The last month left us with a few new faces in the line-up of premium Irish whiskey. Innovation, risk-taking and inspiration in Irish history are three constants present in the line up below…
From 19th century French influence in Irish whiskey-making to a battalion of Irlandeses fighting on the Mexican side of the Mexican/American War to a fabled pirate queen; here’s a little round up of new Irish whiskeys launched this May to put on your radar…
Writers’ Tears – Double Oak
Walsh Whiskey unveiled the latest item in their core range of Writers’ Tears whiskeys. Writers’ Tears Double Oak, a triple distilled, not-chill filtered blend of two different styles, aged in a combination of American and French oak.
It was created in collaboration between the Walsh family and the Legaret family in Cognac, France, who facilitated the French oak barrels.
Bernard Walsh, Founder and Managing Director of Walsh Whiskey, said: “We are driven by our quest to create the perfect ‘drop’ of Irish whiskey. Our fascination with what has gone before us provides an endless well of inspiration and that led us to work our way back to exploring what French oak first brought to Irish whiskey’s taste profile in the 1800s. I look forward to hearing what followers of Writers’ Tears think of our addition to the family.”
JJ Corry The Battalion
This is the world’s first Irish whiskey made using tequila and mezcal casks to influence its flavour. It’s a blend of 60% 9 year old grain and 40% 13 year old malt blend, made in a very limited quantity (700 bottles for Batch 1).
The whiskey’s name is inspired by the Battalion San Patricios, (Saint Patrick’s Battalion), comprised of Irishmen (mostly immigrant) who fought for Mexico in the Mexican/American War of 1846-1848.
Founder Louise McGuane pointed out that at JJ Corry, they take inspiration from the work of artisanal spirit producers around the world. “The best Mezcal & Tequilas are, at their heart, produced in rural locations by families, with whom we share a significant affinity with given our approach to whiskey making on our family farm on the West coast of Ireland.”
€60 (500ml bottle) at Celtic Whiskey Shop
Grace O’Malley Blend First Edition
Inspired by legendary Irish pirate queen Grace O’Malley a.k.a. Granuaile and Gráinne Ní Mháille, this launch is not just one bottle but a whole new brand of Irish whiskeys and other spirits.
At its entry level, it features the “Crew Range” which includes a blended Irish whiskey, a heather infused Irish gin and a Caribbean goldem rum. Then, there’s the “Navigator Range” which has two blended Irish whiskeys; and finally, the “Captain’s Range”, featuring a 18 Year Old Single Malt Amarone Cask at 45% and at Cask Strength.
From these, the Grace O’ Malley Blend First Edition is currently available on retail, with the rest of the collection coming soon.