A couple of weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of joining a #tweetasting with Steve Rush (@thewhiskywire) and Walsh Whiskey (@walshwhiskey). It consisted of two expressions of The Irishman and two expressions of Writers’ Tears, and this particular review is of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve.
The Irishman Founder’s Reserve is the brand’s original and signature blend, and it consists of two styles, 70% Single Malt and 30% Single Pot Still. The result is a more flavoursome whiskey, and it is triple distilled, matured in bourbon casks and finished in Caribbean Rum casks.
The nose on this whiskey is light, fruity and sweet. It is a bit shy, and it feels like it is holding back. I am finding fresh laundry on the nose, a slightly waxy, soapy note, pastries, gentle oak spice, ripe tropical fruits – mainly pineapple, soft vanilla and used coffee grounds. I am not sure if my mind is playing tricks on me or what, but I am also getting a whiff of dunnage on the nose.
To me, the alcohol feels a little bit aggressive in the Founder’s Reserve. It comes off as quite spicy on my palate, leaving my throat with that familiar and warming chilli sting. It has prominent oak notes, which gives this whiskey a bitterness that is a little bit over the top for me. Following the oak, I find notes of overly ripe pineapple, lush pineapple jam, caramelised cane sugar, fresh coconut, vanilla latte with coconut milk – vanilla, coffee and coconut notes, and lilacs? These floral notes always seem to confuse me. Once again, I am getting spent coffee grounds in the far back.
Let us talk about the finish for a second. It is on the shorter side. As expected, I am getting the same prominent wood notes; the taste of oak is dancing on my tongue. I am also left with vanilla and caramel, leaning heavily towards the bitter end of the scale. Again with spent coffee grounds and finishing off with the strangest tasting note to date; new plastic wrapping.
It is no secret that I am not very fond of rum cask finishes, so I am not exactly sure what I think about this whiskey or how to convey it. The Irishman Founder’s Reserve is a nice whiskey, but it does not leave an impression on me as I find it a bit anonymous.
Caribbean Cask Finish
ABV: 46 %
In 1999, husband and wife, Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, established Walsh Whiskey as a family business dedicated to playing a part in the revival of Irish whiskey – and they are behind two super-premium, award-winning whiskeys: The Irishman and Writers’ Tears.
A huge thanks to Steve Rush and Walsh Whiskey for kindly sending me this sample.
Tasting notes and opinions about this release are strictly my own.