Whisky & Whiskey – Episode 1 WD O’Connell PX18
My thoughts and review on the newest Edition to the WD O’Connell whiskey range!
Check out my new Youtube channel, updated every Wednesday https://tinyurl.com/y4e3g99h
My thoughts and review on the newest Edition to the WD O’Connell whiskey range!
Check out my new Youtube channel, updated every Wednesday https://tinyurl.com/y4e3g99h
You’ve undoubtedly heard by now the fuss surrounding this single cask, and if you haven’t, stay reading. Unfortunately, the attention was for all the wrong reasons, it should have never been about the euros €€€…. What they aren’t telling you about The Temple Bar single cask from Redbreast, its F$%^ing good! Very very good!
I am lucky enough to have been able to sample the majority of the single cask range from Redbreast and yea, wow. You are experiencing the very best that Middleton Distillery has to offer, and you could call their single cask range their “showcase” of sorts, or even their “examples of excellence”.
So then why has this particular Single cask had so much attention?
Sadly its price. And at an initial release price of €850 it was out of reach of most whiskey drinkers/enthusiasts. What’s worse is that price changed rather quickly after release and jumped up to an eye-watering €1,250.00, Sigh.
If you’re a fan of Redbreast Single cask releases then you’d know that this far surpasses any other releases to date in terms of price (even when compared to the La Maison Du Whisky 25yr old on the secondary market)! However there’s been a fluctuation of pricing in recent months, from €850 up to €1,250, then down to €750, and then down to €600, annnd now currently at a “sale” price of €550 on The Temple Bars website ( at time of writing).
Still on the high side of the range but nonetheless within reach and of much better value than was previously priced.
I hear you ask , Brian what do I get then if I fork over the €550?
Let me tell you.
You get a 26-year-old, non-chill filtered, Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Distilled in 1991 and filled in first-fill Bourbon Barrels, left to mature for 17 (ish) years, and then re-casked into a first-fill Sherry cask and left to mature for a further 8 (ish) years, giving a grand total of 26-years maturation. Once bottled the cask yielded a total of 618 bottles at 53.9%ABV.
So is it good?
It’s worth trying for yourself, I’m aware that not everyone has the same palate when it comes to whiskey, but for me, I really enjoyed everything this Single Cask had to offer. Complex, well balanced and so full of flavor it’s insane. My tasting notes:
Visual: Beautiful brown sherry/Treacle
Nose: Initial bang of exotic dried fruits, with a slight hint of dark chocolate and an even slighter hint of coffee, pot still spice, and Antique oak.
Palate: Mouthwatering sweetness and white peppery spice mixed with oily tannins, beautifully balanced nuttiness eventually giving way to a bitter dark chocolate dryness. Strange how I found it went from mouthwatering to dry.
Finish: a lovely balanced bittersweetness combined with that unmistakable redbreast spice. The spice starts out in the middle of the tongue and continues towards the back of the throat. Very well balanced and complex, plenty of oak influence, very more-ish.
To sum up, it really is an incredible expression. Certainly a showcase. And I don’t mean to be “big upping” this whiskey by any means but, when something is good its good and I tend to call it as it is. Just a shame there was so much F&%$ing around with pricing at the start, it got the right attention for all the wrong reasons! Now that it’s at a far more affordable price, I’d highly recommend trying it, even if you bottle share it with friends. After all, sharing is caring…..Sláinte.
In the interest of transparency, I purchased my own Bottle and sample of the above, all opinions are my own and were in no way influenced from any outside parties.
One would agree that from the drinks industry its been a long hard slog the last few months, guild/society events on hold, visitor centers and distilleries shut down, tour cancellations, and pretty much all manner of socialized events where some form or type of crowd is involved has been non-existent. Lest we forget the majority of on license trades who aren’t fortunate to be in a position to serve food have been shut too. Understandably so as the COVID 19 pandemic rages on, Government restrictions in place, and the reluctance from most people to not want to gather in groups. But when I got word that one of my favorite watering holes, Paris Texas , in my home town was set to do a Whiskey tasting night with the Kilkenny Whiskey guild , in house, I can only say that I was ecstatic and used a few choice words to voice my excitement, I won’t repeat them here but I was one happy chappy. I think I was even happier when I learned it was Irish Distillers that we would be sampling on the night.
