On the corner of Clarendon St. and Coppinger Row, L. Mulligan’s Whiskey Shop shone like a beacon with the golden glow of its contents spilling out and drenching these dark dreary Dublin streets. Like moths to a flame the whiskey industry gathered to witness the launch of Writers Tears Cask Strength 2017 Release. Hot on the heels of their Irishman Marsala Whiskey, this is the latest expression from those busy bees at Walsh Whiskey down Royal Oak way in what is an annual release. After the success of the previous editions in the series, the whiskey and it’s packaging have stepped away from what has been done in the past as Walsh continue to look to the future.
For those of you who may be unaware, cask strength is a style of whiskey constantly growing in popularity amongst whiskey purists and casual drinkers alike. Most of what’s in your dram is water. Water is added to high-alcohol whiskey from the still before and after cask maturation to reduce the alcohol content to around the 40% mark. With cask strength whiskey just skip the second addition of water and bottle somewhere between 50-65% alcohol. In essence, you’re drinking slightly more concentrated whiskey. Some of those in the know boast cask strength is real whiskey, undiluted, untainted, direct from the barrel.
Coming in at 53% alcohol, Writers Tears Cask Strength is certainly not the strongest cask strength on the market but it does pack a punch. An excellent way to begin experimentation with cask strength whiskey as everything we love about Writers Tears is intensified. To be expected, the alcohol content is apparent on the nose, yet each subsequent sniff reveals an array of sweetness and spice. Milk chocolate, vanilla, and a peppercorn spice spring to mind.
The alcohol content does not overthrow the whiskey’s flavours, instead it electrifies them. A rich fruitiness, overly ripe peaches and a nutmeg spice. The whiskey is also slightly jammier than most due to the Single Pot Still content. The spiciness lingers around what is a long and elegant oak finish. The general consensus in the room was a satisfactory one as people mingled glass at hand spurring the conversation on. Writers Tears Cask Strength 2017 Release would make an excellent gift for the person who has everything as availability is strictly limited to 5280 bottles (minus more-than-a-few after the launch). Or alternatively gift it to yourself.