Walsh whiskey has released its third limited edition of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve. The previous two releases were finished in Marsala and rum casks; this time Bernard Walsh has gone for an oloroso sherry finish for this blend of single malt and single pot still Irish whiskey.
It is a superb whiskey with a seductive complex nose of toasted nuts, old wood, orange peel and Christmas cake fruits. The palate is rich and rounded with dried fruits, toasted almonds, plenty of spice and a lingering finish. “Christmas in a bottle,” says Walsh. “That lovely spiciness is expected and the pot still element gives you Christmas cake and nutmeg spice.”
Walsh recommends trying it with a square or two of dark chocolate as it accentuates the creaminess of the whiskey.
“Each release is very different, experiments to go alongside our core range. I love the dabbling; they don’t all work out so you won’t always hear about them, but I do get to drink them.
“Oloroso is tried and tested and works particularly well. You have to look after the casks before you add the whiskey. All our casks were shipped in winter, without any sulphur treatment, from cooper and sherry producer Antonio Paez.
“I am very happy with this edition, which has a little twist; for this entire release we have used casks that were first matured for three years with oloroso, and then our single malt to produce the award-winning Irishman 17-year-old. It is the final farewell to these casks that are imbued with layers of flavour and complexity.”
There is more to come. “We have quite a few more lined up and one or two ideas. Not all will go the way I want them to. We all have our own biases, I like ale hoppiness and I have a sweet tooth hence the Marsala and the oloroso with that Christmas cake note. So I’ll continue having fun and see what we have for next year.”
One single sherry butt (or 948 bottles), has been reserved for the Irish market and the whiskey is available from celticwhiskey.com for €75.