Thursday, 9 January 2014

Writer's Tears - Irish Whiskey - Review

Towards the end of last year I was lucky enough to receive a few bottles of whiskey as my birthday and Christmas both fall in the month of December.  When a lot younger this used to annoy me greatly as I saw it as a time when presents would be watered down in order to cover both occasions.  I obviously had this opinion with complete disregard towards my parents finances and often demanded that both events had a large haul of gifts so as to make the month of December make up for the present-less hardship of the rest of the year.

Whilst now, it still would be nice to receive a momentous amount of gifts, my tastes and demands are much more restrained and I am more than happy to just enjoy the time of year and count off becoming another year older.

Nonetheless gifts still appear and are now becoming more and more related to my ever growing love of whiskey.  As a result a bottle I received last month was that of Writers Tears Irish Whiskey.

This is a blend of pure pot still whiskey and single malt and has been bottled at 40% ABV. Now whilst most references to this whiskey would state that it is completely a product of Midleton Distillery those of you who are well educated in the way of all things Irish will know that Midleton does not produce single malt whiskey.  Unconfirmed sources would state that the malt involved here actually comes from Cooley Distillery in County Louth.  I'm sure though that the whiskies have been blended and bottled in Midleton.  

I'm undecided whether the malt comes from Cooley or Bushmills but what I do know is that the producers of Writers Tears are certainly not going to reveal the secret.

For those of you unsure of what pure pot still whiskey is I shall allow the Writers Tears people explain themselves by way of an excerpt from their website: Pure Pot still came about in 1802 as a reaction to the introduction of Tax’s by the British on Irish Malt Whiskey. Irish Whiskey accounted for 90% of all the worlds exported whiskey and was seen as a cash cow by the British. By introducing this tax they hoped to “Cash in” on their neighbors good fortune. However in an effort to avoid taxes the Irish Distiller decided to use a higher percentage of unmalted barley (as opposed to Malted Barley) into the still. This resulted in a very different style of Whiskey and one which we have come to know as “Pure Pot Still".

Now that's been cleared up I shall move onto the whiskey itself:

Nose - Light, clean and fresh. Crunchy green apple, ripe banana, citrus zest but nothing definitive.  Delicate floral notes, pear and some sweet honey vanilla but the focus is firmly on fresh fruit.  With time an oaty biscuit appears.

Palate - Fruity arrival giving away to sweet malt with some gentle spices.  Rich, freshly cut orange, oak spice, vanilla, honey and caramel.

Finish - Warming spices in the form of light ginger and cinnamon that are sweet and slightly drying.  As the spice dies away the fruit returns with a rattle of apple and peach.

Overall this is a light, clean whiskey that, in my opinion, could do with a bit more "oomph".  I'm aware of the cask strength version, which I've yet to try, and I believe that the extra % might serve this whiskey well.  That said though this dram is extremely enjoyable and should go down fantastically well once the warmer weather returns.

Hopefully I shall soon get a try of the cask strength version at which point I shall promptly offer some comparison.

Until next time,



N.B.  Throughout these blogs you shall notice that my spelling shall jump from whisky to whiskey when writing.  This is simply done to try to refer to the whisk(e)y as it should be in it's country of origin e.g whisky for Scottish and whiskey for Irish.

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