Tuesday 27 August 2013

Tullamore Dew Phoenix

Did you know that the world's first aircraft disaster happened in Tullamore, in 1785? A scant two years after the Montgolfier brothers first demonstrated hot-air ballooning in Paris, a balloon crashed in Tullamore, setting the town's thatched roofing alight. The townsfolk rebuilt, and adopted the phoenix motif for their coat-of-arms.

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.

It goes for €50 at the airport, no matter where you are travelling to. I haven't tried this whiskey yet but that seems a very reasonable price to me. Along with the recent Gathering whiskey, there is some great value to be had at the airport at the moment.
Here are some tasting notes from John Quinn, Global Brand Ambassador for Tullamore Dew:

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.