Monday, 4 March 2013

Midleton Single Pot Still Tweet Tasting


For the first Tweet Tasting of the year with Steve Rush of The Whisky Wire we were treated to four Irish Whiskies from the Midleton Distillery Company.

The buildings of the Midleton distillery began life as a wool mill in the very late eighteenth century, which was converted into a distillery in 1825. The world’s largest still with a capacity of 31,618 gallons was part of the installation and the distillery produced a range of brands.

In 1966 the company joined John Powers and John Jameson to form the Irish Distillers Group and a new distillery was built at Midleton to produce their brands. The new distillery has a capacity of 19 million litres annually and the Old Midleton distillery has been preserved for posterity.

There was a time when Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey was the world's favourite, but tastes changed and history played it's part and these pot still Irish whiskies all but disappeared from view. Fortunately for us they didn't, and there has been a renewed interest in them.

The four whiskies arrived in plenty of time, and when I found out what was on the menu I quickly realised that I had tried all of these expressions before. In fact all four of these feature in Ian Buxton's 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die and his follow up 101 World Whiskies To Try Before You Die (two in each). 

As usual the proceedings started at 7:00pm and all tweets should have been tweeted with the #SPSWhiskeyTT hashtag

Whisky Discovery #80

Redbreast 12 Year Old (40% abv)
Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Circa £40.00 70 cl

Redbreast was first launched in 1939 as the brand name given to the pot still whiskey supplied by Jameson to whiskey bonders before bottling at the distillery became the norm in 1968. 

We first tasted at The Whisky Lounge London Fest last April and loved it. The cask strength version has been on my list for a while too. Steve told us that the Redbreast 12 Year Old is matured in Oloroso sherry casks and is the largest selling Single Pot Still Irish whiskey in the world.

So What Did We Think?

Kat: (notes to follow) Unfortunately Kat has picked up a cold on the evening of the tweet tasting, so although she was able to take part, she hasn't been able to compile her notes for this blog post, but as soon as we have them, we'll upload them.

Dave: Very soft on the nose initially, clean and fresh, some crisp pears, cream soda like vanilla, light honey sweetness. There's some Pale Cream Sherry notes and after a little time spent nosing some black pepper started to develop. I was quite surprised to learn that this is Oloroso casks? There is a lot of creamy vanilla and only light sherry notes on the nose. With a drop of water it seemed sweeter on the nose and I was getting a coconut aroma from it.

This has a fabulous smooth, sweet entry to the palate with honey and caramel flavours, black pepper spice too. There are more sherry flavours than on the nose with a little more rich fruit. It is delicious!

So what did everybody else think?
@fr1day: Nose: rich and luscious - toffee, coffee, spice and citrus oils. Love it!
@themisswhisky: A nice bit of wafting caramel, strawberry foams and fresh grass
@TheWhiskyBoys: NOSE: Toffee wafers, slowly roasted logs, raspberry coulis and a light caramel latte
@DramStats: Caramel, vanilla, caramac bars and condensed milk, there is apricot and a waft of raisin with wafers and mr whippy ice cream.
@whiskytube: Palate: Really buttery sherry trifle with lashings of spicy honey and sultanas! #SPSwhiskeyTT
@steveprentice: On the palate is very easy, light, fairly full bodied which is a plus for a 40%, sweet and moreish.
@bumpythechemist: Palate starts of clean, with some pear drops, then goes bitter sweet followed by big spice


Green Spot NAS (40% abv)
Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
circa £35.00 70cl
Green Spot was originally produced specifically for Mitchell & Son of Dublin, and was specifically produced for and sold by this Irish independent wine merchant.

The Mitchells sold a range of whiskeys under their ‘Spot’ brand name. This rather peculiar name originated from their practice of marking casks of different ages with a daub or spot of coloured paint. There was a Blue Spot, Red Spot and even a Yellow Spot, but Green Spot emerged as their most popular whiskey and is one of  the few “whiskey bonder brands” to survive to modern day.

