightly sweet due to the inclusion of some single pot still spirit which was matured in Spanish Malaga wine casks. Inspired by the original, Yellow Spot is the rare taste of a bonder’s style Pot Still Irish whiskey. Maturation in Bourbon barrels, Sherry butts and Malaga casks creates a superbly complex whiskey with fresh and sweet top notes.

Nose: Mown hay & cracked black pepper, Red bell peppers, nutmeg, clove oil & green tea. Sweet honey & peaches from the Malaga casks.
Taste: Honey sweetness with pot still spices. Flavours of fresh coffee, creamy milk chocolate & Creme Brulee. Notes of red apples & toasted oak.
Finish: Sophisticated & complex. Sweetness throughout, with a mix of red grape & dry barley upon exit.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Tobacco, candied ginger, eggnog, and vanilla drizzled peaches and cream.
Palate: Rich orange blossom honey, Del Monte fruit cocktail, and melted milk chocolate.
Finish: Sweet fruit playing against spicy black pepper.
Comments: Fantastic. Absolutely stellar. Easily my favorite 12 year old pot still Irish whiskey at drinking proof. (Redbreast Cask Strength still does it for me at the higher proof). The Sherry, Bourbon, and Malaga wood fit together seamlessly. For sure, this is an Irish Whiskey all should try. If it wasn’t so damn expensive I would be yelling in your ear that you have to get out there and buy a bottle.
Rating: Must Try