Two World-First ‘Method And Madness’ Expressions Added To The Experimental Irish Spirits Range

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Irish Distillers, makers of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has added two new and experimental, limited edition Irish whiskeys to its METHOD AND MADNESS range; Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak and a 28-year-old Ruby Port Pipe Single Cask Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. First launched in 2017, METHOD AND MADNESS aims to push the boundaries of Irish whiskey through innovative releases, harnessing the creativity and fresh thinking of the masters and apprentices in Midleton Distillery.

In a world first for Irish whiskey, METHOD AND MADNESS Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak has been finished in virgin oak felled in the Carpathian Mountain range in the North East of Hungary, where volcanic soils are best suited to the growing of Quercus Petraea. Harvested in winter and air-dried for two years at theKádár Kádár sawmills in Tokaj, the tight grain of this exceptional wood slowly imparts complex compounds and subtle flavours into the whiskey during the finishing process. The whiskey, a single pot still distillate, was first matured in a combination of first-fill and re-fill American oak barrels, before finishing in the virgin Hungarian oak for 11 months.

Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation at Midleton Distillery, commented: “Our quest for uncommon casks has led us all over the world. We were especially intrigued by the Quercus Petraea from North East Hungary and the unique properties that it could add to our flavour repertoire as whiskey makers. At Midleton Distillery over the past few years, we have been experimenting with Hungarian virgin oak casks – a trial and error process that we are incredibly proud to have finally mastered. The result is a new first for Irish whiskey that continues to challenge perceptions of what the category can be.”

The second aged release in the METHOD AND MADNESS series is a 28 year old Ruby Port Pipe, which is a single pot still Irish whiskey matured initially for six years in American oak barrels, before being re-casked into a Ruby Port pipe for a further 22 years. The cask was carefully seasoned with a selection of wines to remove some of the heavy tannins and further seasoned with Ruby Port, infusing rich fruit flavours. The whiskey is alive with notes of ripe stone fruit on the nose and generous with vanilla and cinnamon on the palate, while the light pot still spices shine through on the long, satisfying finish.

Dave McCabe, Apprentice Blender at Midleton Distillery, added: “METHOD AND MADNESS 28 Year Old Ruby Port Pipe marks the realisation of a 22-year-old prediction from the Midleton Masters, which stated that the marriage of flavours between a single pot still Irish whiskey and a Port pipe will one day achieve balance. Billy Leighton, our Master Blender, and I have been carefully monitoring the slowly evolving flavours of this rare and exceptional cask as part of my training as Apprentice Blender. It gives us great pleasure to be able to present it as the perfect harmony between whiskey, Port and wood.”

METHOD AND MADNESS Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak is bottled without chill-filtration at 46% ABV and is available in Ireland, the UK, Travel Retail Ireland and France, RRP €89. METHOD AND MADNESS Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 28 Year Old Ruby Port Pipe Single Cask is bottled at 56.1% ABV and available in Ireland, UK, Travel Retail Ireland and France, priced at RRP €1,900.

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Redbreast Makes The Redbreast Dream Cask A Part Of The Family

Redbreast Dream Cask

Redbreast Irish whiskey, which is produced by Irish Distillers in Midleton Distillery, has launched the Redbreast Dream Cask, which will be available to buy through its online members’ club, The Birdhouse, from World Whisky Day (Saturday 19th May). The release follows requests from consumers and whiskey experts over the past 12 months, and becomes the first in a new series planned for the coming years.

Redbreast Dream Cask is a limited edition, 32 Year Old single pot still Irish whiskey – a single cask that was hand-selected last year by Master Blender, Billy Leighton, as his favourite Redbreast whiskey. The cask was chosen for having the perfect balance of pot still, Spanish oak and sherry flavours, which can usually only be achieved through blending – bringing to life Redbreast’s signature sherry style.

The whiskey was originally unveiled during a Facebook LIVE tasting to mark Redbreast’s World Whisky Day 2017 celebrations. Participants and viewers praised the quality and rarity of what is now the oldest Redbreast Irish whiskey ever to go on sale, with many requesting that the whiskey be made available to buy.

Redbreast Master Blender, Billy Leighton, commented: “In almost 40 years as a blender, Redbreast Dream Cask is a real highlight as I am able to select my own, personal dream Irish whiskey and share it with the world. Our inaugural tasting in 2017 was by far the largest whiskey tasting I have ever held, and the feedback we have received from the whiskey community on the liquid has been phenomenal, so it’s an honour to see it bottled to mark World Whisky Day 2018 – and watch this space for our 2019 plans.”

Billy Leighton, Master Blender

The Redbreast Dream Cask represents the perfect contribution of flavours through a careful maturation journey rounded out by a particularly sublime sherry butt. The original date of bonding goes back to 31st October 1985, with single pot still Irish whiskey filled into re-fill American Oak ex-Bourbon barrels. Then, on 8th March 2011, the whiskey was re-casked into a first-fill Oloroso Sherry-seasoned butt. The resulting whiskey is luxuriously smooth with wood resin notes reminiscent of well-polished antique furniture, lots of ripe fresh fruit flavours and an extremely balanced finish that slowly fades.

Redbreast Dream Cask is bottled without the use of chill-filtration at 46.5% ABV and is available in very limited quantities through Redbreast’s online private members’ club, The Birdhouse, for €500 per 50cl bottle. Click here to visit The Birdhouse.

Brendan Buckley, Strategy, Insight, Innovation & Prestige Whiskeys Director at Irish Distillers, added: “What started out as a celebration of Redbreast on World Whisky Day has developed into the release of a limited edition directly requested by Redbreast fans. We didn’t know it then, but World Whisky Day 2017 was just the beginning for Redbreast Dream Cask and we look forward to what Billy Leighton, and his apprentice Dave McCabe, will find in our Midleton warehouses in the years to come.”

Walsh Whiskey Distillery Releases Super Premium 2017 Vintage

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Walsh Whiskey Distillery has released its 2017 vintage of The Irishman Cask Strength at TFWA in Cannes where the company’s new Commercial Director, John Kelly is representing Walsh Whiskey for the first time with Global Sales Manager, Shane Fitzharris. The release is very limited with 3,510 bottles available in select global markets and travel retail.

Launching The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 vintage, John Kelly said: “We have chosen to release one of our expressions at TFWA for the first time ever. This is because Travel Retail is now one of our priority markets as Walsh Whiskey Distillery gears up for 2019 and beyond when we will have greater supplies of our whiskeys, The Irishman and Writers’ Tears, than ever before. 2018 will see us stepping up our TR activity and extending our TR footprint internationally, so TFWA and a super premium whiskey release such as The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 vintage is perfectly timed for us to start getting that message across personally to the TR sector.”

The Irishman Cask Strength 2017
A rare cask strength expression (54% ABV), limited to only 3,510 bottles, each of which is uniquely numbered and signed by Walsh Whiskey founder Bernard Walsh. The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 is a vatting of Single Pot Still & Single Malt, matured in first-fill bourbon casks. Non chill-filtered, it was bottled in August 2017 and is presented in an elegant wood cask.

Describing this year’s cask strength release of The Irishman, Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s, Senior Global Sales Manager, Shane Fitzharris said: “This rare cask strength expression is matured and aged in oak bourbon casks, specially selected to showcase the pinnacle of Irish whiskey.

This rare and exclusive release introduces complex notes of woody spices combining with summer fruits. Subtle hints of toasted almonds and bourbon oak are followed by elegant tones of dried fruit and raisins delivering an intense finish bursting with depth and flavour. I hope the lucky few who acquire this release enjoy every moment.”
The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 is available in select global markets and travel retail.
The RRP is €125.

When The Irishman Met The Sicilian

Photo: michaelorourkephotography.ie
Walsh Whiskey Distillery has released two, new, very limited edition, super-premium expressions from The Irishman range. Both were finished in handpicked Marsala wine ‘hogshead’ casks from the Florio winery in Sicily which is owned by Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s strategic partner Illva Saronno.

Hogshead casks are larger than standard whiskey casks, however with evaporation accounting for the ‘Angel’s Share’, just 2,970 bottles of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Florio Marsala Cask Finish were filled in mid-August after a minimum of 12 months finishing in the hogshead casks. The nine casks will be spread across seven markets: Ireland, Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland, Travel Retail and Germany. This triple-distilled, non chill filtered whiskey has an ABV of 46%, which is 6% ABV stronger than The Irishman Founder’s Reserve.

Just a single hogshead cask was filled with The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt resulting in 320 bottles of this expression which will be exclusively available at the Walsh Whiskey Distillery in Royal Oak, Carlow, Ireland. Also triple-distilled and non chill filtered, The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt – Florio Marsala Cask Finish is a Cask Strength whiskey with an ABV of 56%.

The creation of these whiskeys began in 2015 when Bernard Walsh went to the Florio winery in the town of Marsala in Sicily as part of his international research into new cask finishes for his portfolio of whiskeys which has also seen him visit Spain, France, Portugal, St. Lucia, China, Kentucky and other parts of Italy. During a tasting of the famously sweet Marsala wines in the Florio cellars, he became convinced of the potential for an exciting expression to result from finishing his signature whiskey, The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, in Marsala wine casks.

Following the tasting, Bernard personally selected the 10 hogshead casks for return to Ireland for filling with The Irishman Founder’s Reserve. He made a last minute decision to add one more twist to the innovation by assigning one of the hogshead casks to be filled with The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt for a minimum 12 months’ finish.

Commenting on the successful outcome of the project, Bernard Walsh said: “I have always loved sweet tasting wines, so I was drawn to the Marsala from the outset, but I didn’t want it to overpower The Irishman expressions either. I am delighted that we have achieved two beautifully balanced whiskeys which we are proud to make the ninth and tenth expressions in our portfolio.”

Hard Rock Cafe Want To Spritz Up Your Summer!

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Hard Rock Cafe have brought out their latest cocktail creations for the Summer season, focusing on the ever-popular Spritz, twisting them with familiar names such as Bombay Sapphire, Jack Daniel’s, Grey Goose and Chambord.

Kick-start with my personal favourite of the ‘Jack and Diane’ that see’s Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 combined with Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and topped with lemonade for a bold hit of whiskey and orange. A close second for me is the ‘Chambord Supernova’ that see’s Chambord blended with St Germaine elderflower and topped with Prosecco, soda and a lemon twist. Rich, refreshing and offers a long finish!

A fantastic Grey Goose offering in ‘Good Limes, Bad Limes’ is available, showing the flavours of St Germaine elderflower, fresh limes, Prosecco and soda, whilst the ‘Thyme Warp’ offers a highlight of the Bombay Sapphire experience with fresh lemon juice and tonic, with a sprig of thyme to bring out the fresh aromas.

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The two other Bombay Sapphire creations include ‘Gin Ginie’ that see’s the bolder profiles of Chambord mixed with the British gin and bitter lemon, topped with a sprig of mint, whilst the ‘My Gineration’ focuses on the gin with orange juice, tonic and plenty of orange peel for garnish.

Six refreshing serves, priced between £9.45 and £9.95, served up, if you wish, within a Hard Rock souvenir mason jar (for £11.80) whilst rocking out in the sunshine (or what’s left of it) on their terrace. And if you’ve ever read my previous features on Hard Rock Cafe’s food offerings, you’ll know you can make an afternoon of it!

Jack & Diane with a Guinness Bacon Cheeseburger for me. I’ll see you at the bar.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

Hudson Launches 70cl To The UK Market

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William Grant & Sons UK brand, Hudson whiskey, is launching a 70cl format across its Baby Bourbon and Manhattan Rye expressions in the UK.

After ten years at the forefront of craft distilling, Hudson, the first American whiskey distillery in New York since prohibition, is introducing the bigger bottle size in response to demand for a larger format from the UK on-trade.

“We are changing to a bigger bottle, but we haven’t changed our process. We still make whiskey grain-to-glass at the Tuthilltown Distillery in the Hudson Valley. Everything was, and still is, done by hand. It’s been quite a journey, from regular folks making whiskey to award winning distillers.” commented Ralph Erenzo, one of the two founders at Hudson whiskey.

Staying true to its craft and entrepreneurial nature, the brand will leverage the existing US 75cl bottle, under filled to 70cl to meet EU standards. The underfill method reflects how the brand previously bottled Hudson Baby Bourbon in a 35cl format using the US 37.5cl bottle when it first launched in the UK four years ago.

“We have certainly made remarkable progress in the recent past, hiring more people, laying down more whiskey and improving our efficiency, but we are still far from affording a bespoke 70cl bottle for the UK” Ralph Erenzo continued.

Due to the exclusivity of the liquid, Hudson is only available in a small selection of top whisky bars, hotels and restaurants, and premium whisky specialists in the UK. Hudson Four Grain will remain in a 35cl format for the foreseeable future.

Lufthansa Selects Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s The Irishman For Its First Class Lounges

Bernard Walsh MD Walsh Whiskey Distillery Lufthansa Plane

Walsh Whiskey Distillery is flying high after Lufthansa, one of the world’s leading airlines, has selected its super-premium whiskey The Irishman – 12 Year Old Single Malt for its exclusive First Class Lounge spirits portfolio.

The Irishman – 12 Year Old Single Malt, an exquisite, non-chill filtered Irish whiskey, is now recognised as an official supplier of Lufthansa First Class Lounges throughout Germany. Close to 500,000 passengers and guests frequent the Lufthansa First Class Lounges annually and they will now be able to enjoy this outstanding Irish whiskey, which is distilled from 100% malted barley and aged in first-fill bourbon barrels.

Awarded Gold and ‘Best In Class’ at the 2013 International Spirits Challenge held in London, The Irishman – 12 Year Old Single Malt is a whiskey that shows exceptional interaction between spirit and wood. With an incredible aroma, the influences of first fill bourbon casks give a spicy note with vanilla and cinnamon, and a beautiful burst of flavour with ripe citrus fruit and honey, culminating in a wonderfully smooth finish.

Commenting on the exclusive Lufthansa listing, Walsh Whiskey Distillery Managing Director, Bernard Walsh, said: “The selection of The Irishman – 12 Year Old Single Malt by Lufthansa for its First Class Lounges is reflective of the high standards of our respective businesses. We are delighted that all Lufthansa First Class Lounge passengers now have the opportunity to savour this exceptional expression as they relax on their journey”.

St Patrick’s Day Launch for The Cold Irishman Competition

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This St Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2017, sees Walsh Whiskey and UK Importer Emporia Brands come together for the UK’s first ever cocktail competition involving The Irishman whiskey.

Focusing on The Irishman Founder’s Reserve expression, both companies are on the lookout for the best innovative twist on their signature serve, The Cold Irishman. With the original recipe seeing a blended combination of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, coffee, half and half and sugar syrup, the competition throws open a variety of options to impress the Walsh family of Bernard and Rosemary.

The award-winning Walsh Whiskey are offering an exclusive trip to their new distillery ‘Royal Oak’, with the chance to experience the range of expressions first hand, as well as the immersive opportunity of a VIP distillery tour located in the heart of barley-growing country, framed by two-hundred-year-old might oaks on the banks of the goodly River Barrow in Ireland’s Ancient East.

With a minimum of 35 ml of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve needed, and a maximum of 5 ingredients (including the base whiskey and excluding garnish) allowed, bartenders also need to explain their inspiration as part of their submission.

To enter, bartenders are asked to submit their details and cocktail recipe to the online registration form located at http://www.emporiabrands.com/coldirishman

Entries will be open from 17th March until 12th May, in which a blind judging will take place of all submissions by some of the top industry figures in whiskey, as well as an Emporia Brands representative visiting the venue to experience the recipe first hand, with the winner announced on 19th May, the day before World Whisky Day. The winner will win the trip to Royal Oak later in 2017 where they will re-create their winning recipe to the Walsh Family, VIP’s and journalists within the distillery itself.

#ColdIrishman

For more information on Walsh Whiskey, please visit http://walshwhiskey.com or follow on Twitter @WalshWhiskey, Facebook at /walshwhiskey and /TheIrishmanWhiskey and Instagram at http://www.Instagram.com/walshwhiskey

Home Of Jameson Re-Opens Following €11 Million Investment

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Irish Distillers, Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has announced the reopening of the home of Jameson in Smithfield, Dublin, following a total investment of €11 million. The new look ‘Jameson Distillery Bow St.’ brand home, which was officially opened by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and Dublin Central TD Paschal Donohoe today, will support the Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy target of trebling the number of Irish whiskey tourists visiting Ireland annually, to 1.9 million by 2025.

As Jameson continues its phenomenal growth story, with 27 years of consecutive growth, the redeveloped Jameson brand home draws on cutting-edge technology to complement the historic surroundings of this iconic distillery and deliver an unforgettable storytelling experience. Three fully-guided tours are offered: ‘The Bow St. Experience’ tasting tour focuses on the stories of Jameson’s rich heritage and on-going innovations while ‘The Whiskey Makers’ and ‘The Whiskey Shakers’ experiences provide more in-depth whiskey and cocktail masterclasses, both including the opportunity to sample whiskey straight from a cask in the distillery’s new live maturation house.

Speaking at the opening of Jameson Distillery Bow St., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD said: “Each year, over 600,000 tourists pass through Irish whiskey visitor centres to experience first-hand the heritage behind this time-honoured spirit and hear the stories of established and emerging distilleries. The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy aims to treble this figure to 1.9 million visitors by 2025 and Jameson Distillery Bow St. will undoubtedly play a central role in delivering on this vision. Smithfield and its wider Dublin environs have a rich history and vibrant cultural scene which will also continue to attract and enthrall visitors from near and far.”

