The first dram was rough and the finish, almost metallic. Certainly seemed like a difficult one to weather.
With every successive dram though, one got exposed to the wonderful floral notes opening into a smooth heathery crescendo. Eminently drinkable whiskey.
Does anyone have any tasting notes to share?
Also, apart from Bushmills, any other Irish whisk(e)y recommendations?
I got a bottle of Redbreast for a friend who likes Irish, and folks here went on and on about what a wonderful whiskey it was. I found it drinkable, but dull and flat are two words that come to mind regarding it. I don't know if it's the pot still or what, but I find that lots of Irish whiskeys have kind of a metallic tang to them that I really don't like.
Sooo.... it's back to Scotch for me, or Canadian or American. I do
keep a bottle of Jameson around for pouring in coffee.
Much cheaper, and I believe one of the finest whisk(e)ys in the world is the Jameson 12 yr old. Then there's Redbreast, Greenspot, and Powers. These are all world class, although some Scotch drinkers won't give them a chance as they don't believe they have the caché (not pointing any fingers).
Anyway, make up your own mind. All the whiskeys mentioned are less than 35 euro, apart from the 15 yr old.
If you can get Midleton 25 yr old, Dougourney or Tullamore pure pot still, you will be experiencing history and probably some of the best whiskeys ever made.
Jameson standard is nice enough, but there's much better imo.
Then there's the malt whiskeys - Bushmills and Cooley. I am not a huge fan of Bushmills, but they do have a few expressions I really like. The Cooley is very like scotch single malt whisky. You can get the smokey stuff or the nonsmokey stuff. I would recommend the Connemara, especially the 12 yr old. Put this in a scotch bottle and much more would rave about it.
Not necessarily complex or challenging, but (not surprisingly) it's smooth, it's sweet, and goes down very nicely.
I concur with a few here that the standard Jamesons is a bit thin & metallic. I'm not sure I see what Jim Murray sees in it - he rated it the best Irish whiskey in his Bible.
I've also have a bottle of Paddy. Nothing unpleasant about it, but it's very flat & lifeless.
For me, the best Irish whiskey going around is Black Bush. Try this one and see what you think.
However, what I can't help but notice in Irish is the lack of characteristics I like in both Scotch and Bourbon... I find the sweet spiciness of bourbon wonderful, and the blooming flavors in speysides or the dark smoky richness of Islays absolutely intoxicating (so to speak).
Admiral is right in pointing to Black Bush as a top quality drink with wide appeal. But I'd take an Aberlour 10 or a Maker's Mark over BB any day.
Irish has a much wider taste spectrum than your run-of-the-mill Canadian whiskey, and I'd take it straight over many Canadians, (Gibson's 18 being an exception). But for the most part, Irish finds its way into coffee at my house, where I must say it really comes into its own.
I'm not sure if the Easy Drinking Company's Irish whiskey could be vatted, if it's Irish. It would all come from Cooley. I haven't tried it yet.
Jim Murray rates Jameson standard as one of the best whisk(e)ys in the world, which I find strange
That's fair enough. There's nothing wrong with not liking Irish whiskey that much. It is a completely different flavor profile to other whiskeys.
I think that Irish whiskey is now being marked to younger people who like to mix drinks. This is great for the company, but not so great if you really love Irish whiskey, as the more flavourful brands are taking a back seat. I wish Irish Distilers was a little more adventurous when it comes to producing single-cask offerings at higher abv. They do this with the Bushmills, but not the Jamesons.
Think perhaps I will try it soon as I must confess to being a bit dismissive of Irish whiskey.
It drives me mad when friends who love scotch poo poo American whisky on the basis of a JD they had years ago.
While very lovely, I couldnt help but notice a vaguely unpleasant aftertaste. An oily, almost "fishy" finish. This was both before and after tasting other Irish, Scotch and American whiskies.
Has anybody else noticed this? Any suggestions as to what I am tasting?
I am generally a fan of Irish whiskey - even the standard Jamesons.
Any Impressions of Green Spot out there, I'd really like to know. I have an unopened bottle and i'm kind of curious.
Bamber: I Highly recommend the Jameson 12 yr old at it's price point. It's not a very complicated whisky, but it is very light with a significant sherried character. And it's not just me who likes this whisky It appears I'm in good company if whisky website feedback is anything to go by. My concern is that in one of your posts, you said that you tend to go for Bourbon and Scotch, whereas Irish is definatly much lighter than those styles. Therefore the Irish style may not be what you look for in whisky. Methinks Aidan knows more about this so I would be curious for his imput.
Bond: With regard to recommendations, I've found that in Ontario, Black Bush, Redbrest and 12 yr old Jameson all share a price point that makes those whiskys a very good buy. I don't consider them contemplative malts, simply good quality whiskys for good times. For a house blend Powers Gold Label is the only one I would buy. Jameson and Tullimore Dew I found to be dull, lifeless, and forgetable. If you want to splash out, Very Old Middleton is in my opinion the the equal (or better) of some very good scotches. The one I tried had complex layers after layers of differant flavours, herbacous and wonderful. The only issue I had was that the bottle would cost $125 cdn - too much for a student at the time.
I'm sure Aidan could give you better feedback as in Canada, our selection of Irish whiskys is limited. Hope this helps Bond! And I salute you for wanting to try new avenues and directions. Best of luck on this noble journey!