Green Spot is a blend of 7-12 year old single pot still whiskies, a quarter of which have matured in sherry casks, and this was another that we first tasted at The Whisky Lounge London Fest last April

So What Did We Think?

Kat: (notes to follow)

Dave: Buttery, Biscuits, crisp green apples, some green unripe banana, toffee apples, there an underlying herbal note, grassy. The nose has a certain sweetness to it which reminds me of a hard candy, but can't put my finger on it! Citrus notes come through with limes

Much sweeter on the palate than the nose suggested, with a smooth and creamy mouth-feel, stewed apples in crumble green wood notes and some spicy pepper. The pepper notes fade quickly leaving a drying bitterness at the end of this, grapefruit pith like.

I loved this the first time I tasted this and really enjoyed revisiting this as it is a great tasting whisky, though not overly complex it is very satisfying. Reading back through my notes I've notice a lot of 'green' notes apples, bananas, wood, grass - is this all subliminal?

So what did everybody else think?
@fr1day: Nose: Woah! Lovey toffee sweetness - reminds me of visits to the newsagent with my 50p pocket money
@RLemkin: Really getting the apples jumping out at me
@mynameisgone: Grassy, lime not getting the sweetness like others
@bumpythechemist: Herbal almost vegetal notes on the nose, then creamy green apples?
@themisswhisky: DAMN I forgot how good Green Spot is. Seriously: could drink this for breakfast 
@DramStats: Green spot palate: Very sweet with black pepper and creamy vanilla then bitter grapefruit into a finish that dries the mouth
@TheWhiskyBoys: TASTE: banana fritters from the local Chinese restaurant, clove rock and a hint of pernod


Powers John's Lane 12 Year Old (46% abv)
Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Circa £46.00 70cl

James Power founded his distillery at Thomas St. in 1791 moving shortly afterwards to a larger site at John’s Lane near the western gate of Dublin.

It was at John’s Lane that the Powers whiskey legend originated and gave rise to one of the most quintessentially, Irish whiskeys. Using a pot still distillate which is true to the original style of John’s Lane, the whiskey has been matured for not less than 12 years, mainly in 2nd fill American bourbon casks, with a small contribution of distillate which has been matured in Oloroso sherry butts.

This was my favourite of the three Irish whiskies we first tasted at The Whisky Lounge London Fest last April.

So What Did We Think?

Kat: (notes to follow)

Dave: This needs a little time to breathe before the sweetness comes through and when it does it is heavenly. This was my favourite of the first three whiskies this evening and was the same last time I tasted them, it has a fabulous nose. The fruit comes through with lots of  sweet sticky dates (I've got a thing about dates recently, buying them by the bucket load) but underneath this sticky sweetness are earthy notes of hand rolling tobacco, and suede leather, (it reminded me of the leather sewn onto yacht steering wheels). Toffee notes come later, dark toffee with and some bitter chocolate/coffee notes too.

The palate starts sweet with the fruit, a touch of orange, apricot and the dates from the nose. spicy, peppery fresh ginger slowly builds before relaxing back to a creamy vanilla fudge with some sweet honey or light syrup. It finishes with some cereal notes; biscuits, oats, and some burnt toast or charred wood which starts to dry the mouth, and right at the very end there was a touch of liquorice.

So what did everybody else think?
@whiskytube: Nose: An old oak cocktail cabinet filled with luscious black grapes and amontillado sherry! 
@TheWhiskyBoys: NOSE: a big box of Thornton's truffles, a very small espresso, wet newspaper print, damp firewood
@whiskywardrobe: One of the best noses I remember in Irish whiskey
@TheWhiskyWire: A coffee oaked infusion crashing with sumptuous waves of caramelised bananas, wood spice & vanilla
@rodbodtoo: Now here's a big dram: lots of dried fruit, cake and biscuits. Very attractive
@themisswhisky: Nose note 2: Cowboy saddles and fresh lemon peel 
@DramStats: Palate: Herbal note vanilla, with lots of spice (pepper and oak), foam bananas, banana nesquik,

Whisky Discovery #192

Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy (46% abv)
Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Circa £140.00 70cl
First released in 2011, Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy has been named after the distillery's long serving and soon to be retiring, Master Distiller, and it is aged in both bourbon and new American oak barrels A limited release of around 2,500 bottles per year.

