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The Irishman Single Malt

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The Irishman Single Malt

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The Irishman Single Malt

Now I honestly don't know how many of you have heard of The Irishman. I hadn't heard anything about it till a few days ago until a friend popped it out of his bar for a surprise curve ball at a tasting.

And what curve ball! With a corny name like that I was expecting this to be some cheap attempt at whisky making - how wrong I was.

Triple distilled and aged in both bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks this one's won quite a few medals which I was, frankly, ignorant about. With only 6000 bottles in every batch this one is numbered L0170 - what ever that means!

The nose is robust sherry with a lovely mix of cherries, dark raisins, chocolate chips with a nutmeg and chili grating on top. Finished off with a mist of orange blossom and vanilla fudge.

The palate is as creamy as the nose suggests with the same dark raisins and chocolate chips you find on the nose. There are then the toasted almonds, apricots and dark grapes in a swirl of orange liqueur - like Cointreau.

The bitter chocolate finish is long with a handful of chestnuts.

I love moments like these. When something unassuming takes you on such a splendid ride!

This is personally one of my favorite irish whiskies, along with both Redbreast 12yo expressions, and The Irishman Original Clan/70/Supreme (which is my everyday sipping whiskey). Not aways easiest to locate. Will be interesting to see if this expression changes with the eventual start-up of the Walsh Whiskey Distillery in Ireland (Carlow). It has been my understanding that the emphasis of the distillery will be on premium and ultra premium whiskies, so I am not sure where the "regular" single malt and blended whiskies fall within their plans or influences.

Definitely in my top ten. Amazingly complex whisky.


Hot Irishman, a company in Carlow (Ireland), lead by Bernard Walsh, has a portfolio that contains the Irishman Single Malt, the Irishman 70 Superior Irish Whiskey, but also a cream liqueur, a mulled wine and a Hot Irish Coffee mix. My first thoughts: this must be bottom shelf stuff. But hey, it is Saint Patrick’s Day, so this is the ideal moment to taste something Irish. Let us try the regular Single Malt, made from 100% Irish malt whiskey and matured on both bourbon and sherry casks.

The nose is very soft, as was to be expected from an Irish whiskey. Loads of toffee, but also some dried fruit like apricots and peach, albeit somewhat light. Hints of roasted nuts. Mild spices. Aniseed and some ginger. Caramel and some vanilla.

Arrrrgh, the attack is so watery, what a shame. Mild spices precede a lot of vanilla sweetness with hints of gingerbread. But no body whatsoever. Some ginger, vanilla and cinnamon. The fruit is hiding.

The finish is medium long, but shows little to nothing.

The nose started off well, but that is saying it all. This is a little whiskey. Did you know that Hot Irishman currently holds the world record for the largest Irish Coffee (70 liter!) ever made? They did this at Vinexpo, a French wine expo in Bordeaux, in June 2012.

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