The Original Irish Spirit
Before there was whiskey, there was poitín. Poitín was the origin of the species, the original “water of life”. It’s Ireland’s gift to the world, one of the first spirits ever to be distilled.
Those mountain folk don't hold with watering down the hooch, it would seem, because "mountain strength" is 60% ABV. Traditional poitín is double distilled in pots, a process that would naturally top out somewhere in the 60s.
Every drinker certainly knows about Irish whiskey, but very few are aware of Ireland’s oldest spirit. Known as Poitín (pot-cheen) it dates back to the late 6th century. It was the emerald isle’s national spirits until it was outlawed in 1661 by Charles II. In fact it wasn’t until 1997 that it was legalized.
The Glendalough distillery was founded by a quintet of Irish lads to reintroduce this almost forgotten spirit to the world.
Aroma: Intensely fresh and bracing nose. Loads of pepper spice and just the slightest note of wintergreen.
Taste: A lot of heat (no surprise there), but controlled by a powerhouse of well distilled malt flavor. Almost chewy and in the mould of sourdough bread. Very approachable and to the point.
Finish: Quite long with a goodly dose of heat retention and sprightly peppercorn.
Overall: Probably the closest you would come to the original style of Poitin made in the hills of Ireland circa 750 A.D. If you want to shake off a winter chill, an ounce of this will do you fine.