As we lead up to St. Patrick's Day, it's time to look at an Irish whisky (I will do some more next week). Tullamore Dew gets it's name from a) the town of Tullamore and b) D. E. Williams, whose family gained control of the distillery in 1903. Tullamore DEW-illiams, get it? The distillery closed in 1954 and the brand was sold to Powers before being bought by Irish Distillers. Tullamore Dew is now distilled at Midleton. The 12 Year Old is a blend of pot still whisky, malt and grain whiskies, between 12 and 15 years old. All the whiskies in the blend are matured in bourbon barrels and finished in oloroso sherry casks.
The colour is a light shimmering gold. The nose features Christmas cake (likely due to the oloroso), lemon, and berries - fresh, clean and fruity. The longer I nose, the more the Christmas cake becomes hot cross buns, with roasted almonds. Very floral and herbal as well. Crisp and delicious. Water brings a little heat and spice.
On the palate there is more citrus (lime and lemon), some cinnamon, and much of the lighter fruits such as grapefruit, apples and oranges. Some oak is there but it is in the background. Silky mouthfeel, very elegant. Water accentuates the grain, adding some nuttiness.
The finish is light but long and with some depth - more sherry notes, with some pot still grain at the very end. A very fruity, complex blend - although I have not yet tasted the standard Tullamore Dew, I understand that it is very different (and much inferior). Perhaps this 12 year old has a higher ratio of pot still, as it is very dominant (which I love). The overall impression is one of luxuriousness, as if it should be more expensive (FYI - this is not available yet at the LCBO). Winner of Best Irish Blend at the 2011 World Whiskies Awards.