Now it’s obvious there was questions straight off the bat, what brand, who was speaking, what kind of event was it, how long was it going to be, can we have a few sociables along with the whiskey, will there be food. To say mums the word would be an understatement. The powers that be were extremely tight-lipped and not forthcoming with the information I wanted, and as an incredibly nosey person, I used my best detective work to gather what information I could, merely cause I’m a nosey b*stard and wanted to know for myself. What became immediately apparent to me was that I would never make a good or even a bad detective or investigator. There was no information I could gather anywhere or from anyone, everyone was sworn to secrecy, which for a lad like me is obviously wonderful (sarcasm). As luck would have it, it was more a case of right place and right time as I just so happened to be walking in town one day, behind a staff member, who was chatting with another staff member, about the upcoming guild event. I wasn’t so much listening as they were talking extremely loud but the words, 21yr old, Cask strength, Ruby port, and the dead give away – Ger Garland was mentioned. That’s right, REDBREAST baby! So the pieces were starting to fall together nicely for Briano.
Hold up, wait a minute, something ain’t right, RUBY PORT????
Here was me questioning could it possibly be the Redbreast 27 Ruby Port is making a debut, I mean it is part of their core range now, not for one second did I think that it could be the 28 yr old Dream Cask that was being showcased, however, I remembered back to a guild event in 2019 when the world wasn’t falling apart and recalled how I was fortunate to be able to sample the 20 Yr old Dream cask at such an event.
Phone out, text sent. 30 seconds later ( approximately ), “ Hennessy you’d make some detective “ was the reply, which is basically a confirmation without actually confirming what wasn’t already confirmed, basically.
The date was set, the emails sent out, and the announcements made. The First post lockdown Kilkenny Whiskey Guild Event for 2020 would be a Redbreast tasting with “special Guests”, hosted by Ger Garland and held in Paris Texas Bar.
Needless to say, I made certain I would have a ticket for this, I was not about to miss out. Now I’m more used to an event where we sip Whiskies obviously, a chat from the Ambassador / Owner about said Whiskey, their story, their journey Etc, and a few food samples towards the end with a Whiskey infused theme. What I got was definitely for me, a first, a Whiskey and food pairing. How posh are we in 2020!?
Before I get into the meat and potatoes I just want to give a shout out to the management and staff in Paris Texas, from start to finish it was an epic guild event, from the food and drink down to the safety and atmosphere. Everything was 100%, they were determined to nail this event on the head with the lingering COVID 19 issues in the air, they came out on top, fair play and well done all!
In the interest of health and safety you should note that this event was held before the government introduced new tighter restrictions around COVID 19, all guidelines were strictly adhered to that were set forth at that particular time.
It wouldn’t be a guild event without some form of a Whiskey infused/themed cocktail. This was no different. To wet our palettes and get us in the form we were introduced to the Velvet Old Fashioned. A different approach to the standard old fashioned, using a combination of PX sherry infused with Jameson Irish whiskey married together for 4 weeks in a mini virgin oak cask that had previously been seasoned with PX sherry for 7 months. Add orange bitters, cane sugar syrup, and a strawberry orange garnish and viola, the Velvet Old Fashioned. I’m typically not one for cocktails but this was nicely balanced apart from it being a touch on the sweet side. But I put that down to my personal preference. It was a refreshing start to the evening.
The classic Redbreast 12-year-old 40% ABV, paired with Truffle Fairy Redbreast Whiskey truffles and chocolate-coated candied orange peel. This Whiskey needs no introduction as its well known amongst Whiskey drinkers/enthusiasts and has a number of accolades behind its name. The Truffles were a little off-putting for me at first as it was dark chocolate (admittedly I hadn’t tried them yet), not a huge fan of dark chocolate as I tend to find it too bitter and overpowering. However, I shouldn’t have been so hesitant, the truffle along with the orange peel was incredibly delicious, paired with the RB12 I found it brought out certain nuances in the whiskey I hadn’t really noticed before, more flavors and sweetness from the sherry influence and definitely more of a nutty/wood note coming through, paired with the bitterness of the chocolate the finish was incredibly moreish and deliciously well balanced. Not too sweet, but full of lasting flavors & very very rich, it’s definitely something I will try again in the future.
