Tag Archives: Irish Whiskey

WHISKEY DREAMS – KNAPPOGNUE CASTLE 12 YEAR

This single malt Knappognue Castle 12 Year is finished in bourbon barrels, and was first produced in 1998, at the Cooley Distillery. In 2011, Beam Inc. purchased Cooley for $95,000,000, so someone walked away with just short of 100 million dollars. In my area, this Knappognue Castle 12 Year costs approximately $50, but prices vary every time I shop, so there could be big differences between my price and what you see at your local whiskey/bourbon reseller.

The nose is pleasantly filled with sweet vanilla and butter cookies.

The palate is sweet vanilla and spice that ends with a bit of pepper from the time the whiskey spent in the bourbon barrels.

I can’t help but compare this to Tyrconnel’s Single Malt. Tyrconnel doesn’t have an age statement, but they are within $5 of each other, and I honestly found the Tyrconnel and this Knappognue Castle 12 Years to be quite similar. I think I need to buy another bottle of each and do a blind tasting, because my memory is blurring the two together. Which means that this and Tyrconnel’s Single Malt are tied with an 87/100.

I may go back and update both the Tyrconnel’s Single Malt and this score, because I think a head to head is worth it for a tie breaker in the future.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year – Empty Bottle

Pros

  • Intoxicating vanilla and spice.
  • I love the buttery cookies this brings out on the tongue.

Cons:

  • The time spent in the bourbon barrels seems to have left a bit of pepper on the aftertaste that takes away from the rest of the experience.
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80 / 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65 / 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$49 / 750ml
Knappognue Castle 12 Year87$55 / 750ml
Green Spot86$75/ 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey84$30 / 750ml
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition83$50 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Four Roses Small Batch76$30 / 750ml
Manhattan Legent75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Redbreast Lustau 12 Year Old70$80/ 750ml
Manhattan - Bulleit Bourbon69$28 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Elija Craig Small Batch66$27 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey65$35 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
GlenGoyne 12 Year42$75/ 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50 / 750ml
American XXX Born35$26 / 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90 / 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

WHISKEY DREAMS – TYRCONNEL SINGLE MALT

This Tyrconnel Single Malt is distilled at the Kilbeggan distillery. This single malt is named after a horse, named of course Tyrconnel, who came from behind to win the National Produce Stakes horse race, or that is at least the lore that surrounds the whiskey. While this was intended as a single release, it was so popular they couldn’t stop producing it. (I wasn’t there in 1876, so I’m pretty much going by what the distillery is saying here.)

Tyrconnel is a mild gold color and the nose is sweet, light, and filled with vanilla and spice. The nose is very pleasing.

The mouth feel is light, and trails off just a tiny big from the nose. If the taste stood up to the nose this would be a contender against Redbreast. The taste is bursting with vanilla sweetness and buttery cookies, calls for your mouth to take the next sip even as the first is being swallowed, which is where this single malt gets dinged a few points. Tyrconnel has a mild, but noticeable aftertaste that turns that lovely spice into something just a bit stringent. Not unpleasant, but not endearing either.

Still, this is a quality sipper, and scores a very respectable 87/100. I plan on replacing the bottle I finished this week while travelling. One of the advantages of being on holiday is you can drink every day if you want.

Pros

  • All sweet butter cookies and vanilla.
  • Satisfies a craving for Redbreast as $25 to $30 cheaper per bottle.
  • Once you open the bottle each dram call to you to drink another.

Cons:

  • Mild, but noticeable aftertaste.
  • Once you open the bottle each dram call to you to drink another.
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80 / 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65 / 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$49 / 750ml
Knappognue Castle 12 Year87$55 / 750ml
Green Spot86$75/ 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey84$30 / 750ml
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition83$50 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Four Roses Small Batch76$30 / 750ml
Manhattan Legent75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Redbreast Lustau 12 Year Old70$80/ 750ml
Manhattan - Bulleit Bourbon69$28 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Elija Craig Small Batch66$27 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey65$35 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
GlenGoyne 12 Year42$75/ 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50 / 750ml
American XXX Born35$26 / 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90 / 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

WHISKEY DREAMS – KilBeggan Traditional irish Whiskey

If you hadn’t noticed, I’m on an Irish Whiskey kick. So I ordered three bottles I’ve never had before, and the first one I choose was this Kilbeggan. I’d describe this as the budget Irish Whiskey.

I know that some of you might consider this to be subtle, but I thoroughly enjoyed this bottle of Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey, so much that I just ordered a bottle of Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey to see what $10 does.

The nose is sweet and reminds me of echos of Redbreast. Its like a fourth or fifth cousin, close enough to remind you of the resemblance, but clearly not a first order sibling.

The mouth feel is thin, sweet, and maybe except for that very first sip which has a bit of the burn from the oak tannins from the time the whiskey spent in the barrel. After that its all sweet and vanilla mixed with spice malt.

This Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey punches way above its price. For gatherings, tastings with friends who don’t know if they love whiskey, or any time where value is important, this is just a great choice. It is sippable, sweet and subtle, and earned an 84/100 for being such a great Irish Whiskey.

I plan on keeping a bottle of Kilbeggan on the shelf from now on. At this price point I don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying an extra dram now and then – or feel like I have to ration it because of how much it cost.

