The Boann Distillery. Not a distillery that immediately springs to mind when you talk about Irish Whiskey to be fair. I think the main reason for that is, although they have a fully built distillery, it is not yet commissioned to run due to a slight conundrum with removing effluent from the distillery. Long story short, they are pretty much ready to rock and hopefully will dive into production in early 2019. While we wait for them to run their own spirit, they have released bottlings of sourced spirit which they have finished in oloroso sherry casks. Named “The Whistler” series, it currently has three variations with more to come. A 7 year old, a 7 year old cask strength and a 10 year old. The company is largely family run and the name “The Whistler” comes from the distillery’s owner, Pat Cooney, who is known for his love of whistling. I hear that Pat can often be heard walking the distillery whistling one traditional song or another on a daily basis.
I was lucky enough to get a sample of the 7 year old and the 10 year old from Matt Healy (formally of Tullamore DEW and still of potstilled.com fame). Matt has recently taken over as the distillery’s Global Export Sales Manager, a welcome edition to the family run business bringing great knowledge and experience of the global market to the team. The 7 year old “Blue Note” is non-chill filtered, natural colour and bottled at that magic 46% ABV. Here are my thoughts:
Nose – Sharp at first giving way to a heavy malt note. Some caramel, orange peel and raisin throughout. With water the sharpness disappears and leaves the other notes shine.
Palate – Nice sweet start that has all spice, cinnamon and cloves. This gives way to some pineapple and apples. Water injects a nice orange citrus note into this dram.
Finish – Short finish that is dry with some oakiness. Water actually lengthens the finish for me but increases the dryness for some reason
Overall – Less balanced than I’d like but for €55, its a decent everyday drop to enjoy if you like Sherry finished whiskeys.