Named after one of the previous owners of the Old Kilbeggan Distillery (halfway between Dublin and Galway) this is a single malt and bottled at 40%. Light gold in colour with Citrus fruits, vanilla and honey on the nose, probably best summed up as biscuity. Tasting offered a very distinct almond taste with some sweetness reminiscent of a macaroon biscuit, some maltiness there as well and very smooth on the palate. A medium finish - quite sweet with some saltiness right at the end. Interestingly Locke’s is a combination of peated and unpeated whiskies, but no-one present identified any peatiness.
Named after a famous racehorse this is a non-age statement single malt whisky, double distilled and bottled at 40% and, like the Locke’s, a light gold in colour. Interesting aromas of vanilla, acetone and honeysuckle (someone said!). Some warmth in the mouth with hints of apple and a flavour identified by some as “sponge cake” - maybe a little on the bland side. A medium, drying, finish with some pepper at the end.
Bushmills 10 yr is from the only distillery in Northern Ireland. With history stretching back to 1608 they have a heritage to be proud of (even if they didn't actually become an official distillery until 1784)
This is an easy to drink crowd pleaser. It is simple, light and goes down very easily. Whilst that is all good, it means it lacks depth and complexity if that it what you seek.
Nose is light, fruity, sweet with banana. On the palate it is clean, fruity and smooth. Floral and easy drinking. You can tell it has been triple distilled from its soft mouthfell and smooth texture. The finish is short but moreish. I would say its best feature is the nose.
The Teeling distillery is the first new distillery in Dublin for over 125 years. Their single malt expression is a vatting of 5 different wine cask finish whiskeys (Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon) bottled at 46% (now we’re getting there!). As all the different finishes come from the same distillery this is termed a “single malt”. The nose is very pleasing with notes of vanilla, some Bakewell tart type jamminess and citrus fruits. Slight oiliness to the plate with some marmalade and some spice. Rounded off by a medium length finish of slight sweetness and slight saltiness.
I don’t know what this one was named after – I could hazard a guess, but it would probably be wrong! Redbreast was Jim Murrays Irish whiskey of the year in 2010 (96/100) and is produced at the old Midleton distillery using one of the few Irish single pot stills. Bottled at 40% and a dark gold in colour. A lovely sherried nose with vanilla and dark fruits, some berries, some hay, some oats. The smooth sherry comes through in the taste with the characteristic dark fruits and caramel. The finish is long with a lingering sweetness.
he name originated from the distiller’s practice of marking casks of different ages with a daub or spot of coloured paint. Although this is a NAS whiskey it is allegedly made from a mixture of 8-9YO whiskeys with 25% finished in a sherry cask. Green Spot was described by Jim Murray as "unquestionably one of the world's great whiskeys." Light gold in colour and bottled at 40%. The nose gives up citrus and floral notes and green apple. A rich and full bodied taste with vanilla, spiciness and sherry sweetness followed by a long slightly spicy finish.
Of the 6 bottles on the night they clearly fell into 2 groups with Teeling, Green Spot and Redbreast in a class of their own.
When asked to vote, each member ranks the bottles from first to last (1-6) with 1 point for last and 6 points for first.
1. Teeling 53 points
2. Green Spot 50 points
3. Redbreast 46 points
4. Bushmills 29 points
5. Tyrconnell 15 points
6. Lockes 14 points
So, the winner is.... Teeling.
A well deserved winner with some stiff competition.
Tasting Notes by Sean McCarrick