William Grant & Sons have seized on the same metaphor to celebrate the return of distilling to Tullamore. As their new distillery rises from a field on the outskirts of town, they have launched a commemorative whiskey: Tullamore Dew Phoenix.
It is a triple-distilled, triple blend, which is what Tullamore calls its signature recipe of grain, malt and pot still whiskeys blended together. The pot still component has been finished for two years in Oloroso casks, giving Phoenix a rich, sherried taste.
It's bottled at 55%, non-chill filtered. There will be a total of 5,000 cases of Phoenix released, but in small batches, over time. It will appear in a limited number of markets, the first of which is Ireland, at The Irish Whiskey Collection in Dublin and Cork airports (the airport press release did not mention the world's first aircraft disaster). It will also be sold at The Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre.
A surprisingly smooth medium-bodied whiskey, with distinctive sherry notes and pleasantly spicy creamy pot still whiskey flavours, nicely balanced.
The higher strength tingles on the tongue leaving a spicy pot-still flavour. Addition of a little water releases layers of caramel sweetness, delicate floral notes and oak tannins. Altogether, a perfect balance of Oloroso sherry sweetness and spicy creamy pot still.
Long lasting with a lingering warmth.