James Robertson reviews St Patrick’s Day whiskey for his drinks blog.
THERE was a brief moment on Sunday watching the rugby unfold that I thought maybe, just maybe we – as in Scotland – were going to get our hands on the Triple Crown. But as in years past that moment disappeared as the men in green ran us ragged in the final twenty.
So, onto next weekend and Dublin will be a sea of green not only as Ireland go for the Grand Slam but it is also Saint Patrick’s Day on 17 March. Amazingly Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival.
One thing I did not know was in fact he was born in Roman Britain, kidnapped by raiders from Ireland and sold as a slave. Having worked as a shepherd he eventually escaped back home, only to return as a priest to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the “snakes” out of Ireland, maybe the “snakes” were in fact the raiders?
What better to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and also a possible Grand Slam for the men in green than a couple of Irish whiskies?
The Harvest is part of the Irishman range. Bottled at 40%, it is a combination of 70% single malt and 30% single pot still whiskey, and is triple distilled. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels, it is quite subdued on the nose initially but there is a lovely vanilla note, spice and pear drops. On the taste, the balance of vanilla, spice, barley, and baked bananas is well integrated, which really opens up with a touch of water. £36 Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt, Berry Brothers & Rudd, The Whisky Shop.
Writers Tears Copper Pot is a marriage of single malt and aged pot still whiskies, triple distilled and non-peated. Maturation takes place in American oak ex-bourbon barrels. The whiskey itself has a rich gold colour; on the nose there are hints of ginger spice, vanilla pods, butterscotch and barely sugar. On the palate there is sweet barley, brandy snaps, toffee apple with a lovely rounded finish. £35 Master of Malt, Waitrose, The Whisky Exchange.
Read more of James’ reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.
Plus, don’t miss James’ Wine to Dine column in the April issue of Scottish Field magazine.