Greenspot is like a younger, less sherried Redbreast. It has the pure pot still character - kind of a honied porridge. It's got a menthol chololate finish. Lots of character and very drinkable.
I have tried a few of the Midleton VRs, but don't think they're worth the money, to be honest. I like them a lot, especially the 2003 version - the best one I've tasted.
Irish whiskey is lighter in general than soctch or burbon, but I think the good ones are just as complex. I think they should bottle them at a few more pure pot still ones at cask strength. I have tried some of the very old bottlings and I think they are unmatched, from what I've tasted, of course. Anyway, that's just an opinoin.
Powers Gold Label is excellent. It's what I drink mostly if I'm in a pub. They 12 yr old version is even better, although it does seem to vary from bottle to bottle.
Then there's the Cooley malts, which I really like because I like a little bit of sweetness. The Connemara 12 yr old is superb, but way too expensive for what it is. I also really liked the Signatory 10 yr old Cooley malt...
Anyway, everyone's an expert really, once you know what you like.
Any ideas to push me over the edge into buying a bottle?
I think the 18 yr old is similar to the 12 yr old. It is better, but it's three times more expensive over here. It is a while since I tasted it. I remember it as having quite a lot of potstill with a nice oak touch.
Apparantly, it changes a bit from batch to batch.
If you like scotch and want to taste a similar Irish, try the Connemara 12. It's a peated, double-distilled single malt. The Connemara standard is quite good too.
I've tried the 18yr old Jameson a few times and I loved it. I'm not sure I would pay $80 cdn for a bottle of it but it is good! I found it more complex than the 12 yr old with much less sherry character. It reminded me a lot of JW Gold - I guess it's the honeyed personality of them both.
As far as should you buy a bottle goes, I'm reluctant to offer a blanket suggestion that you should buy it. The last time I bought a whisky off the shelf without checking it out first I spent $60 on a bottle of Cardu . The moral that I learned was to do your homework before purchasing.
My advice would be to have a shot at a pub first, or if this is not possible, wait until the LCBO delists this item, and it goes on sale. I can't imagine the demand for this whisky to be very high, and if this turns out to be true, the LCBO will want to get rid through delist sales. When this would happen though, who knows.
Just a couple of ideas.
OTOH, Connemara is in stock now and last time I waffled it flew off the shelves so perhaps I should get some cask strength peated?
I was thinking of the regular Connemara, but when I scraped the money together, The 16 yr old Balblair was on sale so I got that instead. Hope I don't regret it.
Perhaps Aidan can shed some light on the Cask strength
I also tasted a 13 yr old non-peated Cooley and it was really excellent. I think they are planning on releasing it, so I think it will be one to look out for.
I tried the Bushmills 10 yo malt last night and was not moved at all. A lot more complex than the Jamesons but the metal lingers on the finish.
Having said that, I am determined to give it a 2nd try since I had it last night after downing a couple of J W Blacks and a Henessey XO.
Will start my evening with a Bushmills tomorrow and post results again.
Jameson is nice, that's all I'd really say about it. I don't think it's without complexity, but maybe that's just me.
Bond: You said in your last post you intended to try the Bushmills 10yr old again. Same responce?
Any feedback about the premium Powers (10 or 12yr old I think it is) Is it really better than the Gold Label, and if so, how much better and in what ways? We can't get that over here, and a friend of mine visits relatives in Ireland so he can pick some up for me if I ask him. What I'm wondering is, is it worth it.
Feedback much apprietiated.
I would highly recommend the Powers 12 yr old. The first bottle of this I got, it was my favorate whiskey. The second wasn't as good. I don't know if it's me or does it vary in quality.
Lovely pot still with some nice vanilla wood. I have never nosed anything so close to fruit cake. In fact, at the risk of sounding wierd, I occasionally have a smell of one of the empty bottles I've kept.
It's much more mellow than the Gold Label, so it's a different whiskey. I think there are similar notes in the Midleton VR 2003, which I think is by far the best VR I've tasted. Rounded spices, with the Powers honey.
Anyway, that's my t'pence worth
Is it worth it? Well if you like Irish whiskey, this is a great one. And it's only 34 euro over here - and you get the tax back...
Thanks for the heads-up! It sounds worth it to at least try a bottle. BTW, I finally tried Conemarra on the weekend. I can't tell the differance from scotch!
I also tried Conemarra, for the first time this weekend and enjoyed it quite a bit. It was the cask strength version. More peppery than peaty and like you say, very Scotch like (IMHO).
bond wrote:I tried the Bushmills 10 yo malt last night and was not moved at all. A lot more complex than the Jamesons but the metal lingers on the finish.
Will start my evening with a Bushmills tomorrow and post results again.
How was the second try, Bond?
I just tried a Bushmills 10yo for the first time too and was rather disappointed. The idea of a single malt Irish seemed like the best of both worlds but was sadly not the case.
The finish shared the same quality I mentioned earlier in this thread that I found in a Jameson 12yo. Maybe it is metal, I don't know.
It seems to my relatively inexperienced palate that these whiskey's, when aged, lose the lightness and smoothness that is so much a part of their appeal without gaining any of the richness or complexity of, say an aged single malt scotch or a premium bourbon.
However, I am yet to try an 18yo version of either or many of the more mature Irish whiskeys that I'm sure I will enjoy.
Anyone have any suggestions to steer me in the right direction?
Black Bush is readily available here down under. Is it a worthy investment?
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