Dingle Whiskey Tasting with Michael Walsh

With the release of Dingle – Batch 3 this week, I’ve finally pulled the finger out and wrote my blog on the tasting event I had pleasure of attending.

Gold Dust
noun

1 – Fine particles of gold.

2 – Rare Irish whiskey by the name of Dingle

Now you know the definition of Gold Dust the content of this blog in parts might make a little more sense.

A few months back an all round good guy and off-sales owner Michael (PLUG – The Wine Rack) said “Here…. I’ve an invite to a Dingle tasting do you want to go as I can’t make it?” my answer was of course “Fuck yes!”

Why, “Fuck yes!” and not just “yes” well considering Dingle is Gold Dust or 50ml of Batch 1 Cask Strength will set you back One billion gagillion fafillion shabadabalo-million dollars as Dr. Evil would say, it was a no brainer. It also wasn’t too hard to rope a few friends into thew mix.

Those cheapskates being;

JasonWhiskey Pal

As standard and you can probably guess by now if you’ve happened to read my previous blogs I gathered the troops with a pint in Bittles Bar, then headed round to the Dark Horse for the event. No, wait, there was a second pre-event pint in the Duke of a York, you can’t walk past the Duke without having a pint.

Pint finished, a hop, skip and a jump got us across to the event where Dingle Vodka or Gin was served upon arrival. Now I haven’t a clue about those spirits, but they were grand in cocktail form.

Some general chit-chat and banter with some of the other guests and it was then over to Michael Walsh, Head Distiller and Neil Fischer, Dingle Distillery export manager for the evening.

Michael firstly stated how Oliver Hughes, Liam LaHart and Peter Mosley (the folks behind the Porterhouse Brewing Company) started out making some of the best beers possible for 20 odd years then decided to open a distillery in 2012 where they try to make the best gin, vodka and whiskey. Turning a profit and making vast volumes is very much secondary.

Speaking of volumes, thanks to Causeway (Phil) asking the question “How much spirit would you make a day?” to which Michael gave the answer “800L on average” (4 casks) and put some perspective on it. In the 5 years they’ve been producing whiskey, they’ve produced less than Midleton do every day! Now there’s a fact to wow your mates down the pub.

Micheal then went into the detail of their Gin & Vodka but as this is a whiskey blog I’ll skip most of it and just point out the following;

  • At the time of the event they were one of two distilleries producing Gin and the only Vodka distillery in Ireland.
  • All their stills are made by Forsyths’ of Scotland, which would be widely regarded as one of the best still makers.

It was then onto the main event…. WHISKEY TASTING!

On the cards –  Batch 2 Single Malt , Batch 1 Single Pot Still and something a little bit special to finish the event.

Cover

I’d say a good 70% of the people in attendance had never tried any of the range, because of it’s rarity and as most people who maybe own/owned a bottle didn’t dare open which Michael alluded to via a joke. I’m happy to say I own both the Batch 2 Single Malt & Batch 1 Single Pot Still, both which are open and I’ve also had the pleasure of trying them at previous events.

p.s. one person even has the audacity to use a spittoon!


Dingle Single Malt Batch 2

Batch 2 Single Malt

Matured in Bourbon & Sherry casks (Oloroso & Pedro Ximenez) then married together. Ageing between 3 & 4 years with an ABV of 46.5% and no added colouring.

On the nose – A hint of a floral bouquet, though swiftly moving onto toffee, raisin, peppercorn and balanced oak hiding at the rear.

In the mouth – Very light as you’d expect, caramel (salted?*), fresh malt, darker fruits (blackberry?) with a touch of red wine.

Down the hatch Conclusions – Thanks to the PX casks there is complex layers of fresh and dried fruits. A sweetness makes an appearance. A very youthful edge, after all it is between 3 & 4 years.

A good progression from Batch 1. Will Batch 3 be better? Time will only tell.

 


 

Batch 1 Single Pot StillSPS

A very special & limited bottling of 800 bottles and I happen to have two of them. Special, why? Because at the time when released, they were the only distillery to have bottled SPS apart from the giant IDL. (The likes of Teeling & Kilbeggan have theirs still maturing).
Matured exclusively in Pedro Ximenez casks and again bottled at 46.5% ABV with no added colouring.

On the nose – Spirit heavy, leave it a few minutes to air which will open up a minor spice, green & red grapes, a woody hint of oak and a touch of drying pine needles.

In the mouth – A medium range of spice, fruits of the dark kind with a topping of juicy apples. Oak & pine needles pop in to say hello towards the end.

Down the hatch conclusions –  Due to sole use of PX casks the sweetness is very apparent at the start but quickly fades and becomes dry. It’s young and does what it does well, but as a teacher would normally say “Could do better”. A year or two longer in the cask to mature would work wonders. The cask & spirit have just started courting so close the door and leave them to it.

Worth the £90 RRP? No.

 



The Final Sample

Michael nabbed a bottle of this before jumping in the wagon and setting up North to Belfast. He did ask us not to say too much about it. So I’ll keep it brief. It’s currently maturing in A* sherry cask in their warehouse near the seafront. One of thee, if not most unusual whiskys I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying, the smell & taste just screamed SEASIDE! Sadly however Michael shattered our dreams in saying that it will never be released.

Side note – “A*” is a clue 😉

Well that’s that. I’ll round it off with a few things that got mentioned during the event.

  • Batch 4 Single Malt – October/November
  • Batch 2 – Single Pot Still – November/December
  • Dingle will not have a core range
  • Aged statements are not in the pipeline
  • No peated whiskey will ever be made
  • Champagne casks new in and plan to use as many casks types as they can.

Thanks to Michael & Neil for hosting a dam good event and then letting me pickle their heads after over a pint or two in the Duke of York.

Until next time folks, keep safe & keep drinking whiskey responsibly.

Over & out.

Jamie. Whiskey JAC

Drink Responsibly. Please visit Drink Aware UK for more information.

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