JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS
The 5-year-old blend of malt & grain whiskey is liquid gold. Full of aromas of baked apples, fresh hay & warm brown sugar...
The Dublin Liberties: Oak DevilBOTTLE DETAILS
NOSE: Caramel | Corn | Spiced Cherries | Toasted Oak
TASTE: Rye Spice | Oak | Faint Sweet Honey | Green Apple
FINISH: Medium with lingering sweetness and some grain
SHARE WITH: While young, this is a blend to share with your “drink curious” not too judgy friends.
WORTH THE PRICE: I found Ingram an interesting expression. I am generally a Midwest Grain Products fan, and I like to support craft distillers/blenders with innovative ideas. With all that being said, at over $70 for a less than 4-year-old, sourced, blended whiskey, this would be a tough sell for me.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This whiskey is not a bust. It has interest and depth that you wouldn’t expect by its age. The blending is done well and with the innovative take on aging, I will give it a BAR rating. Try it first, if you can, before you buy. In the fifty dollar range, I would be tempted to go bottle.
OVERALL: O. H. Ingram River Aged Straight Whiskey, I found interesting whiskey. Aged in a floating “rickhouse” at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, in Ballard County, Kentucky. The theory being the gentle rocking of the barrels enhances the aging process. This process has its roots in the river transport of barreled distillate from Bourbon County delivered to New Orleans, with the transformed taste that apocryphally led to our native spirit. Does it make a difference? I have no idea, but there are a lot of people putting barrels on ocean voyages, riverboats, playing music to them, and even aging in cranberry bogs.
I have an issue with brands using invented or unrelated stories to support the “marketing” of their spirits. I don’t see that as an issue with O.H. Ingram. They have family history tied to the river and actually age on floating barges. They don’t hide the source, age, or mash bills of their product. Starting from typically quality rye and bourbon distillate from MGP in Indiana, aging for over three years and blended well, has produced a straight whiskey. It has a surprising depth for a young age. I found it drinkable neat, better with ice, but not particularly suitable for cocktails. My only issue with this product is the price, which is high for what it is. Understanding that the cost of sourcing and barreling probably drives this cost. If you find it in a bar, or you have the resource and drinking curiosity, I would not dissuade you from giving this one a try.
NOSE: Corn Bourbon | Orange Zest | Green Oak | Honey – Adding water brings out a floral note
TASTE: Honey | Butterscotch | Molasses | Cereal | Raisin
FINISH: Medium and Warm | Cinnamon | Classic Irish whiskey finish with flavors of plum and dark fruit
SHARE WITH: Friends at a responsibly-distanced St. Patrick's Day party
WORTH THE PRICE: For what is described as a mixing whiskey, I don't think so.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar. If you're interested in trying this, I think the price point requires you test it at the bar first.
OVERALL: 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.
The problem I have with the Oak Devil is that it is a mixing Irish Whiskey at a sipping Irish price. The dram itself has no notable flaws, but no notable strengths either. A bit of water does improve the nose, but it also dilutes the taste. It makes a lovely whiskey ginger, but so does Bushmills at a cheaper cost of entry. Unless having a bottle that looks cool and that few of your friends have seen before is worth the extra 15-20 dollars to you, I would say that on value alone, this one is a miss for me.
On the other hand, if you want a bottle that looks cool, that few of your friends have seen before, and is well worth the price of admission, be on the lookout for my review of the 10-year-old offering from The Dublin Liberties and go #drinkcurious!
THE DUBLIN LIBERTIES SETS SIGHTS HIGH WITH NEW 100% SINGLE MALT IRISH WHISKEY PRESTIGE EXPRESSIONSWith Foremost Single Malt Irish Whiskey Maker at the Helm and Dublin’s The Liberties Rich History as its Inspiration
NEW YORK, NY (October 27, 2020) Hot on the heels of its distillery launch last year, the team behind The Dublin Liberties Distillery is finally launching its four, new, aged expressions to the US market with one blended Irish whiskey aged 5-years called Oak Devil, and 3 others, all single malt Irish Whiskies, which include The 10 year-old Copper Alley, the 13 year-old Murder Lane and the 16 year-old Keeper’s Coin. Created by renowned Master Distiller, Darryl McNally — considered the Rockstar of Irish Single Malts — the four, small batch, aged expressions are inspired by the stories, the streets and the people from the historic quarter of old Dublin where distilleries, weaving mills, forges, printing-presses, tanneries, illicit taverns, and dens of ill repute were abound. An area known for centuries as Hell, this wild and wayward quarter of old Dublin was notorious for mayhem and riotous behavior with danger and intrigue waiting around every cobbled corner.
