When we talk about whisky, most of us instantly think of Scotland, it is inevitable, but, don’t overlook Irish Whiskey..
A while back I was introduced to a new concept, well I say new, maybe I should say reborn, Irish bonders..
The original way of buying a lot of the whisky in days gone past was to visit the local stores where bottles of whisky straight from the casks were readily available, these shops commonly had a stock of casks obtained direct from the distilleries and happily sold the wares over the counter..
Look back to the history of whisky and these people/shops were all too common but the art died its death, many would have believed for it to never be again but for the insight of an Irish lass who grew up on a farm, left her home and learnt her trade with some of the biggest companies within the whisky industry..
Louise looked back to her country of Ireland, her home in County Claire and to her parents farm where she had grown up and decided although farming was in her blood it wasn’t her future, whiskey was.. The passion and desire to work at home helped inspire her to start her new company, The Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Company.
Born out of the ashes and a proud history, the Irish whiskey Bonder practice was once again able to shake its fist and declare itself alive.. Taking a look back into the local history one named popped up, J J Corry, who was indeed a local whisky bonder and sold his wares from 63 Henry St. Kilrush, just a matter of a few miles from the home Louise had grown up in.
Taking inspiration from this story Louise has paid homage to this early tradesman and although her business is officially The Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Company, most of us know it by J J Corry.. Louise didn’t stop there though, she also named one of the early releases The Gael, the name J J Corry gave to a bicycle he had invented, this expression is now onto the second batch and is significant in that this portrays a style Louise is hoping to achieve once her own stocks of whiskey have matured to age..
Although the idea is to buy in New make and mature it there will always be the need to buy in some mature stock initially and possibly going forward too.
Louise is not only sourcing the spirit herself she is also responsible for sourcing the oak that her liquid will rest within, and from what I have heard she demands only the finest oak casks for her precious liquids..
Back home she needed somewhere to lay the casks to sleep so an old brick farm building was converted into a old style rackhouse or Dunnage style warehouse, open windows were in order as to let the fresh air to circulate and to help regulate the temperatures, a blending room was added and more recently a space for guests has been renovated and will hopefully welcome esteemed guests to the companies base..
The Hanson – J J Corry
The latest release from the company is this vatting of Four and Ten year old Irish Grain whiskey, these grain whiskies have been the style used within some of the other expressions released from J J Corry and are packed with flavour and delicate aromas..
Age.. 4 years
Casks.. Ex Bourbon
Nose.. This is so subtle and soft.. Delicate fresh apple peel aromas rise with lemon rind notes, candied orange and damp grass. A touch of fresh blossom scents and honey ride on the back of Freshly cut straw and digestive biscuits
Palate.. There is a nice citrus bitterness to this that is accompanied by lemon drizzle cake, Victoria sponge cake and a little heather honey.. Poached pears, apple pie with vanilla ice cream and a dash of spices all make this rather delicious.
Finish.. Fresh and lingering
Thoughts.. I personally think this has a fair amount of complexity with an abundance of subtle flavours and while being very much on the softer side this is very approachable!!
This is grain whiskey as it can be, very well balanced, approachable with absolutely no youthful side to it, this makes it perfect as either a stand alone drink that is there for you to enjoy without compromise or worrying about dissecting it or as a mixer.
Sit back with this on a hot summers day and just simply enjoy, add some lemonade or whatever takes your fancy because it is only going to enhance the flavours and unlike that stuff that comes in a blue bottle this is very flavoursome and aromatic..
Another winning release from the J J Corry stable…