By Father John Rayls
A good, interesting Irish Whiskey is a brush up against an ancient history. If we are to believe the cliches, it was the Irish that saved Western civilization and I like to imagine it was a combination of St Patrick and Irish Whiskey that really did the job. Tipperary Boutique Selection Watershed Single Malt Irish Whiskey is, for now, a sourced and limited release whiskey. (Tipperary Distillery is contracting with other Boutique Distilleries in the area for its stock until the distillery is fully operational). Each release is taken from six casks and bottled at 94 Proof by hand. It is all taken from first-fill ex-bourbon casks and personally supervised by Stuart Nickerson, the Master Malt. Even though this distillery is new, it is already garnering awards and putting itself on the map. They recently grabbed a double gold from The San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This whiskey is released as a NAS (no age statement). The water used to cut the whiskey is taken from the Ballindoney Farm in Tipperary.
The color is a beautiful gold with polished brass highlights as the sun passes through the whiskey. The legs are readily apparent as they are prolific and quickly appear as thin and somewhat runny. The nose is of subtle to medium intensity and filled with aromas of sweet fresh fruit (honey dew) and oak. But it wasn’t just oak. As a kid who spent many hours in lumber yards scavenging scrap lumber for camp fires, the aromas brought back many interesting images of fresh cut trees and saw dust. This nose isn’t great, but it is very interesting.
The palate experience was surprising. The first sip took over the entire mouth from front to back and top to bottom. It drank a little hot and had a very thin mouthfeel. There were flavors of sweet fruit, oak, vanilla and some light cinnamon way in the back that quickly turned to pepper. However, this part of the tasting took place very rapidly as it was almost immediately replaced by an assertive finish that announced its presence with some authority. The finish presented itself while continuing the flavor profile, but allowed the pepper to transition to white pepper. It was a long, long fantastic finish that appeared slightly hot. It was totally unexpected and lifted a “B” experience whiskey into an “A” experience. It just simply wouldn’t quit. It made for a very slow sipping opportunity because you didn’t want to miss any part of the finish.
Keep your eye on this Irish Boutique Distillery. Tipperary Boutique Selection Watershed Single Malt Irish Whiskey will continue to evolve as the Tipperary Distillery continues to come online. Even as a sourced whiskey, this Irish Whiskey is fun and interesting. The retail price point will be under the $70.00 mark. Consider keeping this on your shelf to provide some interesting contrast to your normal offerings.