Showing posts with label Tullamore Dew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tullamore Dew. Show all posts

Monday, June 18, 2018

24 Hours on a Midlands Loop. Heritage Hotel - Mikey Ryan’s - DEW - Birr Castle - National Stud-Japanese Gardens


24 Hours on a Midlands Loop
Heritage Hotel - Mikey Ryan’s - DEW
Birr Castle - National Stud-Japanese Gardens
Small waterfall in Birr castle grounds

 With the improvements in Ireland’s roads, one can pack a lot into twenty four hours as our recent run illustrates, from Cashel to Birr to Tullamore to Laois and then a grand finalé in Kildare.
Here's looking at you. Birr's Giant Telescope


When you’re on tour, even one as short as this, you need a good base. We had an excellent one in the Heritage Hotel in Killenard on Co. Laois, just a couple of minutes from the motorway, ideally situated for all our visits.
In the lobby of the Heritage

There is an amazing 4-storey staircase (left) here, based, we’re told, on that of the Titanic and exceedingly popular for wedding photos. Indeed, there are very expensive special overhead lights installed to help achieve the best shot.

The lobby and that staircase are indeed spectacular and the whole enterprise speaks of space and comfort. There is a magnificent high-ceilinged dining room, the Arlington, and the food is top class. You may also dine in the Slieve Bloom Bar. No craft beer here but they do have plenty of gins including a few local ones, Brennan’s and the more impressive Mór.

Breakfast is also taken in the Arlington and again it is impeccable. There is even a generous display of breads and cereals for coeliacs. Staff are very friendly throughout and even volunteered directions as we headed off in the morning.

Had been tipped off about Mikey Ryan’s, the relatively new Gastro-pub in Cashel, and that was our first call on the way from Cork. Very impressed and enjoyed a lovely lunch there.

An hour or so later and we were in Birr, heading for the castle and grounds. It has no dedicated parking so you park across the way and, by the way, you pay seven days out of seven.

There is a separate tour of the castle, but only in the mornings. The grounds are well kept but I love how the meadows are allowed grow, especially the wildflowers. You’ll have no problems finding your way around.


The arches

One of the highlights for us was undoubtedly The Great Telescope, built by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in 1845 and, for over 70 years, the biggest in the world. It is still an amazing sight, still impressive.


Natural light

Wisteria 100 years+
The Spring Wildflower Meadows have not been ploughed since at least 1620 and look out also for a couple of ancient oaks, The Carroll and the Meridian (both about 500 years old).

Make your way to the formal gardens and the amazing hornbeam arches, in the form of cloisters, with “windows” cut out of the hedges. And another highlight is the Wisteria, over 100 years old. It flowers impressively in May-June so we timed our visit well! Close by is the Moon Gate celebrating the family’s links with China.

Lots more to see here; no shortage of facilities either, including a café.

Back to the car then and the flat drive to Tullamore for a tour and tasting at the DE Williams refurbished bonded warehouse (they have a new distillery on the outskirts of the town). No parking though at the warehouse - you’ll have to take pot luck in the area. We found the tour efficient rather than engaging before trying three of the whiskies at the end: the original, the 12 year old reserve, and the 15 year old Trilogy (my favourite). More on our DEW visit here.

Our final destination was the National Stud and the Japanese Gardens, two names but one place, one ticket. One outstanding visit, check out our excellent experience here. After a lot of walking and listening, we enjoyed lunch in the lovely airy café onsite before hitting the motorway and heading home.
Japanese Gardens
See also, from this visit:
National Stud and Japanese Gardens
More Photos of Visit to National Stud and Japanese Gardens
Mikey Ryan's Cashel

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Taste of the Week. The Trilogy by Tullamore DEW


Taste of the Week
The Trilogy by Tullamore DEW

Three whiskeys were up for tasting at the end of our recent tour in DEW Tullamore. The first, their original, is light soft and sweet and doesn’t have the longest of finishes but its “straight-forward style” has helped make it their best seller.

The 12-year old, that means the youngest whiskey in the blend is 12 years old - has a touch of ruby from its time in the Sherry cask. It is softer, more mellow than the original and is “renowned for being very smooth and flavoursome”.

The 15-old Trilogy, with its black label, is similar in make-up to the 12-year old. It has been matured in Sherry and Bourbon casks before being finished off in rum casks. It is soft, with “tropical characteristics” and the finish is noticeably better, long and rich.

Even so, the 12-year old has quite a few supporters on the tour. But I go for the Trilogy and it comes home with me! My new Taste of the Week.

