The Irishman Founder’s Reserve is a nice, unique, whiskey that blends together the two types of malt whiskey made on the Emerald Isle: Single Pot Still and Single Malt. In Scotland all malt blends are fairly common but they don’t make a Single Pot Still (malted + un-malted barley) in Scotland so this is a product that can only come from Ireland.
The components inside the blend itself are also pretty interesting. At 70/30 the Single Malt is acting like the grain component found in your typical blended whiskey where it makes up the bulk of the liquid and the Single Pot Still is playing the typical role of the single malt and adding the flavor the grain is meant to stretch out. Conceptually interesting let’s see how it performs in the Irishman Founder’s Reserve review below.
Whiskey Review: Irishman Founder’s Reserve
In Walsh Whiskey’s Words: Irishman Founder’s Reserve
“The Founder’s Reserve is a unique take on the old Irish Pot Still Whiskey and is the original and signature blend created by founder Bernard Walsh. It is a blend of two styles, Single Malt and Single Pot Still. The proportions used are 70% Single Malt and 30% Single Pot Still. This is unusual in itself, as it is the only Irish blended whiskey to contain 100% whiskey distillates from the copper pot still and 0% Grain or Column still whiskey. This results in a much more flavoursome whiskey. The Founder’s Reserve is triple distilled and matured in Bourbon Casks. A Gold Medal Winner at The International Spirits Challenge in London, one of the highest rated Irish Whiskey’s in Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible with 93 points – “Quite a Wonderful Blend” and most recently awarded Gold at “The Whiskey Masters” as overall winner in “The Irish Whiskey Category”. Quite simply an amazing Whiskey!”
Irishman Founder’s Reserve price, ABV, age and other details
Distiller: Possibly Bushmills and Midleton
Bottler: Walsh Whiskey
Mash Bill: 100% barley (malted and un-malted)
Blend: 70% Single Malt and 30% Single Pot Still
Cask: ex-Bourbon and ex-Marsala
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Irishman Founder’s Reserve Tasting Notes
Figs, cocoa, hay-like malt, waxy, dried dark fruit, copper, dried apricots and light spice.
Heavy malt, figs, cocoa, cinnamon oil, dried fruit, copper and a light bit of mushroom earthiness.
Long -> Figs, smalt, earthy and spice.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Great balance, full body and a lightly oily feel.
Irishman Founder’s Reserve Review – OVERALL
Irishman Founder’s Reserve carries a dense presence across the senses: Starting heavy dark and fruity on the aroma before moving to earthier rustic and spicy notes on the palate with a strong note of figs from nose to finish. This is a remarkably good whiskey that’s helped along by the use of the Florio Marsala cask finishing and the 47% ABV and non-chill filtering.
The Irish tradition is to create these honied fruit blends that are bottled at 40% and chill-filtered making them so light they nearly float out of the glass and I couldn’t be happier to see whiskeys like the Irishman Founder’s Reserve bucking that trend. Irish whiskey is a truly delicious, complex and inviting spirit: it’s just been a bit mistreated over the years.
SCORE: 88/100 (B+)
*Disclosure: This Irishman Founder's Reserve sample was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.