The Dublin Liberties Irish Whiskey

The Dublin Liberties Tasting Notes

We were lucky enough to try 4 of 5 whiskies currently available from the new Dublin Liberties Distillery.

The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil
(photo credit: Celtic Whisky Shop)

Oak Devil 5 Year Old

46% ABV. This bottle is a blend of 70% grain and 30% malt, matured in American bourbon casks for at least 5 years.

Price: €49 (Celtic Whiskey Shop)

Nose: Light and subtle. There are notes of pear, sweet caramel and a light oak. Some hints of raisins.

Palate: The pear and the caramel of the nose follow through, along with vanilla fudge and a citrus hit of orange peel. There are hints of dried red fruits and a soft peppery spice.
Finish: A grainy finish with a powerful spice hit, with notes of green peppercorns and caraway balanced by the sweetness of cherry cough sweets and a light honey.

Overall:  An easy drinker without any over-powering flavours. It would make a good introductory whiskey for your unconverted friends and the flavour profile makes it ideal for whiskey cocktails.

Copper Alley 10 Year Old

The Dublin Liberties Copper Alley
(photo credit: Celtic Whisky Shop)

46 % ABV. Single malt, matured in American bourbon casks for 10 years and finished for 6 months in Olorosso sherry casks.

Price: €60 (Celtic Whiskey Shop)

Nose: Tangy and malty. An immediate hit of over-ripe red apples as well as red and white grapes, sandalwood and some nutty tones. 

Palate: Quite a sweet palate with red apples, marzipan, walnuts and fruit & nut chocolate.

Finish: A savoury finish, wheat biscuits and a little spice with a citrusy sharpness that lasts.

Overall: The nose did not do justice to the taste of this dram, which got better with time. There is an enjoyable contrast between the sweetness of the palate and savoury finish.

The Dublin Liberties Murder Lane
(photo credit: Celtic Whisky Shop)

Murder Lane 13 Year Old

46% ABV. Triple distilled 13 year old single malt, aged in American bourbon casks and finished for 6 months in Hungarian Oak casks that previously held Tokaj (a dessert wine).

Price: €160 (Celtic Whiskey Shop)

Nose: Subtle and soft. Vanilla pods and creamy fudge alongside fruity and floral notes of plums and orange blossom.

Palate: Bakewell tarts and buttery pastry, stewed red fruits, particularly plums, and some tropical citrus, possibly grapefruit.

Finish: Red apples, brown sugar and vanilla. Hints of creamy coffee and a light citrusy spice.

Overall: A dessert whiskey . The wine cask is an interesting experiment that has paid off in the flavour profile of this bottling.

Keeper’s Coin 16 Year Old

The Dublin Liberties Keeper’s Coin
(photo credit: Celtic Whisky Shop)

46% ABV. Triple distilled and matured in American bourbon casks for 16 years, and finished in Pedro Ximanez hogsheads for 6-7 months.

Price: €320 (Celtic Whiskey Shop)

Nose: Honey, vanilla fudge, burnt sugar and cream soda along with light red fruits, orange and pomegranate juice.

Palate: Dried pears and a light vanilla cream, nutty chocolate brownie, toffee and plenty of soft spices like cloves, fennel and powdered ginger.

Finish: Christmas cake. Prunes, dark chocolate, oaky and the same light spices as the palate.

Overall: A beautifully balanced dram. I was ready to buy a bottle for my collection, until I saw the slightly hefty price tag. This is a limited edition with only 300 bottles in circulation.

About The Dublin Liberties Distillery

In February 2019, The Dublin Liberties Distillery opened the doors to a new €10m site and visitor experience, making it the third whiskey distillery in the Irish capital. The distillery is inside a 400 year old building and features three copper pot stills for triple-distillation and a spring water source on site. Owned by Quintessential Brands, the site is now producing whiskey. The initial releases were sourced from an unnamed Irish distillery, selected and independently bottled by Master Distillerr Darryl McNally. There are local legends and stories behind each of whiskey names, which can be found on the Distillery’s official website.

Many thanks to The Dublin Liberties Distillery and Steve Rush @TheWhiskyWire for these Tweet Tasting samples.

UK vs UKA – Glen Grant vs Wild Turkey (Tweet Tasting)

About Glen Grant Distillery

Glen Grant Distillery

It was in 1840 that the Glen Grant distillery was founded by brother John and James. The distillery
was in the perfect location to flourish with the sea and port of Garmouth nearby, the River Spey to the south and Speyside’s abundant barley fields. In 1872, the original founders died and were followed by James ‘The Major’ Grant. The Major was a man of innovation and new ideas – he was the first man to own a car in the Highlands, ensured that Glen Grant was first distillery to have an electric light and introduced the tall slender stills and purifiers that resulted in the Glen Grant we know today. In 1972, the Glenlivet and Glen Grant Ltd merged with Hill, Thomson & Co Ltd and Longmorn Distillers Ltd to form Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. The original families’ interest in the distilleries was maintained but was then supported by shareholders – including Suntory. In 2006, Glen Grant was acquired by Campari following the acquisition of Allied Domecq by Pernod Ricard.

