Whiskey Review: The Irishman Cask Strength Irish Whiskey 2023 Release - ForWhiskeyLovers.com

Whiskey Review: The Irishman Cask Strength Irish Whiskey 2023 Release

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs. 

It’s strange to think of Ireland as an “up and coming” distilling region. Irish spirits were once the most popular in the world. Their influence on distilling tradition shows on every bottle that puts an “e” in whiskey. Within the past few decades, though, Irish distilling dwindled almost to nothing.

In 2010, there were only four active distilleries in Ireland. While the number has since risen to over forty with the global whiskey boom, it’s still significantly fewer than Scotland, Kentucky, or a number of other U.S. states. Production continues to grow, though, and the barrels laid down in response to increased demand are finally reaching maturity.

Even as production grows, Irish distilling maintains an admirable commitment to the pot still. Ireland’s two iconic styles of whiskey, Irish Single Malt and Irish Single Pot, both require a pot still. Triple distillation in these copper onions gives Irish whiskey its smooth, spicy, and viscous quality. Using these stills, however, is slower and more expensive than continuous production in column stills.

So, even with its resurgence in popularity, Irish whiskey may maintain a more niche, artisanal identity. With The Irishman, Walsh Whiskey seems to be connecting this small-batch craft mindset with the long history of Irish whiskey. Walsh Whiskey, established in 1999, is best known for their “Writers’ Tears” line of expressions. In the past, I’ve enjoyed Writers’ Tears more than enough to be interested in what Walsh can do with a premium release.

The Irishman is an annual limited release, and founder Bernard Walsh selected the barrels for this 2023 expression. It blends Irish Single Malt and Irish Single Pot barrels. Their tagline is “Learn the past, create the future.” In fusing these two iconic Irish styles, they’re making a strong play to help define Irish whiskey’s modern identity.

The Irishman Cask Strength Irish Whiskey 2023 Release review

We review The Irishman Cask Strength Irish Whiskey 2023 Release, a blending of select Irish single malt and single pot whiskeys that’s bottled at 110.6 proof. (image via Taylor Shiells/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: The Irishman Cask Strength Irish Whiskey 2023 Release

Vital Stats: 55.3% ABV; Mash bill: Unspecified mix of malted and unmalted barley; 110.6 Proof; MSRP 155 USD.

Appearance: Chestnut Sherry

Nose: There’s a strong forward malty smell, with that solid cereal thickness of a proper Irish whiskey. Past that, I can make out slight fruity hints of peach and golden raisin.

Palate: At a little over 110 proof, there is a distinct burn on the tongue, but it never gets too sharp and still has the mellow, oily quality of a good Irish. The viscous barley body is there, but I find the fruitier flavors to be very well pronounced. I can pick out ripe peach, orange peel, and hints of banana. It’s accompanied by a slight backing of vanilla and butterscotch that give a stewed, dessert quality to the fruit flavors. The fruitiness diminishes in the finish, but leaves a pleasant fade of creamy sherry and dried grain.

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