A Midleton Cask sample direct from the “Micro” distillery within Midleton, which is not so micro when I learned that it was the fifth-largest distillery in Ireland! The Whiskey in question was a triple distilled Rye Whiskey that was grown entirely in Wexford (Hmmmm) that was just over the three-year-old mark and at a cask strength of 61.8% ABV. This powerful little gem was to be paired with Little Green Grocer Mature Mount Leinster Cheddar and Cashel Blue Cheese. Now obviously the Whiskey was at a very high ABV and water was on offer to bring the ABV down a touch, but I opted out of this as I wanted to get the full effects of the pairing with the cheese. The sample was obviously young so there was this strong spicy bitterness to it but had a lovely butterscotch/vanilla/soda creme flavor also. Bring in the two kinds of cheese and we begin to see why this sample was selected. First off the spice mellows right out with the Blue Cheese, the two contrast each other nicely because the cheese itself is bitter, pair that with the sweetness from the Whiskey and you get more of a vanilla tone on the finish. With the Cheddar, there was a much more complimentary balance between flavors and the bitterness was more pronounced but with a much more pleasant tapering off towards the end, I found I was left with a more rich smooth bitterness that was pleasant and not overpowering.
2016 & 2018 Irish Whiskey Gold medal winner and 2014 overall winner best Irish Whiskey of the year, Enter the Redbreast 21-Year-old. The finest representation of the signature Redbreast sherry style. The 21-year old gives us this richness and complexity that is undeniably a signature expression in the range, and personally my favorite. This particular Whiskey was paired with a tremendously flavorsome Whiskey Glazed Pork Belly pop. Deservingly so this whiskey needed something complex to go along with it, a food pairing that would be both robust and, yes, full of flavor. The glazed pork belly did not disappoint, really complimented the sweetness and stoned fruits of the RB21, Not overly sweet but certainly with the whiskey glaze added another depth to it. The creaminess of the RB21 complimented the earthy tones from the pork and left a lovely fatty/oily residue on the palette. As Ger Garland described it – “A More-ish Pairing”.
To me the star of the show and highlight of the evening. Ladies and gentlemen, the Redbreast 28 Dream cask, Ruby Port Edition. It s been incredibly hard to get samples of this Whiskey on any of the usual channels, either people don’t want to share or they’ve seen the increase in the value of the previous releases and don’t want to open the bottle, which is a shame. Unfortunately, I was not one of the lucky few who won a ballot to be able to purchase this extremely rare Whiskey. So situations like this are one to be cherished. The food pairing was with Foie Gras. I did have a small bite of the Foie Gras to go along with the RB28, but it was very small as I did not want to impair my judgment on the full flavors of the Dream Cask alone, which is after all one of the main reasons why I attended the event. The official words from Billy Leighton on the 28 Dream cask are:
“In our quest to find interesting new expressions to add to the Redbreast family, we do various trials and create prototypes along the way. We thought we should share this Dream Cask offering which is the product of one of these great adventures. When we first considered the use of Ruby Port seasoned casks, we vatted a small batch of carefully selected mix of Bourbon, Sherry, and Port casks, then re-casked a portion into this Port cask to marry for a finishing period.”
I’m not biased but this Whiskey was out of this world good! Complex, well balanced, full-bodied, all the right spice & sweetness delivered perfectly in a cask strength 56.1% ABV package. The influence from the fortified wine casks is huge here as the fortified casks made up the majority of the components gone into the 28.
Visual: Auburn/Mahogany meets deep copper.
Nose: Very rich and well balanced, caramel, Demerara sugar, chocolate orange, with some light spice at the back, not overpoweringly sweet, dried banana, Vanilla.
Palette: Rich and creamy, luscious, zesty, Redbreast spices, raisins, figs, dark fruits & berries with a stunning oily mouth-coating, the spice is well balanced with the sweetness from the dried fruits.
Finish: Long-lasting, tapers off incredibly well and leaves a lovely sweet tone on the back of the tongue, very savoury, plenty of that Redbreast signature flavour makes you long for more.
One word to sum up this Whiskey – WOW. What an incredible drop. And totally different from everything we tasted on the night, yet undeniably Redbreast!
I won’t lie after the RB28 I didn’t know what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised to see we were going to finish with the Redbreast Cask strength Batch 2-2019 at 55.8% ABV. The point was made on the night the reason we finished with this sample was that, even though it’s not the highest ABV whiskey in the lineup, it is by far the “punchiest” that was on offer. In other words, literally kick ass! Basically the RB12 on steroids. An incredible Whiskey that was paired with rare fillet beef disks! Really this speaks for itself, Cask strength Redbreast and fillet beef! Mouthwatering, rugged, and earthy. Sweet and savory patting each other on the back for a job well done.
As if the above wasn’t enough, the Whiskey, the food, and of course the atmosphere, there were two final treats for us to enjoy. Firstly a Banana Fosters, which, if you haven’t had and you like Banoffi than I would seriously suggest you get 2, or 3, or however many you can stomach. Basically Bananas flambéed in butterscotch & Redbreast 12 year old. I may have had more than 1.
