Even more exciting than our recent vacation in the deep South was receiving a very special sample bottle from Conor Hyde at Hibernia Distillery in Ireland, delivered safe and sound by the resort staff.
Irish Whiskey has been gaining momentum in popularity for years now with a lot of whisky enthusiasts hunting for unique and hand crafted Irish expressions over the usual big name brands.
There have not been a lot of independent distilleries on the landscape in Ireland for consumers to choose from. Cooley who championed themselves as “The Independent Spirit of Ireland” eventually sold into the hands of Beam then Suntory. Thankfully, the new management has continued the high quality work that John Teeling started in 1985. So up until 2013 there were only four operating distilleries in Ireland all owned by big companies.
With Irish Whiskey experiencing double digit growth there is now a rash of new distilleries opening which bodes well for a greater selection of Irish whiskey to be hitting shelves in the years to come.
Hyde President’s Cask 10 Year Old Irish Single Malt Whiskey is the first offering from Hibernia Distillers and is in the first instance sourced from Cooley after 10 years in Ex-Bourbon casks. Transported to West Cork it is then re-racked into Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks for a further 6 months before being cut down to 46% with West Cork Spring Water. No chill filtration or Caramel Coloring.
There are not a lot of choices on the market if you enjoy sherry influence in your Irish Whiskey so it was with excited anticipation that I popped the cork on this bottle and set to work discovering what Conor and Alan Hyde had put together.
HYDE Presidents Cask Irish Whiskey
Colour: Lovely rich amber a red hues, polished violin resin.
Nose: Immediate semi-sweet sherry with a backbone of vanilla bean and orange peel.
Palate: Full and malty with the semi-sweet dried fruit notes coming through, glazed figs, flamed citrus with a hint of savory spice…perhaps a faint dusting of white pepper.
Finish: Delicious and balanced the double distillation adds some mid palate fullness that carries into the finish and the Oloroso Sherry influence seems to be married well to the 10 years in American oak. subtle but evolving the flavours continue.
This is one delicious Irish Whiskey.
Already one can see the attention to detail that the Hyde’s have put into this whiskey. No doubt if they continue to work this way with their own distilling we can look forward to some magical Hyde drams in 5 years or so.
In the meantime I am happy to wait knowing I can enjoy the Presidents Cask 10 year old.
Almost on the water making its way to Western Canada Hyde 10 Year Old should be available on shelves July 2015.
Sometimes you get the nicest gifts when on vacation. In this instance it made my relaxing time away an exciting whisky discovery opportunity.