Peat! This was my takeaway when I first nosed this whiskey. I’m not a fan of peat or whiskies with a lot of malt. My first impression was I am not going to like this. My wife, who is a huge Jameson fan, took one nose and wouldn’t taste it. And while in subsequent nosings a number of days later, the peat smell was not as strong the malt did come through. The interesting thing is the malt came through on the palate only slightly. It was there though and took a way a good bit of the sweetness I get in an Irish Whiskey like Jameson. In addition, the mouthfeel of The Dubliner Irish Whiskey was quite thin to me. I drink Irish Whiskey occasionally but tend to go more for Jameson, Red Breast 12 or Cask Strength or Powers John Lane 12.
You may have read my review of the 5-year offering from The Dublin Liberties, Oak Devil, and seen that I did not recommend it very highly (mostly as a result of it being overpriced for what it is). I don’t believe that to be the case here with Copper Alley. It has many of the stereotypical notes of a pot-stilled Irish Whiskey while also bringing some new things to the table as a result of its sherry-cask finish. Most notably, those sherry casks bring some interesting wine notes to both the palate and the dry finish, which I quite enjoyed.
I really enjoy Irish Whiskey and put them into roughly two categories where value is concerned. One of them is the cheaper, simple whiskies that I’d used for mixing with ginger ale, pouring over ice, etc., and the other is for richer, more complex whiskies that I’ll sip slowly and enjoy on their own. For me, Tullamore Dew and Writers’ Tears would be examples of the former that I immensely enjoy and Red Breast or Green Spot would be examples of the latter.
I’ve been a fan of Irish whiskey for about 20 years but have never drank a lot of it. During that time however, I have thoroughly enjoyed having a pour from time to time. My favorites include Jameson Rarest Vintage, Redbreast Cask Strength and Power’s John Lane 12 Year.
Our daughter and son in law brought me back a bottle of Powers John’s Lane after a trip to Ireland over 5 years ago. I will admit I nursed that bottle and finally finished it earlier in the year. Recently I had a chance to have a couple pours of this again. Every time I have a pour I always wonder why I don’t drink this more often.
“Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral,” Vader said interrupting Piett’s nervous explanation. “I want that ship, not excuses.”
“Yes, my Lord,” the stiffly obedient soldier responded and bowed his head as the mechanized canopy of Vader’s meditation chamber lowered and hissed shut. He turned to make his way back to the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer when he heard a muffled call through the chamber wall. Vader was saying something else.
The whiskey world has similar categories. There are some whiskies that choose to reside in the training levels. There are others existing in more competitive realms. There are, of course, the elite few that sit atop the highest shelves of whiskey spectacle. I’m thinking that the folks behind the Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey are not only well familiar with Death Ball, but by their name they tip their hats to the “kill begging” rule of the second tier, and by this, place themselves no higher.
This whiskey spent 13 years in former bourbon casks before an unspecified finish in Mizunara oak barrels. Mizunara is a difficult-to-cooper Japanese wood that tends to leak due to its irregular wood grain, but purists revere it for ability to soften spirits and impart notes of vanilla and fresh fruit. Those attributes sound great and are largely on display here, but not potently enough. I appreciate it being a delicate spirit, but that left this drinker fighting too hard to discover its nuances. Perhaps after the liquid gets more air time, more details will emerge.
Branded The Original Irish Whiskey of the Legendary Band, what West Cork Distillers have attempted is to capture the spirit of The Pogues in a bottle. Have they succeeded? Well, yes and no. Like the band’s raucous reputation, the whiskey is a bit rough and ready. It does have a smooth side, but the rougher, spicy edges are more prominent.
I’m a fan of Irish whiskey and have slowly been adding those I enjoy to my library. When this bottle arrived, I was cautiously excited. The presentation is wonderful, with a beautiful expensive looking label on the front and a backstory that made me curious as to what the quality would be inside the bottle. After all, there’s only a handful of working distilleries in Ireland, and Pugilist Spirits is not one of them. This was obviously an upstart.
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