"A person can work up a mean, mean thirst after a hard day of nothing much at all . . . "
"I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record . . ." - Dylan Thomas
I hear ya. The Knoppogue is by far, the lightest colored Irish that I have. In that I very seldom drink Irish myself, except around St. Patty's Day, I am always thinking this bottle has "faded" since I last pulled it out. You're right, there's barely any color there, but it does have an interesting flavor. I have asked this before, but I can't remember the answer; Can coloring be added to Irish, like they do with Scotch?
"Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama
John on Malt Advocate has a few things up on his blog from yesterday. In the one piece he advocates that more variety of Irish Whiskey gets exported and asks "what would you like to see here"?
I immediatley thought Green Spot as I really would like to try that. I had no idea that RedBreast 15 existed, now I'm all jacked up about that.
I'm going to have to grab a few things when I'm in England this spring.
Does anyone know why Irish whiskey is usually 80 proof? Is there a legal limit? Do higher proofs exist? Higher proof versions would help make it more interesting.
"Most Irish whiskey today is distilled in Coffey stills and comes out at 80 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) to be diluted to 60 percent for aging which occurs mostly in American white oak 55 US Gallon barrels previously used for Bourbon aging. Some distillers use oloroso sherry casks, others port. The minimum aging period by law is three years but most distillers surpass it by many years. After blending, the whiskey is diluted to 40 – 43 percent ABV."
Having said that, I do know of at least one Irish whiskey that is bottled at cask strength, and that is a part of the heavily-peated Connemara lineup, by the Cooley distillery.
Most Irish whiskey drinkers are only looking for mild-&-mellow, which you simply won't get with higher proofs. Ask anyone why they drink Jameson and they'll answer "because it's smooth."
I will note that each of the 3 Irish whiskey distillers (Midleton, Cooley, and Bushmills) are finally doing something interesting. Midleton's Redbreast Pure Pot Still is good stuff, as are the Single Malts from Bushmills and Cooley, both of whom are experimenting with wood finishing.
"Suppose he's got a pointed stick!?!"
- Eric Idle, Monty Python's Flying Circus
I found the Tullamore Dew 12 to be a nice, easing drinking whiskey....but not that distinctive....again, I don't really pick up the addl 12 years aging effect.
I prefer bourbon to be in the 92-96 proof +/- range....the 100+ proofs can quickly numb your taste...but I understand the addition of a little water or ice and thinking you are economizing.
With growth in the Irish industry hopefully some will take notice of the American whiskey drinker and experiment with a little higher proof.
Enjoyed some Connemara pot-stilled for my St. Paddys pour. It's been a while and I'd forgotten how much I liked it.
"Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."
I'm having Black Bush right now. Awesome stuff. I think it is more balanced than Jameson 12, honestly. Right up there with Redbreast in my books.