KWM Whisky Advent Calendar 2016: Day 9

9 12 2016

Woooo!!  Bring on the internationals!  One of my favourite Whisky Advent Calendar days is the first day a non-Scottish whisky (or in this case, whiskey) shows up; not that I have anything against scotch, of course, but I do enjoy the variety and fresh perspective that some of the interloper whisky nations bring to the table.  This particular nation didn’t have to interlope far — it’s an hour’s flight from Scotland to Ireland — but Irish whiskey still has its own distinct personality above and beyond its divergent spelling of what’s in the bottle.  There are fewer regulations surrounding whiskey in Ireland, but one thing that is generally required is triple distillation of the spirit, which results in a purer, cleaner, smoother whiskey, albeit perhaps at the expense of the character or flavour of the underlying grain that remains in the impurities.  Tonight’s Irish whiskey standard-bearer is a KWM calendar newcomer, Hyde distillery, whose website features the most fantastic graphic of the overall distillation process:

Wow.  It may be a traditional process, but it’s far from a simple one.  This 10 Year Presidents Cask Single Malt is not fooling around in the price department for a product of Ireland ($110) but sees its contents subject to two separate maturations after its triple-distillation, first a decade in small (200L), flame-charred, first-fill Bourbon casks from Kentucky selected for maximum flavour extraction, and then an additional 10 months of finishing in Oloroso sherry casks…which it turns out cost TEN TIMES MORE than Bourbon casks do!  An Oloroso cask is around 800 Euros, while a Bourbon cask is only around 80 Euros.  I know which way I would go if I was a distillery, particularly given my general antipathy towards sherried flavours, but whisky isn’t always an economically savvy pursuit.

fullsizerender-502

The Hyde 10 Year obviously made the most of its dual maturation, as it was one of the most eye-catching of all calendar whiskies to date, a gorgeous amber gold.  It is confectionary and delectable on the nose, warm vanilla and maple aromas mixed with black licorice and Coffee Crisp, Bourbon casks doing their thing.  Simultaneously lush yet sleek, the Hyde has an attractive roundness to its angel food cake, toasted pecan, bananas foster and burnt orange flavours without any corresponding heaviness, finishing feathery and bright and never weighing the palate down.  It is deft and almost delicate but without losing any power because of it.  A great effort from an unheralded whisky country.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: