What To Drink This St. Patrick’s Day

Nickolls & PerksIrish Whiskey, WhiskyLeave a Comment

 

 

We live in a special time: the renaissance of Irish whiskey. This once giant of the global whisk(e)y industry was brought close to the point of extinction during the 20th century. The resilience of the few remaining distillers and a diehard audience kept the industry alive and, despite the odds, drove it to growth, inspiring a new generation of Irish distillers.

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, we are shining a light on some of the Irish whiskeys that we stock here at Nickolls & Perks, bringing their stories to life and exploring why we love this revered category. Here are our recommendations for this St. Patrick’s Day.

 

Waterford Single Farm Origin Ballymorgan – Edition 1.2

On Ireland’s ruggedly beautiful south coast lies the Waterford Distillery. Once an old Guinness factory, this distillery is perhaps the best encapsulation of how the Irish beverage scene is evolving. The distillery was founded by a gentleman with a staggering resumé, Mark Reynier; most notably for whisky enthusiasts, Mr. Reynier was one of the founders behind the revival of Scotland’s legendary Bruichladdich distillery.

Taking inspiration from the wine industry, the vision for Waterford was to create a terroir-focused single malt, showcasing the flavours presented by different barley strains grown across Ireland, and bottling them as single farm expressions and cuvées. In practice, this required an unprecedented level of attention in tracking the grain all the way to bottling. So proud are Waterford of their diligence, a unique code bears each bottle; entering the unique code into the Waterford website will return a full audit trail of the barley type, the farmer who grew the grain, and the cask constituents of the bottle.

Tasting Notes:

Vanilla custard, mango and subtle spices, complemented by a chewy texture and an aloof cereal and slightly farm-y note.

Price (Inc-VAT): £69.95

ABV: 50%

Link to purchase:

Waterford Single Farm Origin Ballymorgan 1.2 – Nickolls & Perks (nickollsandperks.co.uk)

 

Drumshanbo

Built in 2014, The Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo, Leitrim, produced the first whiskey in the region for over 100 years. The distillery was brought to existence through the determination of serial spirits entrepreneur PJ Rigney, the man who once held the reins as Director of Research & Development, and later Manager of, Baileys.

The Drumshanbo whiskey is a single pot still dram that, as well as the typical mix of malted and unmalted barley, also uses some Irish Barra oats in the mash. The spirit is then matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks for a balanced and complex flavour. With an output of only around one cask per day, whiskey from this small output distillery can often prove quite scarce, so if you enjoy soft, delicate and creamy flavours in your whiskey, then be sure to grab yourself a bottle whilst you can!

Tasting Notes:

Tropical notes of banana and pineapple, backlit by a soft and creamy porridge texture.

Price (Inc-VAT): £49.95

ABV: 43%

Link to purchase:

Drumshanbo Single Pot Still – Nickolls & Perks (nickollsandperks.co.uk)

 

Tullamore D.E.W 14 Year Old

A classic household name for many, the origins of Tullamore stretch all the way back to 1829. Following a decline in the Irish whiskey industry, the brand amalgamated into the mighty Midleton distillery in the 1970s. This beloved whiskey weathered the storm and eventually grew to such heights that it has once again separated into its own distillery, back in the town of Tullamore.

There are many incarnations of Tullamore whiskey, including blends and single malts. This 14 year old single malt expression enjoyed an initial maturation in ex-bourbon casks before a four-pronged finishing in bourbon, Madeira, Oloroso sherry, and even Port casks. It’s complex and eminently drinkable, bearing great age, casks and price point.

Tasting Notes:

Rich and subtly spiced, with caramelised fruits, vanilla and a delicate waft of oak throughout.

