The fine gentlemen at Trinity Hall opened their doors and tables to Mossie Power, brand ambassador for Tullamore DEW and us sods who love whiskey. Tullamore DEW just launched a limited release (only 2,500 cases) of Phoenix. The Phoenix is inspired by the resilience of the people of Tullamore, Ireland which is covered here.
The night started with some tasty appetizers and jovial conversation. After we got our first dram of the night, Tullamore DEW, Mossie Power got on stage and lead us in the Sláinte Gaelach Irish Toast:
“Here’s to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking. If you cheat, may you cheat death. If you steal, may you steal a woman’s heart. If you fight, may you fight for a brother. And if you drink, may you drink with me.”
It’s a good toast and a good dram. Tullamore DEW is a golden liquid that gives off fruity notes. On the drink, lemon and citrus are very forward in the taste with a slightest touch of spice on the backend. With a short finish, you want to take another sip right away. The overall mouth feel is very pleasant.
Tullamore is the only whisky that blends all three types of Irish whiskey: pure pot-still, malt and grain which is why it has a more complex flavor than many other Irish whiskeys.
Fun fact: Pure pot-still whiskey is largely unique to Irish whiskey. English taxed the Irish distilleries on how much barley they malted when they made whiskey. Irish distilleries decided to only malt half the barley in order to pay half the tax. The spicy flavors in Tullamore are said to come from this malting technique.
The next two drams of the night were both single malts: the Tullamore 10 and 12 year. The 10 year old matures in 4 different casks: sherry, port, bourbon and madura. Fruit was the first scent I detected with floral undertones. The drink had a slightly tropical fruit feel and with a nonabrasive spicy finish.
Oloroso Spanish sherry butts and Bourbon casks were used to create the 12 year. My dram gave off robust sherry and vanilla aromas. Fruity flavors were very evident with chocolate hints on the backend of the sip. Tullamore’s 12 year would make a great dessert after a meal and has a delightful oily texture.
Finally, the long awaited Tullamore DEW Phoenix is served! This expression of Tullamore is a blend of the three Irish whiskeys. One large difference is that the pure pot-still whiskey portion is aged 2 years in sherry casks before blending. Five minutes after of taking in the pleasant buttery and caramel aromas, I finally took a sip.
Sweet oily goodness filled my mouth as it finished spicy. Being 110 proof, the finish was overpowered by the alcohol. After adding a few drops of water, more sherry hints revealed themselves in the scent. The added water brought out the sweet flavors more and lessened the oily texture. The intense alcohol finish was largely diminished and spicy notes came through.
It’s hard not to like Tullamore DEW. The entry level is very easy to drink and quite pleasant (can you say daily drinker?) and the Phoenix is very inviting. Irish whiskey may have finally won me over.