The third day at the Whisky Show is the trade day, and us whisky bloggers were invited to a liquid breakfast by Billy. At the breakfast, we were informed that The Whisky Exchange itself will now be seeking to be more active in bottling independent bottlings. We tasted three bottlings, a 27 year old 1990 Irish, a Cognac – which is planned to be a special focus of TWE going forward, with the thought of making cask strength quality Cognac available to whisky drinkers, and a 1977 Strathtisla, bottled by Gordon and MacPhail at 40 years old. I’ll have more on that one when I taste the G&M Highland Park I just got in a nice care package from The Whisky Exchange.
In that care package that came today, there was also a sample of the 1990 Irish whiskey bottled by German independent bottler The Whisky Agency. So basically, I learned that there were two casks bottled, and Iwhile I tasted the 1989 at an event, so my notes are not perfect, they’re definitely representative of the dram, and will help you decide if either of these bottles (or both) are for you.
Both bottles only state that they’re Irish, but given the time of distillation and the fact that a bunch of casks from that era were left with the Teelings when Beam bought Cooley, I’d venture a guess that this liquid was distilled at Bushmills. Of course, nobody will confirm this to me directly, but I’d put money on it.
The Whisky Agency and The Whisky Exchange 1989 Irish Whiskey, 27 Years Old, Ex Bourbon Barrel, Yield 146 Bottles (46.8% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Gold, slow legs.
Nose: Full of fruit, with an emphasis on green fruit, fresh apricot, star fruit, thyme and a hint of moss.
Palate: Fizzy, peaches and some pepper.
Linger: Mossy and fruity with honey, sweet citrus and a bitter note.
While I tasted this bottle much earlier than the 1990 bottle, it will actually be released only in December, and is expected to cost £285.
The Whisky Agency and The Whisky Exchange 1990 Irish Whiskey, 27 Years Old, Ex Bourbon Barrel, Yield 150 Bottles (51.3% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Golden, thin necklace creating droplets that barely move. This is viscous stuff….
Nose: Warm honey with pepper and some green vegetation. A hint of mustiness, but it’s pretty subdued, with a some canned peaches. A bit of mint leaves, with a hint of not fully ripened banana and baking bread.
Palate: Spicy and green, with pepper and a lot of tropical fruit. I get mango, passion fruit and papaya, as well as black pepper, hint of cinnamon and honey.
Linger: Mango and spice, medium length, with spices remaining down the gullet. The inner cheeks are dry and there’s a residual sweetness on the tongue, with pepper all around the mouth, together with a lovely bitter note.
This is an excellent example of the type of whisky that whisky lovers will enjoy regardless of where they fall in the fandom of Irish whisky. This is complex and beautiful and is definitely a bottle you’d be happy to have in your cabinet.