We were talking recently about secrets and transparency in the whisky industry… And it’s not just in Scotland, it happens elsewhere as well. For instance, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, that we’ve reviewed quite a lot of whiskies from in these pages, has bottled several batches of secret Irish whiskey. In today’s case, some Irish single malt. And with the age of these whiskies, we might have a good guess about which distillery is behind the Irish Single Malt Whisky #2 distillery at TBWC…
There Was a Time in a Galaxy Not Far Away…
Twenty years ago, even 15 years ago, there were only three whisky distilleries left in Ireland: Bushmills, Cooley and Middleton. That reduces the possibilities of the distillery these whiskeys are from… Midleton does not make single malt commercially, so we can already rule them out. Only Bushmills and Cooley produced single malt before the birth of all those new distilleries. Cooley started in 1987 so they can fit, as well as Bushmills, which started in … 1608. The difference between those distilleries is that Cooley does double distillation, and Bushmills does triple. We’ll see if we’re able to guess how many distillations occurred!
Single Malt Irish Whiskey #2 Batch 6 15-year-old TBWC Review
We start with the batch 6 of Boutique-y’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey #2. This is a 15-year-old matured in refill bourbon casks and released in early 2021. Bottled in their usual 50 cl bottles, the 1900 bottles were filled at 50.2% ABV, non-chill filtered nor coloured. Bottles are sold out but samples are available at MoM in the UK, and they’re still available for €105 to €110 in some German shops.
Neat: There are prominent notes of orchard fruits, vanilla, and malt. There are also hints of brown sugar and mint, adding a subtle sweetness and refreshing character. Overall, the nose is a bit shy unfortunately.
With water: Adding a few drops of water brings out additional notes of melon and pear.
Neat: The palate presents a sweet arrival, with flavours of vanilla and honey leading the way. The mouthfeel becomes drying as spices come to the forefront, with ginger and pepper adding a spicy kick. There is also a soft oak spiciness present, along with flavours of apricot and pear. The sweetness is balanced by a hint of salted caramel, followed by some wood bitterness.
With water: When water is added, the palate becomes fruitier, with flavours of green and red apples, peach, pineapple, and orange emerging. These flavours combine with the spicy and oaky notes to create a well-balanced and more complex palate.
The finish is long and quite peppery, with flavours of malt, apricot, and pineapple leading the way. There is also a hint of wood and vanilla present.
Shy on the nose at first, it surprises you on the palate as it’s fruitier and stronger than what the nose let go. Then you add water, and more and more fruits are revealed. These flavours and aromas combine to create a rich, nuanced nose. The finish provides a good balance between the spicy and fruity flavours and lingers on the palate for a good amount of time. Very good!
Single Malt Irish Whiskey #2 Batch 7 29-Year-Old TBWC Review
Then, we move up to batch 7 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey #2. The age is almost double of batch 6 as this seventh batch features a 29-year-old age statement. It was a way smaller batch of 418 bottles, filled like the batch 6 at 50.2% ABV, without added caramel nor chill filtration, and still in 50 cl bottles. Still available at MoM for £285 or in Germany at Whisky-Maniac for about €300 for instance.
Neat: The nose presents a bounty of fruit aromas, with tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, guava, and kiwi fruit leading the way. There are also orchard fruits like apricot and peach. The fruit aromas are balanced by hints of toffee, vanilla, and molasses. There are also hints of mint and liquorice, adding a refreshing and slightly spicy touch to the nose.
With water: When a few drops of water are added, the nose becomes more biscuity, with aromas of tea biscuits, shortbread, and toffee coming to the fore.
Neat: The palate presents a very fruity arrival, with tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, and kiwi once again. Like on the nose, there are also orchard fruits like apricot and peach, adding a sweet and juicy character to the palate. The fruit flavours are balanced by a range of spices, including clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon, as well as a pinch of pepper. There are also flavours of toffee and a light wood bitterness present. As the flavours unfold, hints of mint and herbaceous notes like wet grass and moss come to the fore, adding a refreshing and earthy character.
With water: The palate becomes more influenced by rum, with ripe banana and funk coming to the front.
The finish is long and lingering, with the fruit flavours from the palate lasting for a good amount of time. There is also a hint of toffee and mulled wine spices present.
The aromas on the nose, a combination of fruit and sweet notes, create a rich and complex nose. The same combination applies on the palate, with the addition of a wider range of spices, making it a really delicious indulgence on the palate. The finish is well balanced, with a nice interplay between the fruity and spicy flavours once again. Overall, this is a stunning old Irish Whiskey, it really makes me want to try more of those… And if only they weren’t that expensive, I’d buy a case of this secret… Bushmills?
But Don’t Trust Our Word For It…
Samples courtesy of Dave Worthington, Boutique-y Whisky’s brand ambassador. Thanks my good friend!