The award-winning, luxury range — Liberties Irish Whiskey — celebrates aged single malt, offering rare, aged liquid with unique cask finishes. It features small batch, higher quality ingredients, which result in a sensorial range, brimming with sophistication and substance. Not only is single malt the oldest, most traditional way of making whiskey in Ireland — although mash bills over the years have become more widespread — it epitomizes Irish Whiskey, because after all, it was the Irish who taught the rest of the world how to make great whiskies. Resurrecting this tradition was important to McNally not only for its historical significance, but because using malted barley, which is of the utmost quality, results in a better more flavorful final product.
Through their evocative names and intricate illustrations, each whiskey in the Dublin Liberties series tells a legendary story from the Liberties colorful history in the 17th and 18th Century, where the distillery is located. With the new range, Master Distiller Darryl McNally and his team at the Dublin Liberties Distillery are aiming to bring a fresh, new perspective to Irish whiskey-making and reinvigorate the high end of the category, as McNally explains:
“Irish whiskey is my passion and to be able to play a part in continuing its growth is a real honor for me. I see innovation in the super premium plus segment as key to continuing the impressive growth Irish whiskey has seen in recent years, so with The Dublin Liberties, we’re embracing an experimental approach with unique finishes for our aged malts unlike anything else on the market. We’re incredibly proud of the new expressions we’ve created!”
In Dublin, The Liberties became known as hell. To enter hell, you needed to walk under an archway where a carved oak devil stood, and this is where the brand’s tale begins:
- On the label of the youngest expression named Oak Devil (SRP $44.99 - $49.99), the devil stands watching proudly over the first of The Liberties Irish Whiskeys. The 5-year-old blend of malt & grain whiskey is liquid gold. Full of aromas of baked apples, fresh hay & warm brown sugar, give way to flavors of toffee apples, cider & caramel before a finish full of gentle nutmeg, cinnamon & lingering sweetness, imparted by years in the highest quality American oak casks.
- Now lost to the ages, Copper Alley was the oldest street in Dublin, named after the coin that was first minted there in the 17th century. The label is inspired by the color of those minted coins and their Celtic Irish origins. The Copper Alley 10-year-old Single Malt (SRP $59.99-$64.99) abounds with sweet aromas of delicate honey & powdered sugar with floral notes of apple blossom & red fruits. The whiskey has been finished in 30-year old Oloroso sherry casks which imbue deep fruit notes of baked plums, ripe red grapes & give the liquid its deep amber hue.
- The Murder lane 13-year-old Single Malt (SRP $89.99) has been called after an unmarked alleyway known as murdering lane, that connects Bow Street and James Street. There is evidence and lore to show that in the early 1600’s many men, women and children met a very unfortunate end on that lane. Murder Lane brims with sweet aromas of almonds, marzipan & vanilla imparted by thirteen years in American oak. The whiskey is then finished in rare Hungarian oak casks previously seasoned with Tokaj, imbuing rich flavors of ripe apricot flesh, white peach, and a hint of coconut. The finish adds a gentle spice to the experience.
- In the 1600’s, under Christchurch Cathedral, there were a series of crypts that were used as illicit drinking dens. The cellar keepers each had their own coins and casks — which is where the name keeper’s coin is derived from. Excavations under the Cathedral unearthed a purse full of silver coins and several leather bottles still containing alcohol. The Keeper’s Coin 16-year-old Single Malt (SRP $159.99) is full of aromas of soft toffee, fudge, toasted hazelnuts, and baked banana with sea salt caramel. On the palate, poached pear and big fruity notes of dried apricots dominate. Sixteen years in American oak casks bestow a substantial wood influence giving a salted butter mouthfeel. The dark, auburn hue is imparted by Pedro Ximénez 250-liter hogshead casks in which the whiskey finally rests. The finish is smooth and rounded with honeyed sweetness.
The Dublin Liberties Irish Whiskey collection is the culmination of inspiration of over 400 years of Irish history and distillation excellence, a true testament to The Distillery’s unwavering commitment to produce only the finest and most special Irish Whiskey in the world, making it the perfect choice for today’s Irish whiskey connoisseur. Liberties Irish Whiskies can be purchased at select and high-end liquor retailers in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, Michigan, and Minnesota.