Jean-Christophe Coutures, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers said: “As the home of Jameson, Smithfield has an incredibly important place in our history. We’ve grown up on Bow Street and welcomed over 4 million whiskey lovers through our doors since the opening of the Old Jameson Distillery brand home in 1997. With this latest investment, we place storytelling at the core of the visitor experience, drawing on state of the art technology to bring the 230-year history of Bow Street to life, with a variety of tour options to cater for everyone – from those who may be discovering Jameson Irish whiskey for the very first time, to long-standing Jameson enthusiasts who are seeking to further their understanding of this much-loved spirit. The success of Irish whiskey is a success story for Ireland and we look forward to welcoming whiskey-lovers from across the globe and sharing our story with them.”

Ray Dempsey, who has been General Manager at the Jameson brand home in Smithfield since its opening in 1997, added: “We have had the privilege of calling Bow Street home since 1780 and we’re delighted with our new makeover. Visitors can look forward to immersive storytelling where they will be invited to touch, smell and most importantly, taste Jameson in the original Bow St. Distillery building. As Smithfield continues to experience a cultural resurgence, we’re incredibly excited to be part of this thriving community and look forward to being here long into the future.”

Construction work began in September and was led by BRC Imagination Arts, Dublin based firm TOTP Architects and Flynn Management & Contractors, with approximately 100 people employed as part of the redevelopment work. BRC Imagination Arts is one of the world’s leading experience design and production agencies specialising in the creation of next generation brand experiences. Founded in 1981, past clients of BRC include the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta; the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

To book tickets for the Jameson Distillery Bow St., visit http://www.jamesonwhiskey.com

Tullamore D.E.W. Reignites Irish Tradition With New Signature Serve – ‘D.E.W. & A Brew’

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Tullamore D.E.W. – the original triple distilled, triple blend Irish Whiskey – is reinvigorating the Irish custom of sipping a beer and whiskey, side by side, to unlock the complementary flavours in each with new serve, ‘D.E.W. & A Brew’.

Tullamore D.E.W. is a triple distilled, triple blend of all three types of Irish whiskey – Single Malt, Grain and Pot Still whiskey. This blend of all three types of triple distilled whiskey, in particular the Single Malt, gives Tullamore D.E.W. complexity and a unique sweet smoothness that is perfectly paired with beer’s bitter bite. John Quinn, Tullamore D.E.W. Global Brand Ambassador, commented: “Beer and whiskey are malt cousins, because malted barley is a raw ingredient in both; so, sipping whiskey alongside a beer is the best way to unlock new flavours for an evening full of true character.” He continued: “The recent growth in popularity of craft beer makes this the perfect time to introduce D.E.W. & A Brew. Tullamore D.E.W. unlocks different flavour combinations depending on the type of beer it’s served with. There are a lot of great beers on the market right now and great beer loves Tullamore D.E.W.”

In London, Tullamore D.E.W. has partnered with ETM Group where Tullamore D.E.W. will be served with Longarm ‘Birdie Flipper’ Irish Red Ale. Consumers can enjoy the combination in bars such as Greenwood, Jugged Hare and Botanist Broadgate Circle for a chance to win a VIP ‘D.E.W & A Brew’ masterclass. Available from 1st March, full list of venues can be found at http://www.etmgroup.co.uk.

Whiskey and beer have been made side by side in Ireland since monks started to distil their ‘table beer’ to make whiskey. Also, the Daly family, who first employed Daniel E. Williams at Tullamore, brewed local beers alongside their whiskey. Over time, it was noticed that these ‘malt cousins’ were not only convenient to make together, but they formed a fine partnership on the palate. The sweetness of a “ball of malt” (whiskey) complemented the bitterness of their regular “pint of plain” (beer). To enjoy the two side-by-side became a common practice in bars across Ireland. Tullamore D.E.W. has worked with beer experts to create a guide to the complementary flavours unlocked by D.E.W. & A Brew. It reveals, for example, that Irish stout highlights ‘the spiciness and complexity of Tullamore D.E.W.’, while Tullamore D.E.W. ‘highlights the zesty dry tones’ of India Pale Ale.

The launch of D.E.W. & A Brew follows several recent award-winning new additions to the Tullamore D.E.W. range: Tullamore D.E.W. 14 Year Old Single Malt, Tullamore D.E.W. 18 Year Old Single Malt, Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask Finish and Tullamore D.E.W. TRILOGY. The new signature serve is Tullamore D.E.W.’s next step in providing a whiskey experience of true character suitable for every occasion and every whiskey drinker.

The signature serve launch will focus mainly on Bristol with outlets such as Tobacco Factory, Steam and Butcombe Brewery Pubs stocking the serve from March onwards.