It was Billy Leighton, Midleton’s Master Blender who introduced me to ‘Barry Crockett Legacy’  at The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show last October (he also introduced me to Yellow Spot as well, but that's another story). However, this was the first time Kat had tasted this whiskey.

So What Did We Think?

Kat: (notes to follow) 

Dave: I was immediately hit with a huge note of melons, cantaloupe melons to be more precise. Lots of fruits on the nose of this with Kiwi fruits, lychees and mangoes accompanying the cantaloupe melons. Citrus notes added to the fruit medley with limes and there is even a touch of mint. Eventually some creamy vanilla notes break through with a lemony top note and a pinch of white pepper.

That pinch of pepper accompanies the citrus notes on the palate too, the is a light sweetness to this delicate palate. The spicy pepper remains to the very end and there is a citrus bitterness to the dry finish.

The nose on this whiskey is fabulous with so much going on if you're prepared to give it some time. The palate is not quite as complex, but it is a real pleasure to sit and sip.

So what did everybody else think?
@DramStats: Nose vanilla, spicy, bread dough, Worcester sauce, prunes, dark chocolate oloroso soaked raisin with parsley?
@rodbodtoo: Orange oil, fruit leather, praline, leather (the leather kind, not the fruity)
@steveprentice: Nose is reasonably light with a bitter sweet note going on. Pears, melons, lime and stuff. Gentle oaky back notes.
@EdinburghWhisky: Mango, pear, pineapple. Mr Crockett got all the fruits of the forest into this wee bottle
@TheWhiskyBoys: NOSE: Midouri and Melon Balls
@themisswhisky: Palate: Mango, mango baby! Tropical island on this one, but with depth and a bit of sea water, caramel and pineapple
@fr1day: Palate: settles into a delightful fruit salad, dominated by pears. So well-rounded! 
@whiskytube: Ridiculously creamy vanilla oak in the mouth! All those juicy fruits come back! It's like liquefied fruit salad! 

So what was our favourite of this evenings Tweet Tasting? I think my money will be going on The Powers John's Lane release, this was as good as I remembered it from my first experience. The Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy is a great whisky, but set at a price that is above my usual drinking budget, so unfortunately won't be on my buying list. I still want to try the cask strength Redbreast 12 Year Old, and I've also seen they now have a 15 year old expression too. As I mentioned earlier ALL FOUR of these whiskies appear in Ian's book so all four are definitely worth checking out.

As per previous Tweet Tastings there was a great deal of tweeting going on and to see what happened search on the 
#SPSWhiskeyTT hashtag on twitter for the full story

Yet another great experience and another highlight of our whisky journey, although no new discoveries as such, it was the first time Kat had tasted the Barry Crocket Legacy, and Tweet Tastings really is a great way to taste whisky. The list is growing ever longer but I really must add one or more of these to my drinking shelf later this year

A massive THANK YOU to Steve Rush at @TheWhiskyWire, Midleton Distillery for distilling the whisky Lucy from  @DrinksPRAgency for making sure we all got our drams and of course the tweet tasters.

This events tweet tasters were:
@TheWhiskyWire @EdinburghWhisky @WhiskyTube @rodbodtoo @ifotou @rlemkin @mynameisgone @steveprentice @whiskydiscovery @bumpythechemist @thewhiskyboys @PresleyKa @dramstats @themisswhisky @WhiskyWardrobe @fr1day @rborghma @whiskyforum

For more information see: www.thewhiskywire.com and www.singlepotstill.com

1 comment:

Miguel Angel Blanch Lardin said...

Completely agree with you. Same favorite. Great four whiskeys.