Nose: Shortbread cookies, vanilla, coconut, hints of oak.
Taste: Sweet and malty, vanilla,
It’s official. I’ve combed through all the pages of the official Compendium of Rules, Regulations, Guidelines and Policies Regarding the History, Distilling, and Everything Else That Has To Do With Whisk(e)y.
Section 25, subsection ii clearly states that: you do not have to be in a southern rock band, a blues band, an Irish rock band or any version of Van Halen (Rest in Loud, Eddie.) to have a song about whisky in your repertoire. There certainly isn’t a shortage of whisky tunes to sing and hum along to. No more a famous example being. “Whisky In The Jar”.
True, whisky as a product class, has been and continues to be the subject of many a sonic lilt. Rarer still though, is when an actual whiskey is named after an actual song.
In Dublin’s fair city
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow
Through the streets broad and narrow
Crying “cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”
Ah but here comes the twist: the song was written by James Yorkton, a Scot and first published in the U.S. in 1833 (The compendium also mentions that whisky history can be totally circuitous.).
Anyway, between then and yesterday, I’m sure many a Dubliner and tourist have ambled out of a pub near closing time singing this ditty. Not only has Molly been statue-fied, she has now been whiskey-fied.
In today’s glass is a sip, or two, of Molly Malone Small Batch Irish Whiskey: a non-age statement blended whiskey at 40% abv. Straw coloured thanks to its time in second-fill bourbon casks, this whiskey is a pleasant Fall afternoon. It’s light and pleasant. It says “hello” sweetly with notes of shortbread cookies and vanilla. Hints of coconut and oak pop in there too, not to dominate the conversation, but rather to add a couple of items in the bullet list. The whiskey, I found, wasn’t edging over to the “complex” side, but that’s ok. I found that all that this whiskey wanted to do was put a smile on my face.
Tasting it, vanilla was predominant as well as a teeter-totter balanced between “sweet” and “malty”. The spiciness was just an echo, again being aged in second fill bourbon casks. Just a little reminder as it hit the back of the throat. The finish was a bright flash and then, not a hurried exit – more like the whiskey just remembered it had to be somewhere else.
“Light” and “pleasant” can be used here, but sometimes, I feel there’s a bit of pejorative connotation when such adjectives are used. It’s like starting a sentence with: “It’s ok, but… “. This is an enjoyable whiskey. The key being “enjoy”. While, as associate whisky travels, exploring whisky is what we love to do. Then again, putting your feet up, and watching the end of the day go by is a pretty good way to enjoy Molly Malone’s whiskey company. Cheers.