When you arrive in Tullamore for a tour and tasting, you’ll have to find parking as this attraction has none. The tour and tasting takes place at the refurbished DE Williams bonded warehouse (they have a new distillery on the outskirts of the town). We found the tour efficient rather than engaging. The Trilogy though is very engaging!

See also, from this trip:
National Stud and Japanese Gardens
More Photos of Visit to National Stud and Japanese Gardens
Mikey Ryan's Cashel

Friday, October 20, 2017

Irish Whiskey Awards Results. Power's John Lane the big winner.

Great to see the Powers John’s Lane, one of my favourite whiskeys coming out on top at the Irish Whiskey Awards last night. Thanks to the Celtic Whiskey Shop, you can see all the winners below....
Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green
27-28 Dawson Street Dublin 2
Ph. +35316759744

www.celticwhiskeyshop.com

Irish Whiskey Awards Results, 



This year the Irish Whiskey Awards were hosted at the Old Jameson Distillery on Bow Street and was attended by producers, bars and whiskey enthusiasts all over Ireland. The night consisted of whiskey cocktails, a tour of the distillery, the all important awards and of course far too much whiskey! Please see our list of winners below...

Best Irish Single Pot Still 
Powers John's Lane
Powers John’s Lane was an instant hit when it was first released in 2011 so it’s no surprise that it was a firm favourite with a lot of our judges this year, despite having some very strong competitors in this category.

John’s Lane was intended to faithfully recreate the old style of whiskey once made in Dublin, it's one that Irish whiskey lovers keeping coming back to. It is comprised mostly of a robust, heavy pot still spirit and is predominantly aged in ex-bourbon casks with a little sherry cask ageing.


Gold Medals went to: Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest & Powers 1817 Release
Tasting notes:

Colour: Bronze.


Nose: Distinct cocoa and mocha overtones on the nose with hints of dried apricots orange peel and marshmallow.                        

Palate: Crisp and mouthwatering with a spice laden palate, a touch of bittersweet fruit, marmalade and toffee apples. The finish becomes more chocolatey with some dusty oakiness making an appearance.
Powers John's Lane Regular Price €63.99
Best Irish Single Malt (12 Years Old and Under)
Tyrconnell Madeira Cask
Originally released as a limited edition but proved to be so popular that it was made a permanent part of the Tyrconnell range. Flavours of barley sugar, chocolate, and toffee has made it a clear winner in this category.


Gold Medals went to: Teeling Brabazon Bottling Series 2 & The Whistler Single Malt Aged 7 Years
Tasting notes:

Colour: Golden yellow.


Nose: Harmonious and warming. Aromas of milky coffee, dried apricots, roasted nuts and creme caramel. 
             

Palate: Smooth, rich and extremely well rounded. Plenty of soft malty flavours, a touch of spice and dried fruit nuances. Very well balanced, one of the most successful Madeira finishes we have tried. The fruit flavours persist all the way to the finish.
Tyrconnell Madeira Cask Regular Price €77.99
Best Irish Single Malt (13 Years Old and Over) & Overall Best Irish Whiskey Winner
Teeling Revival Single Malt Volume IV
Teeling’s new revival release was hugely popular with our judges this year and when you taste it, it’s easy to see why. The ex-Muscat barrels used for a finishing period of around 12 months have added some citrus and floral notes, as well as a ripe fruits and spice towards the finish.


Gold medals went to: The Irishman 17Year Old & Tyrconnell 16Year Old
Producer's tasting notes:

Colour: Golden.


Nose: Subtle floral notes, aroma of peach, pineapple, and satsuma mandarin.
           
Palate: Ripe fruits and spices, with an hint of vanilla and cream which moves onto a dry finish with tannins and lingering wood. 
Teeling Revival Single Malt Volume IV Coming Soon!
Best Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60)
Jameson Black Barrel
The second time this whiskey has won Best Irish Blended Whiskey under €60. The heavily charring of 1st fill Bourbon casks gives this whiskey notes of butterscotch, vanilla and dark chocolate. The remainder of the casks used are 1st and 2nd fill bourbon barrels which add some balancing sweetness to the blend.


Gold Medals went to: Irishman Founder's Reserve & Slane Irish Whiskey 
Tasting notes:

Colour: Deep gold with some copper tinges.


Nose: Intensely fruity with characters of apricot, kumquat, and fruit cake. A hint of bitter, dark chocolate and truffles.

