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Irish coffee anyone?

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@tjbReview by @tjb

9th Mar 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I got given this bottle about 8 years ago. It was a baking hot summer and a couple of friends and I were helping out one of their elderly relatives with a house clearance. We worked all weekend taking van loads to the local recycling centre and to the tip. Clearing a big house room by room shifting half a centuries worth of possessions, collectables and junk. Lots and lots of junk.

We finished the work on the Sunday evening. We led in the garden in the fading sun feeling exhausted but extremely satisfied. A feeling of positive achievement that can only come from hard graft with friends and a common purpose.

My friend's dad brought us a all ice cold beers and thanked us profusely for helping him with such a mammoth task. We had all volunteered and so it was a delightful surprise when he came back into the garden with 3 large boxes of Cuban cigars and 3 bottles of Whisky. We each got a box and a bottle. I was touched as we hadn't expected this and it was extremely generous of him. The cigars have become something of a ritual for us ever since but the whisky was added to my drinks collection without any more thought. Back then my mindset was that I didn't like whisky so I let it collect dust for a few years.

It now has a place in my expanding Whisky collection and is associated with a nice memory and feeling of having done something good.

This popular blended Irish Whisky is a blend of approximately 70% pot still and 30% grain whiskey. I have let it sit in my glass warming and breathing for around 10 minutes. It is the colour of golden straw. The nose is quite light with whisps of elderflower, caramel, melon and a honeyed cereal. The palate is soft silky but it doesn't deliver on the promise of the nose in terms of flavour. There is a honey sweetness with cereal grains. The finish is medium but forgettable.

This is the most popular Whisky sold in Ireland but I'm guessing this has more to do with price than anything else. I have an emotional attachment to the bottle but less so the contents. I wouldn't buy another when it runs out and feel less guilty for using this for my Irish coffees at Christmas. This will almost exclusively be what the remainder of the bottle goes used for.

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