Price (Inc-VAT): £53.95

ABV: 41.3%

Link to purchase:

Tullamore Dew 14 Year Old – Nickolls & Perks (nickollsandperks.co.uk)

 

Fercullen 14 Year Old Single Malt

The Powerscourt distillery is another great example of the new life that is being breathed into the Irish distilling scene. Nestled in the rolling greenery of County Wicklow. The stills first ran in June 2018, under the supervision of Master Distiller Noel Sweeney, previously of the Cooley distillery.

Eagle-eyed readers may have deduced that the oldest whiskey from this distillery, therefore, could only be five years old at the time of writing this blog, so how has the distillery released a 14-year-old whiskey? Well, as a showcase of the style that the distillery is looking to offer in years to come, the team have procured whiskey produced by another distillery and bottled it under their own labelling. This is a fairly common practice for new distilleries, especially in Ireland and the USA, but for Powerscourt this has a special relevance: the whiskey was procured from the Cooley distillery, meaning it was distilled by none other than Powerscourt’s own Master Distiller, Noel Sweeney. The whiskey is therefore a unique insight into the style of Powerscourt, occupying a space between classic and new.

Tasting Notes:

Full of honey, vanilla, sweet malt, spice, almonds, cinnamon and rich plums. On the palate, a refreshingly smooth and complex nectar deliver layer upon layer of smooth, silky sweet malt with crisp oak.

Price (Inc-VAT): £71.95

ABV: 46%

Link to purchase:

Fercullen 14 Year Old Single Malt – (Nickolls & Perks) (nickollsandperks.co.uk)

 

J.J. Corry 20 Year Old The Merchant’s Choice – Nickolls & Perks 225th Anniversary

Last year we enjoyed a momentous milestone at Nickolls & Perks when our shop hit its 225th anniversary. We marked the occasion with an unprecedented series of tasting masterclasses and shop-exclusive bottlings. To close out this landmark year, we collaborated with Irish whiskey bonder J.J. Corry for our final anniversary-edition exclusive whisk(e)y.

The art of whiskey bonding in Ireland is similar to that of independent bottling in Scotland. Bonders will purchase spirit or casks from established distilleries, then mature and release them through their vision. This creates greatly exciting opportunities for whisk(e)y fans, as now you can enjoy a completely different take on your favourite whiskeys. It’s comparable to giving the same ingredients to several excellent chefs; the starting point is the same but the resulting delicious dishes could be wildly different.

In preparation for our anniversary, members of the Nickolls & Perks Gardener family travelled to the distant western coast of Ireland to visit Louise McGuane, Founder of J.J. Corry, in person. After sampling a host of whiskeys maturing in the bonded warehouse, the family were unanimous in the selection of a single cask of 20-year-old Irish single malt. Only 60 bottles of the whiskey were produced in this extremely limited release, each one including a small vial of the Pedro Ximénez sherry that previously inhibited the cask in which the whiskey matured. Though the distillery from which the whiskey originated must not be named, there is a clue on our product page that may be accessed via the link below.

Tasting Notes:

Playful notes of nougat, bread and butter pudding, and crème caramel on the nose. The palate bursts with tropical fruit and tinned peaches, followed by chocolate cereal bars and whipped cream, with just the lightest smattering of spice.

Price (Inc-VAT): £495

ABV: 54%

Link to purchase:

J.J. Corry 20 Year Old The Merchant’s Choice – Nickolls & Perks 225th Anniversary – Nickolls & Perks (nickollsandperks.co.uk)

 

Celebrate With Whiskey

We have but scratched the surface on what is available in our Irish whiskey selection. There’s plenty more available through the Irish whiskey category website on our website, and we’ll also be running a Waterford barrel top tasting in our Stourbridge store this St. Patrick’s Day, Friday the 17th of March, from 12pm to 4pm.

Tap the link below to view all of our Irish whiskeys, or visit us instore if you would like advice from a member of our team.

Irish Whiskey | Nickolls & Perks (nickollsandperks.co.uk)

Steven – Whisky Specialist

Nickolls & PerksWhat To Drink This St. Patrick’s Day

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