Friday 15 August 2008

Whiskey sightings

Update Tuesday, September 30: I checked Milroy's assertion that their 16yo single grain was distilled from unmalted barley. According to the horse's mouth (ie Cooley), Cooley's grain whiskey has always been made from maize.

I have also updated the number of bottles of the Jameson Single Cask produced. I was initially supplied with two figures: 150 and 70. 70 was subsequently confirmed as the correct one.

A couple of interesting bottlings surfaced recently.

One is a single cask, single grain whiskey from Cooley, bottled for Milroy's of Soho. It was distilled in 1991 and bottled after 16 years. That makes it a little older than Cooley's own 15yo single grain under the Greenore label. There are only 264 bottles in this release.

It's also notable for being distilled from unmalted barley, rather than the maize Cooley uses these days. [Update: that's an error on Milroy's part. It is indeed maize-based.]

The other whiskey is even rarer and was generally unknown until a bottle turned up on The Whisky Exchange. It's a single cask, cask strength (60.3%) Jameson, distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2006. An Irish Distillers source tells me that 70 between 70 and 150 [updated after clarification from Midleton] bottles were produced and that these were presented to guests at a special function at the distillery. It was never put on sale though one bottle is on display in the visitor centre at the Old Midleton Distillery.
It's hard to see the label in this picture but it is signed by the master distiller, Barry Crockett, and it states:
Rare pot still Irish Whiskey. I have personally selected this single cask from our rarest reserves for a special bottling to honour the visit to Ireland of our distinguished visitors from the United States of America.
The bottle on The Whiskey Exchange was quickly snapped up, by the way.

Hat tip to noted collector, John Marrinan, for bringing both of these to my attention.