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Writers Tears Pot Still Irish Whiskey is an oddity. It’s a pure—excuse me, single—pot still—ahem, apologies—whiskey that’s been blended with malt whiskey, all produced at—where else?—Midleton Distillery in Cork. That’s right: it’s a single pot still blend. It claims to be “a style of whiskey that was popular in [James] Joyce’s Dublin” and, further, that it is “the original pot still”, but how they have come to know this is a mystery. I call PR bunkum, but—bunkum or no bunkum—what matters is what’s currently in my copita. And it is lovely stuff.
The nose strikes first with pencil shavings. I’ve come across it in other whiskies many times before, but never has it been so insistent. Yet, here it is: pencil shavings. With time, however, it opens up spectacularly to apples and crème caramel, with subtler hints of salt, maple syrup, and banana. Occasionally, notes of pineapple, lime, cinnamon, and menthol appear.
The palate is brilliantly tropical—with pineapple, especially—and, once again, pencil shavings and salt. There follows notes of raisins and milk chocolate on the finish. There is a truly fantastic balance between the sweet and dry elements of this whiskey, especially as the bottle evolves over time.