bars ¡ drink
104 | squaremeal.co.uk
To keep things interesting, distilleries are
adopting a plethora of new approaches.
Ardbeg recently made headlines for receiving
back samples of whisky it sent into space in
2011 to investigate the e ect of gravity on
avour and maturation. Meanwhile, Japanese
brand Suntory had samples rocketing up to
the International Space Station in August.
And how about seasonal whisky? Up
in the Scottish Highlands, Dalwhinnie, the
country's highest working distillery, recently
launched its Winter's Gold, which is only
made between October and March, when
the distillery's characteristic heather honey
notes are slightly ampli ed. In a further twist,
Dalwhinnie suggests serving this whisky
straight from the freezer.
A sense of place is becoming increasingly
important for some brands too. The quirky
Islay distillery Bruichladdich has been busy
experimenting with terroir, and also with
di erent strains of barley - if you nd a bottle
of Bere Barley 2010 at the airport, pick it up.
While these experiments are in the early days,
a recent tasting highlighted some interesting
results, so watch this space...
ONE TO TRY:
Winter's Gold (43% abv)
A rich, sweet dram with a waxy mouthfeel
that boasts an immediate spice - dried chilli
akes and black pepper to be exact - before
some honeyed sweetness and rum 'n' raisin
to ee comes in. £39.49, masterofmalt.com
Gazing into my crystal ball I predict that Irish
whiskey will grow in popularity. As global
interest in all whiskies has increased, distillers
in Ireland have been ring up their stills and
reigniting the category.
"Irish whiskey used to be the most popular
spirit in the world," says Ciaran Du y, general
manager of The Sun Tavern, a bar in Bethnal
Green that specialises in these whiskies.
"America was the biggest customer, but then
Prohibition and the war of independence in
Ireland messed that up, as there was a ban on
importing Irish products."
The bottom fell out of the market for Irish
whiskey, and as recently as 2013, there were
only four distilleries operating in the country.
Since then, another seven have opened, with
a further 20 at planning stage. With time
required for the stocks to age in barrel before
release, it will be some years before we see
a proliferation of brands on the market, but
watch this space. "The great thing about
Irish whiskey is that it's a dynamic category,"
enthuses Du y. "The best place to start is
with a single pot still whiskey [made with a
combination of malted and unmalted barley],
which is only made in Ireland."
TWO TO TRY:
Power's John's Lane Release 12 Year Old
A single pot still whiskey that's a combination
of liquid aged in bourbon and oloroso sherry
casks. "It's non-chill- ltered, so it's a more
accurate depiction of the whiskeys they were
making back in the day," says Du y.
Bushmill's 16 Year Old Single Malt
A fabulous combination of whiskeys aged in
bourbon, oloroso sherry and port casks, this
unctuous liquid recalls black berry fruits as
well as gs, oranges and honey.