Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

The Irishman Founder's Reserve

A Pallet of Irish - Part II of Whatever

2 2092

@talexanderReview by @talexander

13th Mar 2020

1

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    24
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    92

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: The Irishman
  • ABV: 40%

I started typing "connosr" in my browser and almost typed "coronavirus". Such is the state of things, I suppose.

The Irishman brand is brought to you by Walsh Whiskey, who also produce Writers Tears. It used to all be sourced from Midleton, and I suspect it still is as the back label says "produced for Walsh Whiskey" rather than "produced by".

The Founders Reserve is their entry level blend - 70% single malt and 30% single pot still, matured in bourbon barrels. So there is no grain whiskey - all of it comes from a pot still. No age statement is given.

The colour is a rich gold. Lots of honey on the nose, with red apple (not the skin, the meat of it), caramel, vanilla bean and black pepper. Apricot. Orange zest. A slight hint of lime. Even more honey with water. Quite fruity across that wide canvas of honey that dominates the nose. This is truly beautiful.

On the palate the honey continues but is intertwined with peaches, cinnamon and butterscotch. A bit of dark chocolate, and vanilla - the bourbon cask here is flawless. Really rich, luxurious mouthfeel - this is a real pleasure in texture alone - which becomes even silkier with water. I hate to repeat myself but - beautiful.

The finish is long and buttery with a very mild indeterminate spice, more peaches and a hint of lavender. I know that descriptors such as "rich", "luxurious" "silky" etc do not correspond with price but I cannot help but think this tastes much more "expensive" than it is ($55 in Ontario). This gentle dram punches way above its weight and I would highly recommend it on value alone...but even at twice the price I'd still recommend it!

20 comments

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

The words Founders Reserve are a bit of a red flag, but this one sounds a lot different than the Glenlivet version. My only experience of Irish whiskey is Writers Tears and Redbreast 12. I ended up giving most of both of them away as I found them too sweet and, I hate to say it, too smooth. You’re tempting me to take another look here. Any other recommendations?

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@CanadianNinja
CanadianNinja commented

@BlueNote, Writers’ Tears is one of my favourite Irish whiskies. Unfortunately, I have yet to meet anyone who feels the same way I do about it! Haha!

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

Excellent review. I’ve never tried this or Writers’ Tears, but both sound excellent. We seem to have similar taste in Irish whiskey, so I may have to give this one a go.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@CanadianNinja - loved my first bottle of Writers Years but my second was a pale imitation of the first, so much so I won't buy another without trying it first.

This sounds like I remember my first bottle though and only £30 in the UK. Nice review @talexander.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@CanadianNinja
CanadianNinja commented

@RianC, yeah.... batch variation.... If only there were some way to rid the industry of this problem completely! : (

4 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@BlueNote If you're looking for Irish whiskies that aren't too sweet or too smooth, perhaps any cask strength version, especially independently bottled single malts. For peated Irish try Connemara. Personal faves for me are Bushmills 21, Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve, almost any Cooley single malt and pretty much any single pot still (especially Redbreast 21), but you might find all those too sweet.

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

@CanadianNinja
CanadianNinja commented

@talexander, what do you think about Bushmills Black Bush? I quite like it.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@CanadianNinja Yes, it's fantastic! Have you tried the Red Bush (I have not)?

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@CanadianNinja I’m not @talexander but I think Black Bush > Red Bush. The Red is fine, decent (I think I rated it 82/100), but the Black Bush has a higher ratio of malt to grain and is generally better and more complex (batch variations notwithstanding). Depending on the batch, I tend to rate BB anywhere from 84-100 to 87/100.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@talexander I’ve also been impressed with every Cooley single malt I’ve tried. There were rumours that the malt component from Writers Tears was sourced from Cooley. Any truth to that, or is Walsh Whiskey sourcing everything from Midleton?

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@CanadianNinja
CanadianNinja commented

I have @talexander. And I would take a glass of Black Bush over it any day of the week!

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@CanadianNinja
CanadianNinja commented

‘There were rumours that the malt component from Writers Tears was sourced from Cooley. Any truth to that, or is Walsh Whiskey sourcing everything from Midleton?’

I’m also very interested in knowing the answer to this....

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

I am with those who like Black Bush and are not so enthusiastic about Red Bush. In fact what I have had of Red Bush I disliked.

I've never had a bad sample of Black Bush.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@OdysseusUnbound @CanadianNinja I'm not 100% sure - I had thought they sourced everything from Midleton but I could be wrong. Is anyone out there an expert on Irish whiskey?

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@talexander All I can find is a reference to The Irishman Cask Strength being a “Triple Distilled Cask Strength Blend” which would lead me to believe that it’s from Midleton, since I believe that Cooley double distills their malt.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@talexander Thanks for the recommendations. I have not yet tried a peated Irish. I'll see what I can find. I also hear good things about the cask strength Redbreast.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@BlueNote for me standard Connemara Peated is OK, but Connemara Peated Cask Strength is two notches better. The Connemara Cask Strength I stock at home, the standard, no.

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Victor Good to know. I have yet to regret going for any of your recommendations. thumbsup

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@cherylnifer
cherylnifer commented

Irishman Founders Reserve was rebranded several years ago. Use to be Irishman 70 or Original Clan (USA). It was my understanding that Original Clan/Founders Reserve blend was/is 70% single malt & 30% pot still while Writers Tears is the reverse (70% pot still, 30% single malt). Neither includes grain whiskey.
I believe the Walsh Distillery has been constructed (2015?) and has been laying down their own distilled stock. Would imagine some of their own spirits should become available in upcoming years.
I, personally, have been looking forward to that day. Have been a fan of Barry Walsh’s products for past 7-10 years or so. Not so thrilled about the higher cost for the various cask strength bottlings though. Tough to drop US$110 or more when Redbreast 12yo cask strength available for US$84.99. Guess limited supply drives Walsh Distillery cask strength product higher prices.

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in