About Wild Turkey Distillery

Wild Turkey Distillery

Wild Turkey can trace its heritage to 1855, when Austin Nichols started selling wine and spirits as a wholesale grocer. It is the business that would later own Wild Turkey. Fourteen years later, in 1869, the Ripy brothers open their family distillery on Wild Turkey Hill in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The
Ripy brothers sold bourbon to various wholesalers who bottled it under their own brands – Austin Nichols was one of those wholesalers. It would be fair to presume that this is where the distillery got its name, but it’s not. The name originated in 1940, when an Austin Nichols’ executive took a batch of bourbon from the warehouse out on a hunt with friends. Of course, they were hunting wild turkey. After that trip, his friends would constantly ask if they could get some of “that wild turkey bourbon”. In 1942, the first ever Wild Turkey bourbon was bottled. In 1971, Austin Nichols purchased the Ripy’s distillery and it was renamed Wild Turkey distillery.

Now it wouldn’t be an “About Wild Turkey” without mention of the Russells. Jimmy Russell and son Eddie are the only father and son master distillers in the world. As well as this, Jimmy is the world’s oldest master distiller at 82 years old and has been distilling for 63 years. Son Eddie joined his father at Wild Turkey in 1981 and worked his way up the ranks to earn the position of master distiller after 34 years.

The Tasting

Thanks to Steve at The Whisky Wire for organising this UK vs USA tasting! The pairings were Glen Grant 10 Year Old vs Wild Turkey 101, and Glen Grant 12 Year Old vs Wild Turkey Rye.

Glen Grant 10 Year Old

Matured in ex-bourbon casks and bottled at a modest 40% ABV.

Price: £30.34 (Master of Malt); £30.45 (The Whisky Exchange)

Appearance: Pale yellow, like straw, in colour.

Nose: The sweetness of pear drops and tropical pineapple, with just a hint of apple. This is met with fresh ginger. It is reminiscent of lemon cheesecake, with the graininess of  oats and hints of dry bark.

Palate:  Soft, sweet and smooth. The sweetness from the nose is carried forward with more notes of pear drops, honeydew melon and green apples. There’s also caramel and toffee, and just a little vanilla and clotted cream.

Finish:  Soft again, with more pear drops and a light salted caramel. There is a hint of smoke and grassy or herbal undertones. Surprisingly quenching.

Glen Grant 10 Year Old

Wild Turkey 101

75% corn whisky aged for at least 6 years in charred barrels before bottling at 50.5% ABV.

Price: £31.43 (Master of Malt); £31.55 (The Whisky Exchange)

Appearance: The colour of burnt toffee; a dark amber.

Nose: A mellow nose. Vanilla and burnt caramel are the initial notes, slowly overwhelmed by banana, and hints of sultana. Like dark wooden furniture that’s been lightly varnished, and waxy, bruised red apples.

Palate: Sweet, with just a hint of smoke. Banana dominates the palate, along with rhubarb and custard, with a dash of toffee and possibly a light cinnamon. There is the softness of honey yet the spice of black pepper. .

Finish: The finish is oaty, corn-like and quite dry, with the bitterness of walnut skins. The banana from the nose and palate can also be found long after the whisky has gone.

Wild Turkey 101

Glen Grant 12 Year Old

Matured in ex-bourbon barrels for 12 years, with an ABV of 43%.

Price: £42.83 (Master of Malt); £42.95 (The Whisky Exchange)

Appearance: Pale yellow

Nose: A strongly honeyed barbecue sauce, lightly smokey and with hints of chili. There are fruity notes of green apple, orange zest and pear drops, with some subtle oats and grassy tones.

Palate: Honeyed barbecue sauce with hints of chili. There are also notes of green apple and hints of citrus from grapefruit, with a little bit of toffee, or dulce du leche. 

Finish: A sharp finish with a little smoke. The grapefruit from palate shines through to the finish, as do tones of toffee.

Glen Grant 12 Year Old

Wild Turkey Straight Rye

This 65% Rye, 23% corn and 12% malted barley dram was aged in heavily charred American Oak casks and bottled at 40.5% ABV.

Price: £27.55 (Master of Malt); £27.45 (The Whisky Exchange)

Appearance: Light amber in colour, slightly orange.

Nose: Salty, like driftwood and wet sad, with hints of vanilla, powdered ginger and caramel. There is slight citrus in dry orange peels, and a savoury, starchiness of cumin, nigella seeds and boiled rice.

Palate: Strong notes of caraway and aniseed, with black pepper are met with the sweetness of caramel.

Finish: The finish is packed with caraway, and a light bitterness. There are notes of bay leaf and orange peel, with a hint of vanilla.

Wild Turkey Straight Rye

The Verdict

The winner in our eyes? Now that is hard to say. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a light scotch, sometimes a straight rye! All of the drams are well worth their money, affordable luxery! That being said, if we had to pick a bottle to buy first, we would choose… Glen Grant 10 Year Old! A delightful, smooth, quenching drink that can be enjoyed by whisky newbies or seasoned enthusiasts.

The Winner!