If you mention Irish whiskey, there’s one brand that will instantly pop into your head. Nothing wrong with that at all, they’ve done a fantastic job. But there are others out their, and The Wild Geese is just one of them.
The Wild Geese story has a touch of legend to it. *
Patrick Sarsfield’s army is defeated at the decisive Battle of The Boyne. From this point on, his attempts to oust the English and place James II on the throne, were doomed. There followed the Treaty of Limerick where Sarsfield’s army was given a stark choice. Those that chose to live under English rule filed one way, others like Sarsfield and his followers turned the other way, to board French ships to take them to France.
They took the name The Wild Geese in the hope and belief that this would be a temporary strategic exile in Europe. The parting, however, proved permanent. Like the vanquished everywhere over the centuries, they faced a bleak future at home. Stripped of their authority and property, many of them found life in Ireland intolerable. Irish aristocrats together with soldiers and dependants fled war and want to face an uncertain future abroad.
European courts welcomed the aristocracy and military where they quickly rose to prominence and became hugely successful. Others armed only with their wits, had to fend for themselves. Over time the migrants formed communities, often intermarrying and became a vital force in their host societies. However they never forgot their homeland and dreamt of one day returning to Ireland. Throughout time and to this day, migrants the world over, have to call on all their resources to survive and prosper in alien environments.
So how does The Wild Geese come about?
The Wild Geese is produced using an Extended Double Distillation which makes for smoother finish. It’s matured in single use white oak barrels that have previously been used to make bourbon.
I’ve been lucky enough to try some of The Wild Geese range, so below, I give to you my tasting notes –
The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Classic Blend – 40%
Spice and mixed berries on the nose with a sweet yet light palate of citrus and honey.
The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Rare – 43%
Lots of floral notes with pepper and citrus also making an appearance on the nose. A rich, malt flavour on the palate with a hint of honey for a long finish.
A great pair to enjoy neat, but the Rare also goes well with one of these –
35 ml The Wild Geese Rare
10 ml King’s Ginger liqueur
10 ml Elderflower cordial
Stir all ingredients in a boston glass with ice, strain into a tumbler over cubed ice and snap fresh lemon zest.
Refreshing as well as award-winning (won Gold at the 2010 International Challenge). The Wild Geese also have a Single Malt and a Limited Edition available too. The more widely available Classic and Rare are a hit with many bars, and one’s to have in your drinks cabinet.
* History and production methods taken straight from The Wild Geese website. Subtle changes have been made for narrative purposes only.
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.