Showing posts with label Jameson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jameson. Show all posts

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Wine, Whiskey, Beer and Pizza at Franciscan Well. With ace cooper Ger Buckley the star of the show.


Wine, Whiskey, Beer and Pizza at Franciscan Well
With ace cooper Ger Buckley the star of the show.

Ger (right) doing a bit of barrel charring! Note fire exit and hose close at hand

After the flames...
“It’s a thrill to be back ‘working’ in the North Mall,” said Irish Distillers much travelled master cooper Ger Buckley as he introduced himself at the start of an evening of wine, whiskey, beer and pizza at the buzzing Franciscan Well Bar last Thursday night. The link between the three drinks (the whiskey, the wine and the special Franciscan Well stout have all spent time in barrel) is of course the wood. Ger will tell that it accounts for more than fifty per cent of the input to the final bottle of whiskey and many distillers will agree with him.

Many years ago, Ger started his cooperage apprenticeship, with his father, in the distillery on the Mall, remembering not just the smell of the whiskey but also that of leather as there were tanneries in the area. There was quite a tradition of coopers in that part of town, and an earlier source of employment for many was the Firkin Crane in Shandon, part of the renowned butter market.

Ger still has, still uses, many of the tools, some as much as 200 years old, used by his father and ancestors including the hammer, the driver, and the adze. On the hammer he said: “Let the weight do the work.” “Hold that driver properly. My father used say you’ll pay for your mistakes, in lost finger-tips and worse.”

The adze has an amazing and long history, used by ancient ship builders and log cabin builders; it was a sacred tool in the Maori culture. “It looks clumsy, “said Ger. “But it’s great to remove excess wood and gives a great finish.” Another tool he uses is the compass. “Everything I do (measure) is by eye. The compass, a Cork tradition, is my only aid. This craft goes back 4,000 years. I don’t do much that’s different from those early coopers.” 
Sophia brings us the wine

Ger would soon show us how to use those tools, or at least, how he uses them. But now it was the turn of Sophia and the Australian introduced us to the Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon, a premium wine finished in aged Irish Whiskey barrels. Blackcurrant on the nose and on the palate, smooth integrated tannins and a satisfying finish. Those charred barrels certainly played a part in this rich, deep, smooth and quite impressive wine.

The cooper returned to centre-stage and used those tools as he first demolished a barrel (see video below) and then, stave by stave, put it together again, working away with amazing precision while still keeping us entertained with yarn after yarn of his days in the North Mall. While reassembling the barrel he remarked to the incredulous audience: “It becomes second nature after a while. I know how to match the various stave sizes by eye”.
Sharp operator

In his days in the Mall, the coopers would be repairing barrels, always keeping an eye out for a few drops of whiskey in the bottom, often enough to fill a couple of bottles. But how do you fill a small container from a very large one? With great difficulty. They’d start by borrowing a tea pot from the canteen and then the fun began.
Paudie told us the
Caskmates story

“Can you two imagine langers, maybe each already half-langers, trying to hold a barrel over a tiny teapot and trying to pour the contents out of the big one and into the small one. Quite often they succeeded but there were regular failures too and broken teapots. So then the apprentice was sent down town to buy a new teapot for the lady in charge!”

He kept working and talking. “I live by Blarney, tells you why I talk so much,” he joked. And then more seriously, as he hammered a hoop into position. “Use the weight of the hammer but you must make the right contact. If you don’t, the hoop will bend - bad news!” He demo-ed that too!

Liam and Black Barrel


And then the Jameson rep Liam was introduced to tell us all about their Black Barrel whiskey, “one of the best quality whiskeys with its depth of flavour and spicy notes”.

Nowadays, Irish Distillers have some 1.5 million barrels in total stored in Midleton. But years ago, many were stored outside and weren’t in great condition when they were brought in for filling. “So they were charred to a greater degree than normal, were filled with whiskey and the result was Black Barrel.” 


He told us how to smell: “Put your nose inside the glass, open mouth slightly and breathe in that hint of vanilla sweetness and exotic fruit” We then went on to taste, getting that trademark Jameson spice (“from the unmalted barley”) and, “from the charred wood” came vanilla, butterscotch and caramel. “One of the best, pound for pound,” he concluded and there were nods all around.

Video of barrel collapse

"Here's one I un-made
earlier"
A collaboration between Jameson and Franciscan Well led to Caskmates and that was explained to us by Paudie of the Well. Firstly, the brewery made a stout in six barrels that previously held whiskey and it turned out stronger than expected due to the whiskey in the wood. Later, the returned barrels were filled with Jameson in Midleton and Liam told us an extra long finish resulted and was called Caskmates.  “It is very popular as a sipping whiskey”. We sipped and enjoyed it as we enjoyed the delicious stout. Every second sip!
Cabernet Sauvignon Pizza, boy!

Ger then talked about another tool, the Croze, “the one tool I must have” and “that’s why I named my whiskey after it”. The Cooper’s Croze is one of three relatively new products from Midleton; the others in the set are Blender’s Dog and Distiller’s Safe. 

