A taste of the Wicklow Mountains

Last week I got an email from Sean at Glendalough Distillery informing me that they were about to launch a Pot Still Whiskey.  He asked would I like to receive a bottle of it, to try it out before the launch date, which is today! There was of course only one answer to that.

Eh….. Yes Seán, I would!!

Monday came and there was a knock on the door, and there was Kevin from the Glendalough Distillery standing in front of me with a fantastic looking package containing the new Pot Still and it was ALL for me!

*I have since promised several samples to several people and the bottle is almost gone!!

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The package delivered from Glendalough Distillery

Included in this wonderful pack was a bottle of the Pot Still Whiskey, a Tuath glass with the Glendalough Distillery logo etched into it and some fabulous coasters, which Kevin told me were made from the Irish Oak trees that the casks were made from to house this Pot Still liquid.

Glendalough say that they had this spirit made under contract and to their very own recipe and specification. As time passes, pot still liquid from within their own distillery will make up more and more of what’s in the bottle.

This particular release sees the distillate first matured in alligator-chared ex-bourbon casks for 3 years and then transferred into virgin Irish oak casks for just under a year. The guys at Glendalough are incredibly proud that these casks were made from trees that they sustainably harvested themselves, in the Wicklow Mountains, Jacks Wood Clara Village to be precise. This was done as part of a ‘Continuous Cover Forest Management System’ scheme and this is something that is very important to them all. The trees used are around 130 years old and they must be positioned in close proximity to each other so that light can then access the area in which they cleared to assist with new growth. As part of the management scheme the guys at Glendalough plant seven new tress for every one that they cut down.

There is of course a reason behind all this effort and that is – Taste!

Glendalough Distillery opted for Irish oak due to the amount of flavour they feel you get from this particular type of wood. The growing season in Ireland results in Irish oak having a different structure to American or European oak and allows for a deeper exchange of liquid with the wood and they feel that this perfectly compliments their Pot Still whiskey.

A feature that comes with each bottle is the ability to fully trace where your bottle came from. Included on the label are details of Tree No., Batch No., Cask No. and Bottle No. You can then head over to their website using the details found on the tag around each bottle neck, enter your details and watch a short video all about your bottle! A really great touch, one that adds to the whole experience and here’s mine: David’s bottle

With each bottle packed with info and references to Cask, Batch and Tree it got me thinking was this a release that I would be blogging about under the ‘Collecting’ tab on my site so I decided I better look into this! I put a call into Seán today who informed that as part of this process they felled 14 trees which resulted in 50 casks and an estimated release of 21,000 bottles. With this in mind I think there are two routes for the collectors out there. You could go by tree number which would be a nice achievable figure of 14 bottles or you could loose the run of yourself altogether and go for the 50 different casks! Now that would be some collection! I’ll let you decide…..

I’m opening this one so time to break that seal and try it:

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Glendalough Pot Still Irish Whiskey finished in virgin Irish Oak

Glass used: The Tuath

ABV: 43%

Nose: Not at all young on the nose which would have been fair enough to expect given its only 4 years old. Nice spice notes with dried fruits like raisin. On second pour and nose there is something sweet there and its reminiscent of a childhood sweet, can’t quite put my finger on it but I like it!

Palate: A lovely mouth coating from this. Some nice spice on the palate and not overpowering, very pleasant in fact. Dried fruits make an appearance. The sweetness is there again and the influence from the Irish oak is just enough to make you realise this is different.

Finish: The finish is long and there is a lovely note left sitting on the plate that’s telling me to pour another one right away!

Overall: I really like this and so does Mrs Dave’s Irish Whiskey as she’s sipping on a glass here beside me! There is a lovely influence from the Irish oak that makes it stand out and at €56 RRP it’s a winner in my eyes and I’ll be adding more to the shelf in the coming weeks.

The Glendalough Irish Pot Still Whiskey is available to purchase on the distillery website and from Celtic Whiskey Shop until November 25th when it will go on general release.

*As is quite obvious from the opening paragraph of this review this bottle was gifted to me by the good folk at Glendalough Distillery. This has not influenced my review in any way and all my thoughts and tasting notes (limited as they are) are my own and genuine.

Sláinte,

Dave

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