Colour: Deep Copper.
Nose: Honey, honey and more honey, oak, malt, apple, lemonade, butter tarts, baking spices and Caramilk.
Taste: Apple, honey, vanilla, baking spices and Caramilk.
Finish: Almost as long as the movie.
When Martin Scorcese sought to make his film “The Irishman”, he rounded up an all-star cast: Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci. Some may have felt that the Lord-Of-The-Rings-Trilogy length of the film made it a little hard for some to sit through; however, I enjoyed it immensely. It was even nominated for eight Oscars but was shut out. Yet, that wasn’t the only “The Irishman” that was getting noticed at the time. The difference here was that this other “Irishman” didn’t have a wonderful cast of characters but rather, wonderful casks of character.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you:
Walsh Whiskey’s 2018 Release of The Irishman – Cask Strength Small Batch Whiskey.
(Cue polite applause.)
The unique thing about the Cask Strength is that there are variations on its yearly release. The one we’re tasting is the 2018 expression with a limited release of 3716 bottles worldwide (Ours is number 2660). Like Scorcese finding the right elements to bring the chemistry he’s looking for, this Irishman is a blend of single malt and single pot still whiskies that are aged in hand-picked, first fill bourbon casks by Bernard Walsh of Walsh Whiskey Distillery Co.
Being at cask strength, you’d think that the 54% abv would smack you upside the head in the delivery. Not here. The abv doesn’t get in the way at all. It’s not the star here. In fact, it’s quite content in playing a supporting role and letting all the flavours take the spotlight. And shine they do. On the nose, honey gets top billing here with all kinds of other notes making cameo appearances – from apple and vanilla to unexpected entrances from butter tart and pieces of Caramilk. Moving to the second act, the tasting again has the cask strength not getting in the way of this delicious story. Granted, it has a bit more dialogue, but it still lets all the notes deliver the best lines. As for the finale? Sure, it’s as long as Martin Scorcese’s “The Irishman” but here’s the thing: It doesn’t drag on tediously, there’s no overacting and it doesn’t ask for more curtain calls in a whiskey diva kind of way. This whiskey has a long, rich and captivating story from beginning to end.
Some movies you watch once, and that’s it. Others you can watch over and over again and get the same enjoyment as if you were watching it for the first time. And, if movies were whiskey, “The Irishman” most definitely fits in the latter category. I think Martin Scorcese would approve. Cheers.