Tasting Session at the Temple Bar, Temple, Dublin – Irish Whiskey News

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Tasting session at the Temple Bar, Temple, Dublin. 

I was dondering around Dublin’s temple Bar district early one morning (when I say early, I mean 10.45 ish, which is early opening for pubs) which I said I would not do, far too touristy for me.

But, I thought at that hour there will be no tourists around, I found the door open at the pub, so took myself inside and perched at the whiskey bar.

Behind the bar was Roberto, from Argentina; Patagonia, Chubut to be exact. He has been there 12 years or so now and is in charge of the whiskey bar – and jeeze, he knows his stuff.

Cannee mind what my first drink was, possibly a Paddy, but here are some of what I tried or saw; Jameson Cask Mates, the whiskey is a Jameson as you’d expect, the cask is then sent to the Franciscan Well brewery to steep itself in beer residue for 6 months, it then goes back to Jamesons, this approx. a 5 year old dram, very different from the others in the range, I liked it I have to say. The story begins with a pub in Cork between Midleton’s Master of Science, David Quinn, and Franciscan Well’s founder, Shane Long. Shane asked if he might lay his hands on a few spare whiskey casks to age his beer in. Franciscan Well released its first Jameson cask-aged stout in time for Christmas 2012. When the most recent batch of twelve casks went back to Midleton, the distillery figured they might as well try their own experimental maturation. The casks had only been used once to age pot still spirit before their stout “seasoning” so there was plenty of oomph left in the wood. They refilled the casks with blended Jameson (at around the normal cask strength of 60% rather than bottling strength of 40%). After six months, according to Quinn, they were “shocked” by the transformation. There was something interesting going on, something they wanted to share with the rest of us. Hence Jameson Caskmates, 3,500 bottles of it.

Next, I was introduced to a dram from Roberto’s homeland, Old Smuggler whisky. A blend of Scottish fine malt whisky and Argentinian grain. I have to say, I was no impressed sorry. There is another he told me about, Alazana Single Malt released 2011/12 – named after a horse would you believe?

Other notable drams included; Powers single cask, pot still whiskey. A single pot still release of Powers whisky. Crafted at the Midleton Distillery near Cork, Powers John Lane Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is named after the original Powers Distillery, which was situated on John’s Lane in Dublin. The whiskey is made exclusively from malted and unmalted barley, which is triple distilled through pot-stills in the traditional Irish way, matured in first fill ex-bourbon casks, while the remainder is aged in casks that were previously used to mature Oloroso sherry. After a twelve-year rest the whiskey is bottled 92 proof.

Jack Ryan 12 year old single malt, this has the name of current proprietor Eunan Ryan’s late father Jack who managed the establishment until his untimely death 36 years ago.  ‘Ryan’s Malt’ had been produced by the family in association with the Dublin Whiskey Distillery until this famous distillery closed its doors in 1946. Today’s Jack Ryan ‘Beggars Bush’ Single Malt Irish Whiskey (46% ABV) has been aged for 12 years with no chill filtration. The whiskey has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels hand-picked by the family themselves to deliver the unique taste.  Only 1,450 bottles of Jack Ryan ‘Beggars Bush’ Single Malt have been produced. The Beggars Bush has been at the centre of cultural and literary circles in Dublin since it opened its doors in 1803. Residing next to the old Beggars Bush British army barracks it has seen soldiers go to war against Napoleon and the Kaiser, revolution against the British and eventual handover to Michael Collins in 1922 followed by the execution of Robert Erskine Childers, father of fourth president later that year by the Free State Government. It was a few drams away from my usual – Black Bush!

Wild Geese, in a long high straight bottle, as opposed to the square bottles normally found, interesting this one.

Temple Bar, own label whiskey. Traditional Irish Whiskey; some spices, fruits, vanilla, sweetness and wood, maybe plumbs in there!  It is of course triple distilled, a blend, there was a time when most Irish pubs bottled whiskey. This I believe, is selected by Tom Clearly, bottled 10/2014, for the Temple Bar Whiskey Company. From small batches, matured in bourbon oak casks and finest Port casks, then blended … I liked it so much, I bought the bottle to take home!

I spent a deal of time at the bar with Roberto, a good man and knowing his whiskey, so if you are in Dublin, take a morning visit to the bar, it does get very, very touristy late afternoon/evening.

Paul McLean, of ANGELSWHISKYCLUB.com and MCLEANSCOTLAND.com was in Dublin for Christmas week, he did indulge in some research & development on your behalf…

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