The final treat of the evening was yet another cocktail. This time a Blueberry Sour! Which is Jameson, Blueberry Real (syrup), lemon juice, egg whites & two dashes of cherry bitters. At this stage, I was nearly comatose with all of the offerings of the night. Both the final cocktails were delicious and sweet, Which was nice considering all the high ABV Whiskey I had previously consumed.
I can only sum up the evenings’ events by describing it as a once in a lifetime type scenario that really explores and uncovers not only new experiences, but new whiskeys, new concepts (for me), new flavors, and indeed new standards, lol. Again my hats off to all involved in the guild behind the scenes, Ger Garland, IDL, and of course the management and staff in Paris Texas for an outstanding evening of food, drink, and Craic. Until next time, Sláinte.
If you’d like me to cover any of your events please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Kilkenny Whiskey Guild https://www.kilkennywhiskeyguild.com/
For bookings, reservations, drinks menus and general information https://www.facebook.com/ParisTexasBar
In the interest of transparency and fairness, I purchased my own ticket to the guild event above, all opinions are my own and were in no way influenced from any outside parties.
Waterford Whisky – It should be no surprise at this stage that one of the most anticipated & eagerly awaited whiskies of the year thus far ( perhaps even the last 5 years ), has come from Waterford Distillery. After spending the few days trawling through Facebook posts and Twitter its clear that the understanding of such a release is a bit unclear. There are mixed feelings amongst the community, some feelings of sheer excitement as its the first of many releases from the relatively new distillery ( that we can get our hands on ), some of utter confusion that such a young whisky ( not a typo ) has grabbed some serious attention over the more “coveted and regarded” whisk(e)y brands that some of us are used to drinking. Regardless of what you’ve seen or read, its a special time in Irish whisk(e)y. The community is alive and kicking.
Nahhh you know me now, I’m not going to get into the history behind Waterford distillery, its owner Mark Reynier or his previous affiliation to a certain Scotch brand ( Bruichladdich ). You can read that in your own time, this post is about the Whisky ( again not a typo) and its….
Terroir (/tɛˈrwɑːr/, French: [tɛʁwaʁ]; from terre, “land”) is a French term used to describe the environmental factors that affect a crop’s phenotype, including unique environment contexts, farming practices and a crop’s specific growth habitat.
According to the Waterford Distillery website :
“TERROIR IS THE 3D INTERACTION OF SOIL, MICROCLIMATE AND TOPOGRAPHY ON PLANT GROWTH. TERROIR’S IMPACT CAN BE DETECTED IN FLAVOURS INFLUENCED BY THAT GROWTH.”
As we go through the three whiskies below Terroir will become a little more apparent. Generally the term Terroir is more widely used in the wine world, but the same principles apply to Whisk(e)y production. If you would really like to get into the nuts and bolts of Terroir this TED video by Joe Butcher breaks it down incredibly, be warned its heavy watching.
Firstly it should be noted that each one of these Whiskies has an age statement of roughly 3-4 years, so quite young to begin with. They are all bottled at 50% ABV and obviously they are all single malt Irish Whiskies. You should note that this is not a comparison of the three, each one of these Whiskies have their own unique identity, character, and Terroir and should be sampled with that in mind.
Terroir code F011E01-01 , Carlow based single farm Ratheadon is currently one of the hardest of the whiskies to locate. This is simply due to the fact that only 2000 bottles were released, and from that 1400 bottles available to the Irish market ( 600 held back at the distillery for now ), with very little of those bottles being made available outside of Waterford. So if you see a bottle pick it up, quick! This is literally like hens’ teeth!
This is a 3 year, 9 months, and 5-day old whisk(e)y matured in a variation of first fill U.S. American Oak ( 35%), Virgin U.S. Oak ( 20% ), Premium French Oak ( 25% ), and Vin Doux Naturel ( 20% ) Which were married together on the 6th February 2020. Interestingly enough the barley variation is Irina with a fermentation time of 106 Hours. When you compare that to Ballykilcavan and Bannow Island fermentation times there is a considerable difference of 44 & 30 hours respectively.
First off the colour of this is beautiful, deep rich gold or even burnt amber. The glass is coated in a lovely thick oil and the tears/legs are prominent. On the nose it’s very Malt/Barley forward at first, there is a lovely honeyed sweetness to it with a hint of mandarin/ orange zest, its subtle but it is there. In the background lurking is a hint of summer fruits mixed with some gentle spice. With the smallest drop of water, the Maltiness subsides a small bit to bring forward more of the honey and fruit notes.
