The Irishman is a triple distilled single malt Irish whisky… Whose origins were a little hard to determine. Current expressions are distilled at the Middleton distillery in County Cork, in the south of the country.
The Irishman is matured in first fill Bourbon barrels. Walsh Whiskey Distillery Co. who are behind The Irishman select just a handful of barrels for these releases and only 6,000 bottles of 12 year old single malt are released each year.
The Walsh Whiskey Distillery Co. have had planning approved for a €25 million distillery to be developed at the site at Royal Oak and work is to commence in September and construction to be complete by December 2015.
Their plan envisages the development of a world-class, independent, craft Irish whiskey distillery; maturation warehouses and a unique visitor experience by the banks of the River Barrow in Royal Oak. The planned distillery visitor centre will cater for 75,000 ‘whiskey tourists’ by 2021.
I poured the whiskey in to a Glencairn glass, added a teaspoon of water and left the whiskey to develop for ten minutes. The whisky is a golden colour. On rolling round the glass it’s a light sugar syrup consistency leaving long legs inside the glass.
The nose is initially quite spirity with soft grassy and herbal note. This is followed by hits of clove, cinnamon and ginger bringing together an almost winter spice note. The end of the note is rich with vanilla from the bourbon barrels. I usually find Irish whiskey becomes lighter as it rests but in this case a delicious rich vanilla is more prominent!
The taste reminds me of an old artisan bakers with glorious notes of vanilla, buttery pastry, apple and cinnamon following. This moves toward something a little more spicy with hits of clove and pepper balanced out by a burnt toffee and a bitter dark chocolate note. Slight hints of coffee and that thread of vanilla wrapping everything up fantastically!
The finish is quite long with notes of bitter chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon on the finish leaving a very nice drying feeling in the mouth.
This is another example of a very well balanced very well selected bottling of an Irish whiskey. The love and care put in to this by the distillers and bottlers show a growing quality and consistency in Irish whiskey. For me Ireland are moving foward in leaps and bounds and Scottish distillers may have to look over their shoulder!!
The Irishman 12 year old is available from Master of Malt HERE!