Our 7th and last Irish, timed perfectly with March 17! This is the new expression of Writers' Tears, courtesy of Walsh Whiskey (whose The Irishman Founders Reserve I wrote about a few days ago). This one is also a blend of Irish pot still and single malt, but matured in both Kentucky bourbon barrels and Cognac French oak casks. Non-chill-filtered.
The colour is a buttery gold. On the nose there is a fair amount of toffee, cinnamon, caramel apple, papaya, grape and Anjou pear. Quite fruity with a toffee-vanilla theme running through. Much like some of the other Irish I've had in the last few days, water brings out the maltiness. Not bad but too caramel-y.
On the palate it is quite sweet with more toffee and vanilla, which are way upfront. Syrupy mouthfeel. The fruitiness is still there, with a bit of pineapple thrown in with the apples and berries. With time, some of the nuttiness from the pot still comes through - and water really helps with that. But still a bit too sweet.
The finish is spicy with the caramel continuing to overpower. Given its position of #10 in the 2019 Top 20 in Whisky Advocate, I was expecting a bit more than an overly-familiar bourbon-barrel caramel-vanilla profile. The spice (which I guess partly comes from the French Cognac oak) is a welcome addition - and it does improve with time in the glass. But compared to the other Irish I've tasted over the last few days, it is a bit of a letdown. Oh, and one more thing - Happy St Patrick-Covid-19 Day!