Palate: Spice and dried fruits, mixed peel, apricots, marshmallow and burnt caramel. The palate ends with a spicy, bitter chocolate finish.
Jameson Black Barrel Regular Price €47.99
Best Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of more than €60)
Jameson Maker’s Series – The Cooper’s Croze
Another win for Jameson and a well-liked whiskey with our judges this year. Named in honour of Jameson's Master Cooper, Ger Buckley, this whiskey clearly showcases the diversity of barrels used and the importance of cask maturation through using Ex-Bourbon, Sherry and Virgin oak barrels to create balance. 


Gold Medals went to: Jameson Maker's Series - The Blender's Dog & J.J Corry 'The Gael'
Producer's tasting notes:

Colour: Pale gold.


Nose: A subtle flower petal-perfume develops into rich ripe fruits, while some charred oak and cedar wood bring balance and complexity.

Palate: The initial impression is from the sweet vanilla of the American ex-bourbon barrels. This brings added depth to the rich fruits typical of the ex-oloroso sherry butts. A pleasant touch of hazelnut and toasted wood complement the pot still spice
Jameson Maker's Series The Cooper's Croze Regular Price €69.99
Best Irish Single Cask
Cill Airne Cask PX
The Celtic Whiskey Bar’s very own Cill Airne Cask PX came out on top for the Best Irish Single Cask.  This whiskey is bottled exclusively at the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder and has been finished in a Pedro Ximenez Sherry cask for one year. Very limited, only 70 bottles.


Gold Medals went to: Irishman Founder's Reserve Marsala Cask Finish & Cill Airne Cask Oloroso.
Tasting notes:

Colour: Dark Amber with a tawny centre.


Nose: Aromas of toasted oak, rich sherried raisins, marzipan and roasted walnuts can be expected. 

Palate: At first there are flavours of Christmas cake, dried fruits and warming spices of clove and cinnamon. The palate ends with a sweetness clinging to your cheeks like treacle and has a velvety finish. 
Cill Airne Cask PX Only Available for Purchase In-Store at Celtic Whiskey Bar
Best Irish Cask Strength
Tullamore D.E.W Phoenix
The second time this whiskey has won Best Irish Cask Strength Whiskey. This triple distilled blend of all three styles was a clear winner amongst our judges. The Oloroso Sherry cask finish gives this whiskey some very distinct sherry and toffee notes, perfectly balanced with creamy pot still spice.


Gold Medals went to: The Whistler Single Malt 7 Year Old Cask Strength & Writer's Tears Cask Strength 2017.
Tasting notes:

Colour: Bright Gold.


Nose: Warm and spicy initially, then rich, toffee, vanilla notes become evident. The characteristic leafy, malty notes of Tullamore D.E.W. are enriched with deeper, toasted oak aroma and a hint of sherry nuttiness.

Palate: The higher strength tingles on the tongue leaving a spicy pot still flavour. Addition of a little water releases layers of caramel sweetness, delicate floral notes and oak tannins.
Tullamore D.E.W Phoenix Regular Price €77.99
Best Irish Single Grain
Glendalough Triple Barrel
It was a close call as a lot of the judges were very impressed on the quality of this category, but a new release from Glendalough won the title for Best Irish Single Grain. Our tasters felt that the Glendalough had more depth and character than your average grain whiskey!


Gold Medals went to: Method & Madness Single Grain & Glendalough Double Barrel
Producer's tasting notes:

Colour: Amber.


Nose: Wine influence jumps right up front with a raisiny sweetness followed by notes of young malt, vanilla, toffee, pear heavy fruit and a light earthy bit of sawdust and a light floral note.

Palate: Similar with the nose the raisiny winy sweetness jumps out first followed by a sweet graininess, apricots, vanilla, fruit, young malt and again that light earthy bit of sawdust.

Glendalough Triple Barrel Coming Soon!
Other Winners Include:
Best Irish Vodka: Dingle Vodka
Gold Medals went to: Straw Boys Vodka & Woulfe's Irish Vodka

Best Irish Gin: Dingle Gin
Gold Medals went to: Brennan's Old House Irish Gin & Thin Gin

Best Irish Liqueur: Merrys Salted Caramel
Gold Medals went to: Merrys Toffee Buttermint & Merrys Pumpkin Spice

Best Irish Poitin: Ban Poitin
Gold Medals went to: Straw Boys Poitin & Mad March Hare Poitin


