Cheers and thank you! Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt.

I know St. Patrick’s Day is over, but that’s no excuse to stop enjoying Irish Whiskey! Plus, I didn’t have the chance to fully taste it before Saturday evening, and I wanted to give you my impression of this fine Irish single malt.  I had posted about Jamesons Irish Whiskey last year (and its blended whiskey burn). Yeah, I know it’s 80 proof, and I know there are nice blended whiskeys out there, but it doesn’t need to be harsh. (Shots, anyone?)

Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 year is definitely a step up. Being smooth and medium bodied, I definitely enjoyed it neat versus on the rocks.  It tastes like the photos look… layers of color = layers of flavor. Aromas of smoky wood, vanilla, and subtle sweet fruit translate into similar tastes, mixed with a fair amount of spice (most likely from the bourbon barrels it was aged in) and a long, dry, spicy, sherry finish.

This whiskey was used for a fitting toast to all of you, my readers. As I mentioned in Bourbon + Spice, I entered the Addys with the photography from a few of my posts. The awards show was last Thursday and I was very pleased to have won two Addys! One for the food, and one for the drinks! Cheers, with a special thank you to my lovely wife, for her role as writer, editor, and more importantly co-taster and muse.

Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 year gettin' all glamourous on us.

Anyone care for a sip of flavorful Irish whiskey?

Happy to have 2 Addys! Cheers to you all!

Bourbon Tasting at the Lake

Admittedly, as fall is approaching, I’m a bit behind in getting this post out. Our good friend Stuart came to visit and we decided to do a small bourbon tasting at the Keuka Lake cottage. There is nothing quite like sitting on the front porch of the cottage, looking at the scenic vista of a Keuka Lake sunset. Add four bourbons to the mix and it all gets better!

Our four bourbons, waiting to be tasted. Which one to try first?

We started with the Black Maple Hill Kentucky Straight Bourbon. It had a sharp start with a surprising touch of vanilla and a nose of sherry. This led into hints of pepper and spice. The finish had a taste of tobacco, but was very smooth.

Next was the Willett Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The scent was of oranges and caramelized honey. The taste was very sweet to start, with a touch of vanilla, pepper, and tobacco. The vanilla carried over to the finish with strong notes of molasses and dark honey.

We then tried the Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey. There was a strong scent of vanilla mixed with apricot, cherry, and almonds. Overall, this bourbon was more refined and sweeter most of the way through with the taste of sweet tea, vanilla, butterscotch, and apricot. It had a smoky oak and tobacco finish.

Last up was Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky. The nose is sharp and smoky. It is fairly sweet with a taste of molasses and a hint of vanilla. The details are slightly blurred on this one, but by all accounts, this is considered a good “starter” bourbon. It could easily be a staple on most bars as a great mixer.

Stuart taking in the sunset with his favorite, the baby bourbon.

Four vastly different bottles, each with its own unique taste and character.

The Hudson Baby Bourbon is hand-numbered.

Not having tried many bourbons before all at the same time, I was impressed with the subtle differences that set each one apart. Both Stuart and I gave the Hudson Baby Bourbon a slight edge as the most complex and refined, but I wouldn’t hesitate to indulge in any of these bourbons again.

Cheers to a Keuka Lake sunset!

The peaceful view from the porch.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

This is just a quick reminder to enjoy everything Irish today (in moderation). I decided to skip the green beer and offer this up instead. Try a nip of your favorite Irish whiskey with a bit of Kerrygold Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey (they blend it right into the cheese!)  A great mix of robust flavors that surprisingly brings about a smooth finish. Enjoy!

The blended whiskey I had would not be my suggestion, given the characteristic burn I felt as I was sipping. (Is that Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly I hear in the background?) I suggest you go for a nice single malt. Let me know what your favorite is, so I can try this again!

Kerrygold Irish Whiskey Aged Cheddar, a little crusty bread, and shot of your favorite Irish Whiskey.