J J Corry
Its time for a little more Irish whiskey, and to say I am excited about this release is rather an understatement !!
Now we all love a story and there are no better story tellers than the Irish. little green men guarding treasure and magical fairies at the bottom of the garden, both of which have featured in more tales than I have had hot dinners, fantasy lands and of course the odd romantic story set in the tranquil land that is the Emerald Isle can be found everywhere.. Add to this the love of enjoying themselves, drinking the odd pint down the pub while singing their hearts out, but this is just the norm id guess but look a little closer and you start to uncover another industry that was almost lost, yes I am talking whiskey, the industry is gathering pace and is starting to re climb the ladder to the highest pedestal..
There is a lot of pride surrounding the Irish whiskey scene and none more so than that which can be found on the McGuane family farm, located on the Wild West Coast of Ireland in the beautiful county Clare.
Louise McGuane has re vitalised her Irish roots and began the old tradition of being an Irish whiskey bonder, a tradition that once was a bustling industry on the island but like so many things it was allowed to die out and almost vanish from memory.. That said Louise McGuane started her small business which is the first whiskey bonding service in Irish living memory and bring the old tradition back to life, with her modern thinking and successful background within the whisky industry we all know it wont be long before we are all talking about J J Corry..
It is an obvious thing to say but when you talk to anyone within the Irish whiskey scene its easy to feel their passion, the dedication they give in order to get their heritage back where it belongs. Having met and chatted to the Brand Ambassador Niamh who has this infectious passion and love for the brand, it is easy to understand why you fall in love with the liquid even before you have even had a chance to take a sip.. And as Barry from Stories and Sips often tells us, Irish whiskey is all about the stories that surrounds the liquid..
One such story from the Irish whiskey past is the story that influenced the whole background to the company and name of J J Corry, Louise named her company after one of the Bonders of past, J J Corry was of course that man, Louise explains –
” When we set out to understand the methodologies of Whiskey Bonders of the 1800’s we didn’t have to look too far. Only 3 miles away from our farm was once a renowned whiskey bonder called J.J. Corry. J.J. was an innovator and a man before his time. His little shop at 63 Henry St. Kilrush was a key part of the local community and the only place where you could buy J.J.’s pride whiskey “Corry’s Special Malt.” It was available by the glass for 3 Pennies or by the Jar.”
J.J. was a true entrepreneur and innovator, born on a farm close to our brand home, because he was not the first born son he was forced to make this own way in the world. We know that he dabbled in auctioneering before he set up this shop in 1890. Once he did acquire the premises and after marrying the girl from the pub next door, he immediately set about setting up his own brand. The town of Kilrush was a busy international port in the 1890s and J.J. would have purchased goods from all over the world directly from the Ship’s Captains’ fresh from their travels. He sold tea from India, Rum from the Caribbean, Wine from France, Port from Portugal in addition to Guns, Ammunition and Bicycles. A true Renascence man J.J. was a pillar of the community and an early adaptor of technology. He even went so far as to invent a Bicycle called ‘The Gael’ in the 1890s. But most of all he was known for his hospitality and of course his whiskey..
The beginnings of any company has a story and this one is one that just seems to be right, its almost as if things were meant to be !
The Gael- Batch 2
After the superb batch 1 which I reviewed HERE , i knew as soon as batch 2 came out i would have to get hold of some just to see how good and how different they had made this.. From my understanding Louise makes the batches up with a particular flavour profile in mind, an intention that has so far worked extremely well.
With the belief that most ( 80% ) of the flavour comes from the barrel and location where it has matured ( that’s going to upset someone ) this whiskey and the barrels its stored within seems to have had a rather special location to do its magic..
Distillery.. Un Named Irish Distilleries
Age.. Nas but by definition this is a 9 year old
Casks.. Bourbon, sherry.
40% 9 year old Grain – Bourbon Cask
30% 17 year old Malt – Bourbon Cask
26% 13 year old Malt – Bourbon Cask
4% 28 year old Malt – Sherry Cask
Nose.. Imagine walking through an apple orchard on an early summers day, the sun glistening, the grass freshly cut and still damp from the morning dew, the scents of the apples that are still glistening as the last drops of water evaporate as the sun rises, those typical aromas you get from the meadow flowers and the freshness that you only find in those very moments before the world wakes up.. Its all in this glass !! Add a little honey, some lemon icing, fresh peaches, caramel and a blueberry muffin and you have Batch 2..
Palate.. Peaches and cream, fresh honey straight from the hive, apple peel, lemon cheesecake, damn this is good.
Finish.. Gentle spices and a soft heat mingle with the sweetness
Thoughts.. I bloody love this stuff………
There was never any doubt that this was going to be good, my only thought was could it be as good ? I am not sure id call it better than batch 1, but that’s only because batch 1 was superb but I would say its on a par, this feels a little more mature and from the figures id guess its the same or similar liquid with an extra 2 years maturation and it shows.. This is still very fresh, light and floral but its a little more complex, gone is the sprightly character and soft feel and in comes the slightly more big brother character.
Dare I say it, this along with batch 1 tells you a story !! it does, honestly.. It shows you the contrast between the two batches and what 2 extra years has done within those casks, its easy to see and taste, if you sit with both and drink in order they take you on a journey that if you allow it, it will almost make you feel that those two years are passing while you drink it, both blend in together perfectly and with no stepping or breaks it just continues to flow perfectly…
This Sample was provided as part of a Tweet Tasting event with J J Corry and Steve Rush from the Whisky Wire..
As always these are my personal opinions and should be taken as such..