Best Irish Barrel Aged Beer: Dot Brew Cab Sauv Session
Gold Medals went to: Boyne Brewhouse Imperial Stout & Dot Brew Cab Sauv Grain Rye

Best Irish Whiskey Bar Leinster: The Dylan Whisky Bar, Kilkenny
Gold Medal went to: Bowe's, Dublin

Best Irish Whiskey Bar Munster: The Folkhouse, Kinsale
Gold Medal went to: Dick Mack's, Dingle

Best Irish Whiskey Bar Connacht: Garavan's, Galway
Gold Medal went to: Sonny Molloys, Galway 

Best Irish Whiskey Bar Ulster: The Duke of York, Belfast
Gold Medal went to: McCauls, Cavan

Best Irish Whiskey Bar International: Seamus O'Dowdens Irish Pub & Shebeen, Vermont
Gold Medal went to: The Dead Rabbit, New York

Best Irish Whiskey Bar: Garavan's, Galway

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Whiskey Experience in Killarney. Whiskey Galore. Food Too.

The Whiskey Experience in Killarney
Whiskey Galore. Food Too

Here, in a bright room in Killarney, you are surrounded by whiskey. Hundreds of bottles line the shelves. Maybe a 1,000 different types, from Ireland, Scotland, United States and the rest of the world. What do you want?  Aromatic? Complex? Fruity? You’ll surely find it here in the Irish Whiskey Experience in New Street.

But you might be better to visit the website first and go through the listings. You’ll find about 35 pages, 20 bottles per page, new ones, old ones, extremely expensive ones, and thankfully many less expensive ones. Make a short list before calling to Killarney!
Once a major player

And if you know nothing about whiskey, well they’ll teach you. Lots of masterclasses daily, for the expert, for the enthusiast, for the newbie! Oh, by the way, you’ll also be fed here in the Celtic Whiskey Bar and Larder  where they have quite a decent menu, from morning 'til night!

We booked ahead on the site and after a warm welcome were soon seated with the menus, both drink (some excellent craft beers, local gins, and wines also available) and food. After putting in the food order, I began to look at the spirits, the whiskey in particular.

I remember hearing down in the distillery in Midleton that one of the best, if underrated, whiskeys in their vast portfolio is the Jameson Crested and that, at €5.65, was my first choice. I really enjoyed that very pleasant soft whiskey, full bodied, packed with vibrant flavours and spice, a lovely balance of oak and wood, a long warm finish and a winner for me. This is a blend of course of pot still and grain whiskeys.

My next was also a blend. The Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve has been aged (for between 12 and 15 years) in both Bourbon and Oloroso (Sherry) barrels and cost €6.95 per glass (35.5ml). Again this was spicy and smooth and very enjoyable but I must say I preferred the Crested Ten. 

So It just goes to show that you should be guided by your own preferences, certainly not by price! And remember it is individual preferences that keep our local master distillers in form. If everyone went by price, it would soon put a stop to much of the enthusiasm and innovation among the individual distillers, the men and women who give us a wide and exciting range of choice.

Better tell you about the food offering. They start here in the morning with scones and blaas and so on. Then some nibbles, soda bread, various cheese offerings, and more. As the day goes on, small plates and plates come into their own.
Part of the bar

We enjoyed a couple of small plates. I choose the Quinlan’s Smoked Salmon salad with a buttermilk dressing (7.95). Kerry based Quinlan have a great reputation for their salmon and this was excellent. CL too had a lovely salad: St Tola’s Goat cheese with roasted beets, toasted almonds, chives (10.25).
St Tola

Then we moved on to the plates, a little bit more substantial, but I’m sure you can have two small plates if that’s what you want. Anyhow, her next salad wasn't as good, not dressed at all. That came with Wild Atlantic Fishcakes (12.50) and Irish Rapeseed mayonnaise.

I had better luck with a traditional dish that you rarely get out these days: Lamb Liver, with streaky bacon and slathered in a delicious onion gravy and served with sourdough toast (14.95). This was absolutely delicious. 
Delicious liver dish!

Desserts are available, mainly an excuse to try out various drinks with Kenmare ice-creams! And there’s Irish Coffee of course. Next time!

The Whiskey Experience has been open since March and is a great addition to the town. It is bright and comfortable, family friendly too I noted on the night, and the staff are helpful and friendly. A visit is recommended.

The Irish Whiskey Experience
Celtic Whiskey Killarney Bar & Larder
93 New Street
Killarney
Co. Kerry
(064) 663 5700
Facebook: @CelticWhiskeyBarLarder