Taste-wise I find this to be a bit of a spice beast, plenty of white pepper, way more on the palate than the initial nosing would have suggested, oily, well balanced with plenty of honey, there is a touch of Terry’s chocolate orange to it although that’s very subtle.
The finish is long and sweet with the spice staying around for quite a bit in the throat and the sweetness towards the middle of the mouth. Beautifully tapers off and leaving no bitterness.
Terroir code F002E01-01, This Co. Laois single farm was released first along with Bannow Island. There were approx 8,640 bottles upon initial release and they sold out in the majority of Irish retailers in minutes!
This whisk(e)y is slightly older coming in at 3 years, 11 months, and 18 days, and fermentation times are one of the highest of the three whiskies here at 150.5 hours. Type of Barley used is Taberna and the cask composition for maturation is slightly different using more first fill U.S. casks and no Virgin U.S. casks ( due to the fact that there was none available at time of filling ) and these casks were married together on 5 February 2020. The breakdown is first fill U.S. American Oak ( 45%), Virgin U.S. Oak ( 0% ), Premium French Oak ( 37% ), and Vin Doux Naturel ( 18% ).
The colour here is more a yellow gold or golden hay, again very heavily oily with thick legs standing out on the glass. On the nose fresh-cut hay, grapes & grapefruit, honey, and an incredibly soft earthy tone to it.
This has a very oily mouthfeel, sweet honey, toffee and plenty of spice, hint of cinnamon, and a lovely maltiness to it. A drop of water simply opens up its sweetness a bit more.
Long-lasting and malty finish, sweetness evolves into a slight bitterness leaving a dry mouthfeel. even after a few minutes, I can still get the oily residue leftover from the single malt.
Terroir code F014E01-01, Based in county Wexford, this single farm was released along with BallyKilcavan. Again a big release with 8,616 bottles available which, like the above, was sold out in a matter of minutes in off-licenses across the country. If you were lucky enough to get a bottle or even a sample you will begin to see how different all of these releases are from one another.
This whisk(e)y was matured for 3 years, 7 months, and 28 days, slightly younger than its cohorts. The type of barley used was Overture with a fermentation time of 136.2 hours and the casks married on the 7th of February 2020. The cask composition for this particular single farm release is different from Ballykilcavan but similar to Ratheadon, the breakdown is first fill U.S. American Oak ( 35%), Virgin U.S. Oak ( 20% ), Premium French Oak ( 25% ), and Vin Doux Naturel ( 20% Oloroso ).
A lovely dark honey colour here edging on deep amber, just as oily as the previous whiskies if my glass is to go by, serious hang time with the legs on the glass. The nose is quite different here, more salted caramel, dried fruits, vanilla, freshly cut hay, very slight maltiness in the background mixed with buttery biscuits. Really pleasant & inviting nose to it.
On the palate there is again plenty of white pepper spice and mouth-coating oiliness, that salt characteristic is still very much there will the caramel, lovely sweet sherry, and malt.
Once again a lovely long-lasting spicy-sweet finish with an oily residue left behind, the mouth dries out a fair bit again and I’m left with a lovely bitter malt flavour on the tongue.
I would highly suggest that you click the associated links with each whisk(e)y above to see their Terroir file. From the Barley to the casks, from the harvest dates down to the soil composition and even the sound file, yes that’s correct they recorded the sound of the fields. All the information and traceability are there. I’m not entirely sure you could be more transparent or information-driven if you tried. Even if you aren’t a whisk(e)y nerd and you just want to drink and enjoy what Waterford distillery has released, then do, but for shits n giggles have a look at the website, its mind-boggling.
Money talks indeed, and these whiskies come in at around €70-€80. Pricey enough when you consider that not one of these releases is aged more than 4 years. But, and its a big BUT, you would be amazed at how well balanced and non-aggressive these whiskies really are. They have the characteristics and body that would rival most older statement single malt whiskies, and that is a big statement to make. The engineering and development that has gone into the distillery to be able to produce single malt whiskies of this standard are partly visible from the information they provide in the Terroir links! There was clearly no holding back with development.
