So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Irish Single Malt 26 yo 1987/2014 The Nectar of the Daily Drams, for LMdW 51.6%

That the Irish whiskey industry nearly collapsed and left the entire country with just 2 distilleries by 1975 is a tragedy, where the lead actors are variously billed as war, Prohibition or trade embargoes. It is a very different story today with Irish Whiskey experiencing the largest growth of any spirit sector since its revival in the 90s. Imagine if Ireland matched Scotland in diversity of distilleries. Alas that is likely to never be the case as Ireland has only 12 compared to Scotland’s 100+. The Irish will just have to do as the Japanese do and make the best use of every distillery.

This Single Malt remains un-named, but the distillation year yields a clue: 1987. In 1987, there was only Bushmills, Midleton and the buildings that were to become Cooley distillery had just been purchased. Cooley only started distilling malt in 1989, and Midleton distills Potstill Whiskey, that leaves the source of this whisky a virtual certainty.

I would like to talk about Bushmills a little more because it is absolutely fascinating – not only is it unequivocably the oldest distillery in the world, it also produces a triple distilled single malt, a fact that gives it kinship with Auchentoshan over in Scotland, and maybe Hazelburn (but that’s a stretch).  But I will not and leave that for another post as I have something very exciting lined up which involves another un-named Irish single malt distilled in 1988.


(photo credit – masterofmalt.com)

Nose  Nose: A lot of things going on here, but at the first whiff, you know this is spectacular. As fruity as only an Irish can be these days: Orange zest, passion fruit, lemon meringue, lychees, little tart red berries. Also creme pudding and sweet oakiness in perfect composition, not a touch out of balance with the fruit. And then a raft of hot copper-y, foil wrapper, plus lemon myrtle tea that carelessly included camomile and spearmint. Keeps changing and at the back of the nose you get scented wax brown paper.

Taste  Palate: Sweet and sharp, immensely fruity, juicy and fresh, yet packed with enough acidity to cut a balance. A lot of development and a steely side presents itself too. Again the wood influence is perfectly balanced. The only comment one might make if he must is that the palate is just a little short.

Finish Finish: More scented waxes, carbon paper, fresh juicy touches again.


Why so fruity? The fact of triple distillation? Large stills and copper contact? Slow fermentation? Whatever it is, it works and it works fantastically.


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This entry was posted on September 13, 2015 by in Bushmills, Irish and tagged , .
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