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Singlemalting #249 – Hyde 1640 Stout Cask Aged Irish Whiskey

G’day everyone and welcome to 2020.

2019 was an incredible year, made all the sweeter by overcoming some of our biggest challenges ever.

With a full week of -30 and beyond safely under our belts here in Alberta, the sun is now shining down on +1 and I even feel brave enough to venture outside and take our wee dog Sashes for a frolic up on the hill.

Last week I had a lot of fun pouring whiskies for everyone at the Edmonton and Calgary whisky festivals. It’s always great to see so many familiar faces and share stories about delicious drams and fun whisky adventures.

Over the past few weeks while huddling by the fire I have taken to enjoying a brand new offering from the boys at Hyde in Cork. This is the latest in their range of award winning whiskies and is a style of Irish Whiskey that many more distilleries will no doubt be offering in the coming years. The cover photo for this blog is my wife Cindy just getting to the top of Blarney Castle right before her turn to give the Blarney stone a kiss.

Most of you would be familiar with Guinness. The iconic Irish Stout owned by industry powerhouse Diageo. The brewery and Guiness experience including the skybar overlooking the rooftops of Dublin is an amazing place for a pint and should not be missed if you find yourself in Ireland.

Down South in Cork where the Hyde brothers create their fine range of Irish Whiskies, there is a craft brewery called Cotton Ball. Cindy and I have had the great pleasure of staying in Cork on a few occassions and it is a fabulous place for friendly people, Irish culture, fantastic drinking establishments and unequalled hospitality.

A pint of Cotton Ball Lynches Stout

The Hyde boys managed to get themselves a bunch of Cotton Ball stout casks and promtly popped their delicious triple distilled Irish Whiskey inside to see what the outcome might be. Let’s check it out together.

Hyde 1640 Irish Whiskey – Stout Cask finished – No chill filtration or colour added – 43% abv- 75% single grain  with 25% single malt.

Hyde 1640 Stout Finished Irish Whiskey

Colour:            Has a really nice amber quality to it. Quite a complicated cask management process on this whisky. 75% of this blend is single grain (mostly corn) and was aged in heavily charred ex Bourbon barrels. The other 25% was single malt and was aged in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. Everything was then added together and poured into the Stout Casks for 6 months. The Stout casks are ex Bourbon and held the Cotton Ball stout for about 3 months before the whisky had a turn.

Nose:              My wife Cindy’s Italian coffee grinder that whirls away every morning and fills the air with the heady scent of freshly ground Calgary Heritage Roasting Company coffee beans. Toffee with a swirl of vanilla fudge, plums and dark chocolate.

Palate:           Sweetness up front from the single grain that quickly transitions to a lovely dark spice, coffee note and the surprising addition of a little hoppiness. Having sadly never had the Cotton Ball Craft Stout I have no idea of the level of hops used. Next time I am in Cork, its on my list of things to drink. Really soft on the palate and way too easy to drink and I mean WAY. I took a bottle over to Ontario for my brother in law for Christmas and while watching the u19 Canada v Russia game we dispatched a really healthy amount. Delicious.

Finish:         I get that slightly bitter coffee note lingering on and on but the earthy sweetness of the chocolate fudge and plums with vanilla is all over it.

This is sitting on the shelf in Alberta for around $ 45 and is great value for an every day dram. I will always be keeping an open bottle on my bar for sure.

Conor and Alan Hyde have done an excellent job procuring a steady stream of whisky from Cooley, Teeling other distilleries in Ireland and then using skillful and at times complex cask management to come up with these interesting and delicious expressions. Great work guys.

Until next time enjoy whatever dram you have in your glass and do reach out to me if you would like me to point you in the right direction to grab a bottle of this Hyde 1640.

Cheers

Jonathan

Rocky Mountain High | Blog #84

What an awesome couple of days at the recent Calgary edition of the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine show.

With Brian from Whistling Andy on site we were locked and loaded with an array of delicious whisky and a couple of additional treats.

For those of you that have never been to this event it was held at Stampede over 2 days with 3 sessions for consumers to choose from. 4 till 10 on Friday the 16th and 12 till 4 and 6 till 10 on Saturday the 17th.

Always enjoyable for me, I love the interaction and to get a chance to basically rabbit on about my passion for hours on end with an endless array of interested whisky lovers making the pilgrimage to our booth.

Sporting the kilt and with the addition of the amazing Angel’s Share glassware we were definitely a draw card for the whisky faithful throughout the show.

Brian from Whistling Andy distillery in Bigfork Montana was awesome and one of the most passionate individuals you could ever meet when it comes to high quality small batch distilling. In a future blog we will be sure to interview Brian to try and give you some insight into their amazing family story. Brian was pouring their Straight Bourbon, Harvest Select Whiskey, Cucumber Gin and Hibiscus Coconut Rum.

Whistling Andy Whiskey, Gin, Rum and Moonshine Whistling Andy Whiskey, Gin, Rum and Moonshine

Also on offer was the 3 great Stalk and Barrel whiskies from Still Waters Distillery. Their 1+11 Canadian Blended Whisky, The Single Cask 100% Rye and the Single Cask Single Malt. From A.D Rattray we had the Stronachie 10, Stronachie 18 and Cask Islay. Last but definitely not least was the silky smooth Hyde 10 Year old Sherry Finished Single Malt.

On display and for sale at the Sobey’s on site store was the 2nd Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar and as a teaser we also had the prototype Collector’s Edition which stopped passing festival goer’s in their tracks and really helped to keep us extremely busy the entire weekend.

I would highly recommend going to one of these events for a great night out and the opportunity to try some really amazing products that you might not otherwise ever have in your glass.

One of the topics of discussion was the $ 7000 bottle of Ledaig being poured which had people searching all over the show trying to find the booth and ante up for this rare taste.

For whisky lovers, the Gold Medal table was again at it with a huge array of whisky from Gordon & McPhail, Benromach, Kilchoman, Springbank and Tullibardine.

If you live in Edmonton there is still time to get your tickets for the upcoming Rocky Mountain Show on the 6th and 7th of November. I look forward to seeing you all there. Please come along and say hi and grab a taste of something you have never had before.

A big thanks to Mike, Cathy, Nicole and the rest of the team for putting on another professional show. Tired and extremely happy with the response it was really fun to enjoy one of Calgary’s must visit late night eating spots at UNA Pizza on 17th.

There is nothing better than that first cleansing pint after talking non stop for 8 hours. Add prosciutto pizza drizzled with truffle oil and arugula and an amazing glass of Blue Mountain Gamay and the night is perfect.

Thanks for all your support and for making this whisky journey that I am on so interesting.

Cheers!

Hyde & Seek | Blog #68

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 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. 

Slainte!