Here we find ourselves drinking Slane Irish Whiskey in October. Normally I save all my Irish whiskey for March, but I figured it would be fun to break with tradition a bit since this is a non-traditional Irish whiskey. I’m still going to attempt to do a whole month of Irish Whiskey in a few months, so don’t worry about that… if you were.
In Slane Castle’s Words: Slane Irish Whiskey
“For its introductory expression, top quality mature spirits from across Ireland were sourced, including Single Malt and Single Grain whiskeys. They were divided for further aging between three distinct cask types:
1. Heavily toasted, lightly charred virgin oak from Brown-Forman’s cooperages lends toasted oak, vanilla and chocolate notes
2. Seasoned oak that formerly held American whiskey imbues flavors of caramel, plum, butterscotch and banana
3. Oloroso Sherry casks from Spain impart notes of raisin, spice and tree nuts
The whiskeys were then carefully blended to create an exceptionally complex, smooth Irish whiskey with a distinct and memorable flavor profile. In particular, aging in virgin oak is unusual in Irish whiskey. It adds another dimension to the whiskey and makes it a more versatile spirit.”
Two questions arise from reading the above. Who does Slane Irish Whiskey source from and why did they say American Whiskey for the “Seasoned barrels”. The latter is pretty easy; since Brown-Forman owns them most, if not all, of the “Seasoned” barrels would be coming from Jack Daniels – if it was all Old Forester barrels they could just say ex-Bourbon. The second question is a bit tougher at first glance, but luckily I was able to chat with someone who works for the distillery.
Really there are only three distilleries who would have the supply to create the Slane Irish Whiskey. Cooley, Midleton (Jameson) and Bushmills. Neither one is letting a lot of whiskey out into NDP hands these days so I asked the rep a couple of questions to narrow down who of the three it was. Questions like “single pot-still?”, “twice or triple distilled”, etc. In the end they couldn’t say the name, but based on the answers (and the taste) I’m 99% sure the source of the whiskey is Bushmills.
Now on to the Slate Irish Whiskey Review!
Slane Irish Whiskey Info
Distiller: Unknown (my guess is Bushmills)
Bottler: Slane Castle
Composition: Irish Single Malt + Irish Grain Whisky
Cask: Virgin Oak, ex-Sherry, “Seasoned” barrels (ex-Jack & ex-Old Forester)
Age: NAS (3+ years)
Slane Irish Whiskey Review
Butterscotch, honied fruit, cinnamon, oily nuts, and a light bit of sherry, taffy and hay.
Nice slow roll of butterscotch, honey, fruity taffy, nuts and a bit of sherry, cocoa, malt and a bit of grain.
Medium fade of sherry, grain, fruit and cinnamon. Until the finish the sherry is subtle, but it really pops on the fade.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good sense of balance, medium body and a soft easy feel.
Slane Irish Whiskey is good. It’s a young, 40%, chill-filtered, Irish blend so it’s not going to bring you to your knees in delight, but it’s good. It’s well crafted, has a perfectly pleasant aroma and flavor and carries a unique profile in the Irish Whiskey world due to its triple cask maturation. It likely goes without saying that I would love to try this at a higher proof and NCF, but even in its current state, it’s an easy whiskey to sip and savor – especially at its $30 price point.
SCORE: 84/100 (B)
*Disclosure: This Slane Castle Irish Whiskey was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.