Cheers March 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 49 of 59 50 • March 2015 WHISKIES of the EMERALD ISLE By Tony Abou-Ganim It's hard to believe that Irish whiskey was a declining category at one time and rarely used in cocktails besides an Irish Coffee. Irish whiskey is now the fastest-growing distilled spirit catego- ry in the U.S., showing double-digit growth for more than 10 years. It was once thought that all we need- ed to know about Irish whiskey could be summed up in wee dram to accompany a pint of Guinness. But there's much more to understand about the spirit. These are the basic styles of Irish whiskey. Blended: Two or more different malt- ed-barley whiskies blended together, often combining milder, column-dis- tilled grain whiskey with more intense pot-still whiskey. Single pot still: A single whiskey made from both malted barley and un- malted barley, distilled in a pot still. Single malt: A single malted-barley whiskey distilled in a pot still. Single grain: A single whiskey made from just one grain, as opposed to a blend of grains. Distilleries today are turning out beautifully produced blends, single malts, single-pot-still and single-grain whiskies. As you can see from the samples tasted below, the Irish whiskey category is diverse in its many offerings: all unique and wonderful—and all terrifi c in an Irish Coffee. Sláinte! CONNEMARA Peated Single Malt Cooley Distillery Double distilled Ireland's only peated Irish whiskey is a blend of 4, 6 and 8 year old whiskies. Nose: Initial smokiness giving way to a heather, fl oral quality, leading to a honey and toffee sweetness with notes of dark chocolate. Palate: The smoke (peat) is there up front, with a slight brine/sea/medicinal character revealing a caramel, vanilla—crème brûlée—rich sweetness. Finish: Long and memorable; when the smoke clears, you are left with this beautiful honey, chocolate, pot-de-crème reminder that goes on and on. GREEN SPOT Single pot still Malted and unmalted barley Midleton Distillery Triple distilled Nose: Spice—sweet vanilla and allspice, herbaceous, dried mint—ripe tropical fruits, barley malt, confectionary sweetness, baked apple and toasted oak. Palate: Rich, viscous mouthfeel, revealing caramel and toffee sweetness, baking spic- es—vanilla, clove and cinnamon—baked green apple and toasted oak. Finish: Long with lingering notes of spice, grain and oak. GREENORE Single Grain 8 Year Old Cooley Distillery Made predominantly from corn Nose: Corn mash— corn bread, vanilla and honey, melting into caramel, toasted oak and tropical fruits, with a nod of lemon citrus. Palate: Here the corn shows sweetness that is somewhat bourbon-like, with big vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and toasted oak with notes of ripe peaches and tropical fruits—co- conut and Bananas Foster. Finish: Medium in length, with a passing reminder of vanilla, milk chocolate and candied pecans.

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