At the time of writing this article, there were only the above three releases available to the general public. However, there have been a number of Single Farm Origin labels approved by the US TTB and word has it a number of other bottles to be released in “other markets” before the end of the year. Its no doubt an exciting time for Irish Whisk(e)y. I would suggest, if you’re on Facebook, to head over to the “ Friends of Waterford Distillery” page and join up. There are some great chats, articles, and behind the scenes knowledge from the group and there is plenty of interaction daily. If you want the latest news on the distillery then that is the place to keep an eye on.
To finish up, In my opinion, I wouldn’t let the price of these bottles deter me from purchasing, sure they are young, but what they lack in age they make up for in flavour, they are seriously good and its quite apparent how much work has gone into producing these. If I was to pick a favourite, and maybe I’ve spent a little too much time “sampling” these, I would have to say that out of the three releases Ratheadon is the one that does it for me the most. Would I say that I am a believer in Terroir? YES- Absolutely. The proof is in the bottle. Until next time, Sláinte.
FOR THE SAKE OF TRANSPARENCY THIS REVIEW WAS IN NO WAY INFLUENCED BY ANY OUTSIDE PARTY, ALL THESE BOTTLES WERE PURCHASED BY THE AUTHOR.
As we are used to, or, would drink on the regular. This is a tip of the cap, a nod to the gods, a throwback to old school if you will, you hopefully get where I’m going with this. This is the birth of Whiskey as we know it today. Let’s get into it….
If I was to get into the history of how this all began we would be here all night. So I’m not going to do that, there are countless books and documentation on the subject. I’m going to save some time here and take the easy way out. Watch the video.
To me this is the part I love to know, the “ behind the scenes” version of the story, enter Chris Hennessy ( The Dylan Whiskey Bar ) & Jarrod Cuffe ( Off the Cuffe Bitters ).
I could begin by telling you that the original idea came about from a tasting event in Dublin that was conducted by no other than Fionnán O’Connor ( A glass apart book, which if you haven’t read then I would highly recommend a read of ). I could also tell you that the conversation they had led Chris to the RCB Library in Dundrum, which houses some of Irelands oldest books that can only be read in temperature-controlled rooms. The type of rooms where white gloves and tweezers are used to turn pages.
But ill stick to what stands out most, the details. The original recipe for Aqua Vitae was found in the Red Book of Ossory, and in Latin, actually not just Latin – compound Latin, which is the same as short handwriting today in English. Now I’m not entirely sure if your Latin is up to par with mine but compound Latin is equivalent to an Irishman trying to figure out strong hand Chinese writing for the first time.
There are only so many institutions or people in the world today that can properly and accurately transcribe old school Latin. Chris Hennessy remarked, “ it was a huge challenge, one that would not run the course of a week or two, there were various difficulties in the transcribing, such so, there were instances that led us to the bible to try and find units of measurements and certain botanicals or roots that would have been used, or even what these botanicals were previously referred to as”. Many of us would faint at the sheer workload involved here.
No, absolutely not, not until all 93 tinctures (of individual flavors) that were developed are properly balanced and integrated together to form a version of the final product, from scratch, by Chirs & Jarrod using nothing but their eye, taste, and experience. There were literally dozens of batches made up, maceration times on ingredients changed to allow more flavor profiles through to the drinker and pull back on some of the more obvious flavor profiles. From this point, Chris states “ I wanted every single component in the profile to be recognizable and acknowledged by the drinker”.
While the recipe is, of course, a closely coveted secret, I can tell you some of the ingredients involved. If you’ve had the pleasure of trying Aqua Vitae then you may have picked up on its rich use of botanicals. Cloves, Raisins, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mace, Saffron, Spikenard, Grain of Paradise, and of course pot still new make, which leads the way to the cracked black pepper and white pepper spiciness, are just some of the ingredients used in the recipe.
Long story short ( er ), three and a half years, yes 3 – 1/2 years, from conception to release is what it took to get this project from the basic idea to batch 1 release. And now, approaching a batch 3 release ( thank you Covid – 19 for the delay ), Aqua Vitae has perfected its recipe.
What we have to understand here is that, upon initial release, Aqua Vitae is telling a story. A 740-year story derived from 1324. According to Chris Hennessy, there are 300 years of information still missing in history archives before we even begin to get into Whiskey that reflects a current or 19th-century trend. Which begs the question, who is willing to go the distance to inform us? I think you already know. Watch this space….
Aqua Vitae can, of course, be enjoyed neat, which I’ve tried and is, in my opinion, a reflection of Christmas in a glass. But I would like to change it up from the norm, try this. Chris has been kind enough to forward the first Signature serve of Aqua Vitae. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Sláinte.