A croze? Ger has used a croze all his working life. He uses it to cut the grove along the top of the staves to hold the head (the circular cover) in place.

“Now,” said Ger. “The pizza is ready. The best pizza in Cork to go with the best beers in Cork, in my opinion.” Pompeii Pizza are the resident producers here in the Well and they had three specials for the occasion.

We enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon Chorizo (tomato sauce, Gubbeen chorizo roasted in Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon, black Kalamata Olives, Fior di Latte Mozzarella, Oregano).

Matching the whiskey was the Smoked Cheese and Caramelised Onion (featuring Carrigaline beech smoked cheese and Black Barrel Whiskey). For the beer lovers, Pompeii came up with the Shandon and Sausage (with Shannon Stout and Jack McCarthy’s Bramley Apple sausages in the mix).

Another brilliant night at the Franciscan Well.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cask Launch for Monkey 47 Sloe Gin. A Quartet of Delicious Drinks from Cocktails HQ

Cask Cork Launch for Monkey 47 Sloe Gin

 A Quartet of Delicious Drinks from Cocktail HQ

Monkey 47 is a German gin from the Black Forest and the 47 bit gets in because they use an amazing 47 hand-picked herbal ingredients to make it. The Sloe gin was launched at Cask last Monday and, yes, the sloes came from the famous forest as did the spruce tips which are added later and there were a few on display in McCurtain Street. 

Andrew Dickey, Brand Specialist at Irish Distillers, welcomed us and introduced us to the Monkey 47 story and the Sloe gin, the star of the evening. Cask's Andy Ferreira was given the task of constructing the menu and, as ever, he did it very well with a suite of four cocktails. He also had a simple gin and tonic in a solid Monkey mug and warned us to try that too before leaving.

Andy praised the sloe gin as being "very adaptable" as he introduced the first drink, King Louie's Punch (Monkey 47 Sloe, Italicus, Myrtle leaf sherbet, Jasmine, and Prosecco. Thought I was getting something to warm me up (it had very cold outside) but this was a cold drink, a big piece of ice in the middle of the bowl. Cold and dry but very nice indeed, served in a china cup.

Cask
The generous folks at Cask were now dishing out nibbles and small (some not so small) bites and we were enthusiastically tucking in, while not forgetting to try those cocktails. Our second one was a tall glass of Pear of Cheetahs (Monkey 47 Sloe gin, Monkey 47, Verjus, Spruce and Pears Soda). The gentle introduction continued here, easy sipping.

The next one was more arresting though. Coffee Mr. Nilsson? consisted of Monkey 47 Sloe, Green coffee, and Lustau Vermouth and had a kick from the coffee, also a bit peppery. One to note.

My favourite soon followed. It was titled Final Call Miss Baker! (Monkey 47 Sloe, White Port, Ancho Reyes, Sweet Cicely Tincture). I had been looking forward to that and it didn't disappoint at all, very enjoyable indeed. And, of course, we finished with that gin and tonic in that big mug! There are some suggestions for more cocktails in the press release below. Cheers!

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN MONKEY MADNESS WITH MONKEY 47 SLOE GIN

From the makers of the botanically-curious Monkey 47 gin, comes a new instalment, Monkey 47 Sloe Gin. Monkey 47’s practically obsessive quest for quality meets myth and legend in Monkey 47 Sloe Gin, which is as versatile as it is quaffable.
 
Final Call Miss Baker!
Aromatic and complex, with huge fruit and juniper notes, Monkey 47 Sloe Gin uses blackthorns or sloe berries, which are harvested after the first frost and macerated for four weeks to let the sediment settle to the bottom. The hydropress process, which protects the berries, then takes place, with the results filtered several times before being put back into the original macerate. Water is added and then in just six weeks, Monkey 47 Sloe Gin is ready to be enjoyed in whatever tipple you fancy, either hot or cold.

The liquid’s mix of earthy, tangy juniper, with rich sweet red berries, and hints of almond delivers Monkey 47’s penchant for exceptional taste, especially when presented in the signature serve; in a hi-ball glass filled with ice, topped with bitter lemon or Sicilian lemonade and garnished with a lemon wheel.
 
G&T in a mug!
Be transported to the Black Forest in winter with Monkey 47 Sloe Gin hot serve, which fuses this nutty and tart gin with Crème de Cassis, cranberry juice, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and hot water, bringing exceptional pleasure to the palate. Or relish Monkey 47 Sloe Gin in Sloe and Sherry Win the Race cocktail, complete with Fino sherry, Cherry Heering, lemon juice and sugar topped with bitter lemon or Sicilian lemonade, served over ice in a highball glass.

Monkey 47 Sloe Gin is versatile, masterfully handcrafted and distilled in small batches. This liquid is the result of the alchemistic art of distillation that Monkey 47 is renowned for, and is available from leading bars and off licences nationwide, RRP €55. Share your experience on Facebook, follow the black monkey on Instagram or express your joy in 140 characters or less on Twitter.

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