As you may have read here, Walsh Whiskey have this week launched their Writers Tears Copper Pot Cognac Cask finish and here at That’s Dram Good we were lucky enough to purchase a bottle on pre release from Irish Malts. Now before we chat about the Cognac cask, it’s important to mention the recent de-merger of Walsh Whiskey and Illva Saronno who dissolved their 5 year partnership only last week. I’m not going to go through the whole story again, Mark from Whisky Cast did that excellently here.
For me there is only two real negatives to the story. Firstly, Bernard and Rosemary’s 5 years of hard graft to build the distillery will ultimately benefit another, and secondly the spirit laid down in the last number of years will never see the Walsh name on it. But there are positives to take from the de-merger. Staff remain. There are no redundancies which, for me, was the first fear I had as I know some of the excellent staff that work for Royal Oak. Irishman and Writers Tears will not only continue, but will grow (24% growth in 2018 and projected to be more in 2019). The supply agreement between Bernard Walsh and IDL will continue as if nothing has changed which, for the two brands, nothing really has. It seems its business as usual. Speaking to Bernard last week after the de-merger he said “we trebled the business (Irishman and Writers Tears) over the last 5 years and aim to double that again in the next three”. A bold claim you might say but a week after the de-merger the new Cognac finish cask has launched straight out of the traps and not only that, plans for new releases this year and beyond are still on track!
So to Walsh Whiskey and the newly named Royal Oak Distillery, we wish them both well and look forward to the delights that are to come from both. So, onto the Cognac Cask. Very simply, Walsh Whiskey took their smashing Copper Pot whiskey and finished it for 9 months in Deau XO French Oak Casks. We are looking at approximately 6,500 bottles and the RRP is €75. If you haven’t read about the original Copper Pot, we review it last year here! Here are our tasting notes;
Nose – The sweet notes of honey and toffee remain from the standard Copper Pot but is massively enhanced by the cognac finish. Notes of pink lady apples, pear and a very slight ripe banana note are a welcomed edition to round this out as a fruit bomb on the nose.
Palate – Slight peppery spice but with a rich and creamy mouth feel all at the same time. Just like the nose, there’s loads of fruit that burst and bounce all over the inside of your mouth.
Finish – Much longer than the standard Copper Pot. The fruit bomb continues with that pepper lasting till the very end as it dances off your tongue.
Overall – Now I guess I should really admit that I am a huge fan of the Copper Pot. It’s price and quality are hard to match. The blend really is fantastic. This cognac finish however, elevates every note up 2 or 3 notches providing a dram that I just need more and more of. Highly recommended.