By Father John Rayls
I will issue my apology right up front because I had made some erroneous assumptions concerning Barr an Uisce 1803 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey. It was a “Holy Cow!” moment when I discovered two full bottles of their Irish whiskey sitting on my doorstep. At the same time, it was an “Oh No!” moment thinking the company might be trying to influence this reviewer through their generosity in sending two full bottles of two different whiskeys from their distillery. I am truly sorry. This is a very interesting Irish whiskey. If you already enjoy Irish whiskey, you’re going to enjoy the 1803 Single Malt. I enjoy a good Irish whiskey as an interesting alternative to my normal bold bourbon tastes.
Barr an Uisce (“bar on ishka”) literally means “above the water”. The Irish monks, early pioneers in the art of whiskey distilling, called their product “the water of life” (“uisce beatha”). It is also the Irish name of the town (Barraniskey) near the heart of the County of Wicklow, the home of the distillery. Ian Jones, founder of Barr an Uisce, is from Redcross which is just south of Barraniskey. The copper colored cross still stands in the graveyard in Redcross. Its image also appears on each bottle. Their whiskey is meant to celebrate “all that is beautiful in Wicklow and Ireland” and its culture, history and lands. The whiskey is literally cut with water from the well located on the Jones family land.
The appearance is a beautiful medium gold. Imagine an oak leaf in mid October in New Hampshire and you have the beautiful color in mind. The label is also done very well and contributes to an attractive overall appearance. The legs are readily apparent, but more on the thin side. The nose is soft and yet very inviting. There are notes of roasted nuts, honey, fresh fruit (melon) and some light vanilla in the background. There is no alcohol burn even at 92 proof. There is a wonderfully light creamy mouthfeel with notes of light lemon and ginger on a vanilla base. You may also pick up some light fresh fruit flavors. The finish is satisfyingly long with pepper and carmelized oak. It’s a spicey finish with the entire experience located near the back of the mouth. This is an easy drinking very enjoyable Irish whiskey. Take your time with this whiskey and simply enjoy the finish.
Without question, drink this whiskey neat.
1803 is a 10-year-old single malt Irish whiskey whose namesake is inspired by the year in which St. Patrick’s Church of Barraniskey was built, according to Barr an Uisce. It’s currently retailing at 79.99; although, you may find it for less if you’re diligent. This is a very interesting whiskey that’s well worth your time and your money. If you haven’t ventured into the Irish whiskeys, this is the place to start.