Monday, 11 February 2019

Side by side: Walsh Writer's Tears

Rather than review drams by themselves I'm doing a little series comparing some 'side by side'.
There may be two or more, they may be from the same or different distilleries, similar ages, ABVs and types or not as I decide!

This time we are reviewing two Writer's Tears drams from @WalshWhiskey distillery in Ireland.

Walsh Whisky was formed in 1999 by Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, they had supply agreements in place for the distilling and laying down of Irish whiskey stock to their specifications. In 2007 they launched The Irishman range of whiskies, and in 2009 the Writer's Tears range. In 2012 they decided to build their own distillery in Carlow in the South-East of Ireland and with support funding from the Italian drinks giant, Illva Saronno Holding they formed a partnership. In 2016 new make spirit started to flow from their pot and column stills.

Over the next couple of years the business flourished, then in January of 2019 came the surprising news, effective immediately, that the partnership was being split up, the Walsh's would take full control of the existing drinks brands business and the Italian's would take full ownership of the distillery. Apart from the line "The Irish and Italian Directors differ on how to develop the combined business into the future" little else in the way of news or reasoning has been forthcoming.

A sad end to the dream of the Walsh's to run their own distillery, but I'm sure with their contracts and contacts in the business The Irishman and Writer's Tears brands will continue into the future.

So let's try two of their drams.

DramWriter's Tears Copper PotWriter's Tears Cask Strength 2018
Characteristics40% ABV, Natural coloured, NCF53% ABV, Natural coloured, NCF
Distillery infoWriters’ Tears is a unique vatting of Aged Single Pot Still and Single Malt whiskey. Distilled entirely from Pot Still and Malt, without Grain. Writers’ Tears is triple distilled, non-peated and matured and aged in American Oak bourbon casks.

Nose: Flashes of apple with hints of vanilla and honey over a distinctively pot still base.

Palate: Gently spiced with a burst of ginger and butterscotch with background notes of toasted oak.

Finish: Long Elegant finish with subtle notes of milk chocolate and almonds.
A vatting of Single Pot Still and Single Malt, this is distilled 3 times and carefully aged in American Oak Casks. The 8th release of the super-premium Writers’ Tears Cask Strength whiskey is limited to 5,175 bottles worldwide.

Nose: Dark chocolate, rich blackberries, summer fruits and sweet barley.

Taste: Hints of butterscotch allude to complex tones of rich toasted wood, giving way to creamy oak and single pot still spice.

Finish: A bold and intense finish.
My thoughts: 

Lovely mid-gold colour in the glass, swirls cling well then fall as thin slow legs.

Similar mid-gold colour, gravity defying swirls tear up into a lovely inverted crown shape (wish I could take pictures of them....)
NoseLoads of apple, really surprisingly so!  Some honey and hints of milk chocolate.Initial nose is smoke, wondering if I'm trying the right dram! Develops into dunnage warehouse notes, with dark fruit - plums and prunes.
PalateLovely spicy arrival which continues through to the finish. The apple continues with a slight woody note with hints of vanilla, honey and nuts.Smooth oily tongue coating, lots of spice and a little sweetness. There's some tropical fruit notes, toffee and hints of strawberry jam.
FinishGentle spicy finish with honey and nut notes.Nice spicy finish, lots of oak with a little honey. Goes on for a while with a slightly drying effect. Nice!
OverallBoth lovely drams but at different ends of the spectrum. Copper Pot is an uncomplicated daily dram after a hard day at work, Cask Strength is that little special something on a Sunday night just to finish the weekend before you go back to work.
Both worth a bit of space on your whisky shelf.

Thanks to Andy for the samples!

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