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Irish Whiskey: Knappogue Castle 1995 vs Midleton Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood Batch 1, Tree 9

Knappogue Castle 1995 40% 

knappogue

This is a label that has been used to bottle various unnamed Irish distilleries of various vintages, but this 1995 is known to be a Bushmills. The range seems to have been revamped with a core range of 12, 14 and 16 years, all of which are Triple distilled Single Malts – ie Bushmills. But a 1951 is also available, and that one is Pot Still stuff…

Nose Nose: Is that Potstill character?! A juicy red berry fruitiness and scratched copper. But this is Bushmills! Not really jumping out of the glass though.. Some white wine flints and wet concrete, on a bed of faint oak. Crushed sage. Very natural: Simple straightforward and yet a nose that makes you salivate. Great distillate.

Taste Palate: Some moss, dry bark, ground sand and hot stones. White oak vanilla smoothie. Curious.. what happened to those “potstill” notes? Wait a while and the whisky answers you.. faintly though but it does show up towards the finish.

Finish Finish: Not the longest but now flinty and some red juice and hot metal.

Score72

Simple and good, and easy drinking: On the rocks, cocktails, dinner, anywhere.

 

 

Midleton Dair Ghaelach Grinsell’s Wood Batch 1, Tree 9, 58.2%

midleton-dair-ghaelach

So Jamesons this time. The funny name has to do with its novel maturation and finishing. This Midleton was matured in american oak ex-bourbon casks then moved to virgin Irish Oak Hogsheads, the oak for which came from mature trees (130 years old!) cut down for the overall sustainability of Grinsell’s Wood of Ballaghtobin Estate. The distillate itself is between 15 – 20 years old, and of course, is triple distilled Pure Pot Still Whiskey which means it was mashed from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley.

Nose Nose: The oak influence is very loud, but by no means harsh ie this is not overextracted. in fact its huge on dark woody spice (as opposed to the vanilla and cream that American oak seems to have), rubbed charcoal and brown paper. An earthy kind of menthol. Big leather and toffee. Beneath all that you might feel that potstill fruitiness straining to be heard. This is the power of virgin wood, and this is just a finish mind you. A bit of much needed water smoothens everything out and allows the irish-ness to show more .

Taste Palate: Really quite massive on all sorts of desert spices and mentholated rubs. Strong tannins but not harsh or over extracted again. Some herbal tea mix. Someone’s judgement was spot on and they got it out before it got too much. Good news, much more red currants and zingy berry juice show itself on the palate. accompanied with a late burst of white pepper.

Finish Finish: Quite long and hot-spicy, tannins and lots of  potstill here.

Score90

It’s interesting to taste the Irish oak in this, which is much closer to a European kind of oak than American oak. Heavy oak influence but again not overbearing I think. This would be fantastic if you like a lot of wood in your whisky.

 

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This entry was posted on November 18, 2016 by in Bushmills, Irish, Midleton and tagged , , , .
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