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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

When whisky is just not enough | Blog #118

“My wife Cindy and I recently came back from what is becoming the most intense and fun few weeks of the year.”

The task of choosing 25 unique whiskies for our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar just got more exciting with the addition of a new product this year that required some additional hard work for the old taste buds.

“The time spent with our friends at Wemyss, A.D. Rattray and Malt Whisky Company to mull over the carefully selected lists of amazing drams was a treat.”

Our journeys took us from London to Edinburgh and then across Scotland to Glasgow, Kirkoswald and Stirling.  We are adding some extra sources for whisky this year and all will be revealed as we get closer to the release date. I must say that it’s fun to have some time behind the wheel on the left hand side of the road and despite the odd torrential downpour the weather was very kind to us as we wove our way through the lush green Scottish landscape.

Some real highlights this trip included time with our amazing bottler’s Craigton Packaging. Lugging my kilt all the way back to its birthplace was well worth it as Cindy, dolled up in an exquisite gown accompanied me to the Ben Charity dinner in Glasgow with Rachel and Kevan. A grand evening of hobnobbing ensued, with industry legends aplenty and the regaling of side splitting tales detailing the unique lifestyle in Glasgow.

Dinner at the Dunblane Hydro with the crew from Angel’s Share Glass was a stand out as well. The Kailyard restaurant at the Hilton Dunblane is world class and well suited to such a grand property. Watching master glass blower Tom make us a whisky angel ornament the next morning in their wee studio in Bridge of Allan was fantastic and it will be certain to take centre stage on our Christmas tree this year. Angel’s Share Glass is expanding so fast that they are building a new studio. You can check out their fun crowdfunding campaign here if you like whisky and beautiful glass.

Cindy Kissing the Blarney Stone ... twice! Cindy Kissing the Blarney Stone … twice!

With a couple of extra whisky sourcing visits thrown in our list was looking pretty good by the time we headed for Ireland to visit with the Hyde brothers. Being our first time in Ireland we were blown away by the hospitality and generosity shown to us. Staying at the amazing Hayfield Manor we were spoilt with an outstanding dinner and a tour of Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. Cindy kissed it twice for good measure and is sure to have double my luck from here on in.

“Tasting their rum finish and the new 1916 was really exciting and we can’t wait to get them both over to Western Canada.”

Touring through the impressive barrel storage we were really impressed with the amount of whiskey that the Hyde’s have aging away for future releases. Tasting their rum finish and the new 1916 was really exciting and we can’t wait to get them both over to Western Canada. The weather in Cork was gorgeous and even allowed for a cigar and Hyde Rum finish combination on the patio after a fabulous walk downtown visiting some great bars . A pint of the local Murphy’s Stout was a must and of course I couldn’t leave without also adding a pint of Guinness as well. Just to top off a great side trip was the opportunity to meet with Jennifer Nickerson daughter of Stuart (Malt Whisky Company) and hear about Tipperary Single Malt Irish Whiskey that will be on it’s way to Western Canada shortly, stay tuned for more.

Fontana di Trevi Rome, Italy Fontana di Trevi Rome, Italy

No whisky (and more) sourcing trip is complete without a visit to magnificent old Roma and an afternoon with the Samaroli boys. It is always such a privilege to visit such an ancient and historic city. Our favourite scene this year was walking to the Fontana di Trevi at 2:00am after checking into our old city hotel. The fountain has been completely refurbished and looks amazing. At 2:00am there is hardly anyone there and taking in the spectacular landmark without the usual crowds was something truly special.

Next week we are off to Seattle for the first Whisky Jewbilee of 2016. Looking forward to trying some really unique whiskies and sharing some fun times with our mates Jason and Joshua.

Until then stay tuned for some delicious whisky reviews and more right here at Singlemalting.com

Cheers!