Pros

  • The price to quality can’t be beat here.
  • Kilbeggan is not Redbreast, but since I can buy 3.5 bottles of Kilbeggan for the price, that gives it a lot of value points.
  • The nose is sweet and gentle.
  • Sweet, vanilla, and spice all mixed together in malty goodness.
  • Subtle, perfect for those times you don’t want super strong flavors.

Cons:

  • The flavors are mild and fade on the tongue.
  • The oak from the barrel on that first sip is just a bit stringent? Is that the right word? Maybe its a bit burny? Is that a word? (Yes, I’m writing this 3 drams in.)
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80 / 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65 / 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$49 / 750ml
Knappognue Castle 12 Year87$55 / 750ml
Green Spot86$75/ 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey84$30 / 750ml
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition83$50 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Four Roses Small Batch76$30 / 750ml
Manhattan Legent75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Redbreast Lustau 12 Year Old70$80/ 750ml
Manhattan - Bulleit Bourbon69$28 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Elija Craig Small Batch66$27 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey65$35 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
GlenGoyne 12 Year42$75/ 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50 / 750ml
American XXX Born35$26 / 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90 / 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

WHISKEY DREAMS – Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey

I picked up this Powers Gold Label and was excited to try it as I’ve read several really positive reviews. Powers Gold Label  is 70% single pot still whiskey mixed with 30% sweet Grain Whiskey. It has the nose of a single pot still whiskey, and on face value, is half the cost of some of the best brands.

On paper that sounds amazing.

So how did it do in real life?

The nose reminded me of Redbreast, which made my mouth water. Redbreast is my all time favorite whiskey at the moment. The first sip was overpowered by the alcohol burn and spice, and then finished with a rye that just sticks to the back of my tongue and throat.

Needless to say I am not a huge fan of rye, so while this Powers Gold Label has an amazing nose, its a bit of a disappointment after that. The rye, spice, and alcohol burn make it less than I expected from the nose, and worst of all, this whiskey gave me a horrible hangover after drinking a few drams on Friday night.

The combination of all the above earned this Powers a 65/100, which means I’ll be saving it to make Irish Coffee and other mixed drinks after this.

Pros

  • Honey, lemon, and biscuit cookies on the nose.
  • Opens with hints of pepper and a little bit of alcohol burn.
  • Widely available, which means that if you enjoy Powers, it is usually easy to get.

Cons:

  • The rye in the blend sticks to the back of my tongue and throat in a way I don’t really enjoy.
  • I drank maybe 200ml over six hours, and I had a horrible hangover the next day. I can drink more than 200ml of many other whiskeys without feeling bad the next day. I have no idea why, but powers gives me horrible hangovers.
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80 / 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65 / 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$49 / 750ml
Knappognue Castle 12 Year87$55 / 750ml
Green Spot86$75/ 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey84$30 / 750ml
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition83$50 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Four Roses Small Batch76$30 / 750ml
Manhattan Legent75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Redbreast Lustau 12 Year Old70$80/ 750ml
Manhattan - Bulleit Bourbon69$28 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Elija Craig Small Batch66$27 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey65$35 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
GlenGoyne 12 Year42$75/ 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50 / 750ml
American XXX Born35$26 / 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90 / 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

WHISKEY DREAMS – JAMESON CASKMATES STOUT EDITION

This Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition is an interesting Irish Whiskey. It is made from reused barrels, which isn’t unusual, but what adds to the uniqueness is that the barrels are used to age Cork’s Franciscan Well Brewery stout before the Jameson goes in. This adds some very interesting notes of coffee, cocoa, and black licorice.

Caskmates Stout intrigued me and took a few sips for me to make sense of the mixture of flavors. The stout beer casks clearly impart a deepness that hides what I suspect to be a much cheaper whiskey. Is that a bad thing? Not really, but those deep flavors do end on a slightly bitter note that takes that nice mouth feel, and coffee/oak/cocoa, lose some of their magnificence. When you add in the cost I paid for this (which I hope i snot the normal price) – and there are better options at the price point, which costs this a few points on the final score.

All that being said, I did really enjoyed the Caskmates Stout, which earned it a 83/100. The sad part for me is that at $50 I’m not likely to buy another bottle, but if I see that anywhere in the $30’s and I’ll be buying two or three bottles.

Pros

  • The nose is subtle, and for me was a tease, as the flavor is much richer than the nose.
  • Lovely rich notes that end in a classic butterscotch Irish Whiskey finish.
  • Easy sipper.

Cons:

  • At the price I paid, there are better options.
  • The aftertaste is just slightly bitter.

BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80 / 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65 / 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$49 / 750ml
Knappognue Castle 12 Year87$55 / 750ml
Green Spot86$75/ 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey84$30 / 750ml
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition83$50 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Four Roses Small Batch76$30 / 750ml
Manhattan Legent75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Redbreast Lustau 12 Year Old70$80/ 750ml
Manhattan - Bulleit Bourbon69$28 / 750ml
Manhattan Knob Creek Small Batch69$30 / 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Manhattan 69$55/ 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Manhattan - Elija Craig Small Batch66$27 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey65$35 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
GlenGoyne 12 Year42$75/ 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50 / 750ml
American XXX Born35$26 / 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90 / 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml