Pearse Lyons 7 Year Old Whiskey is a specail release from one of the most unique Irish Distilleries, set in a Gothic designed church. St James Church was constructed in 1859 but there has been a church here dating back to the 12th century.
The Whiskey is a blended of 7 Year Old Irish Whiskey of grain and malt whiskeys predominantly aged in Bourbon barrels with a small amount of Sherry barrel aged whiskey in the mix. This Irish Whiskey contains Pearse Lyons own single malt which was initially made off site. But before we get to the whiskey you need to find out a bit more about the history and the family behind Pearse Lyons Distillery & Whiskey.
The History of Pearse Lyons Irish Whiskey
What is different for Pearse Lyons Distillery from other start up distilleries is that it has its own whiskey stock of age to sell to the market. This is from when the stills were set up in a different (AllTech) location in Carlow where production started in 2012, before Pearse Lyons started distilling in their new home, The Church of St James in 2017. Pearse Lyons Distillery has used some of this new “DNA” Irish Whiskey in two of its Pearse Whiskeys: The Original and Distillers Choice & two of the Ha’penny Whiskeys, The Original & Four Cask.
The Wood holds a memory of tradition and heritage. Dr Lyons’ own family history follows him from one home to another. The bourbon barrels are fresh from their own sister distillery, Town Branch in Lexington Kentucky.
A whiskey that was born out of tradition, heritage and passion Dr Lyons was the 6th Generation of his family to be involved in the whiskey industry. He made his name in the brewing and distilling side and directly before him 5 generations of coopers carved their own lives. Pearse Lyons Distillery is a 100% privately family owned
Most of the original glass windows at St. James’ Church were either damaged or removed and would have been plain or modestly decorated. We have given new life to the old church window frames, creating four unique stories associated with the art of the cooper, Irish Whiskey and St. James. The illustrations depicted on the windows include: the pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago, also known as “St. James’ Way”; how Irish Whiskey is made; the art of coopering; and the natural ingredients grown for our “uisce beatha”.Dr. Pearse Lyons
Since the passing of Pearse Lyons in 2018 the Distillery is now over seen by Mark Lyons (Pearse & Deirdre Lyons Son). Mark himself has a Masters in Brewing & Distilling from Heriot-Watt.
A Unique Spirit Still Set in a Historical Gothic Church
The spirit still at Pearse Lyons Distillery is named Little Lizzie, it is a small batch copper still with a capacity of 1200 litres. The Kentucky-made Vendome copper pot still is unique in Ireland as it has four rectification plates in its neck. These plates increase significantly the reflux rate in the spirit still producing a robust double distilled spirit with additional refinement due to the increased rectification. The whiskey from this pair of stills is unique and has its own a flavour factor. There is a special inclusion/provision in the Irish whiskey technical file for these stills which means nobody else distills on stills like them in Ireland.
At Pearse Lyons Distillery they use their own in house (Alltech) cultivated yeast strains that are unique to the world of whiskey. With Town Branch Bourbon distillery being their sister distillery in Kentucky they have a fantastic supply of fresh used ex bourbon barrels that are transported from the US, giving the best possible barrels to age their Irish Whiskey. All the whiskey they have is aged in bourbon barrels either sourced or aged in their own Town Branch Bourbon Barrels.
At Pearse Lyons Distillery it was decided to take a more natural approach and not add any artificial colouring now or in the future, so the whiskey you see is in its natural colour. There are not a lot of whiskey producers that can make this claim about their entire whiskey range.
Pearse 7 year old Irish Whiskey is also know as the Distiller’s Choice. It is bottled at a modest 43% abv (86% proof) A blend of Irish Grain & Malt Whiskeys. It’s a blend of 38% Malt and 62% Grain whiskey.
It is predominantly aged in Bourbon barrels & KBBA (Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale) barrels with Sherry barrel aged whiskey in the mix. It is a 7 – 9 year old blend. This Whiskey has single malt in it that has been produced on the stills that you see in the Church and spirit from when Pearse Lyons started distilling in 2012 in Carlow.
Pearse 7 year old whiskey won Best Blended Whiskey in Ireland 12 years and under in the World Whiskys Awards 2020
On the nose this specially blended Irish Whiskey is light and malty with hints of fresh oak, zingy citrus, fleshy fruit, vanilla, forest pine, clove spices, biscuit and candied fruit cake.
The palate offers a warm mouth feel balanced with a delicate maltiness, light pepperiness, hints of crisp green apple, citrus, candied fruit, toasted oak, vanilla, candied apple and a hint of green grape evolving to caramelised pear.
The finish is like walking through the door of a bakery, warm notes of spiced apple, clove and custard. As Pearse Distiller’s Choice develops you will savour a hint of coca and dried fruits. The spiced apple note turns to cloves as a subtle final note that disappears. Add a few drops of water to open this whiskey up, sit back and explore it for hours.
Where to drink: Pearse Lyons 7 Year Old Whiskey
The Church Bar & Restaurant
To keep the mood going why not pop accross the river liffey to visit the Church Bar & Restaurant formerly know as St. Mary’s Church of Ireland is one of the earliest examples of a galleried church in Dublin. Built at the beginning of the 18th century, it boasts many outstanding features, such as the Renatus Harris built organ and spectacular stained glass window.St. Mary’s closed in 1964 and lay derelict for a number of years until it was purchased by John Keating in 1997. Following extensive restoration over a seven year period, this List 1 building finally re-opened its doors in December 2005 as John M. Keating’s Bar.
In September 2007 the building was acquired by new owners and renamed “The Church Bar & Restaurant” and its range of services was expanded to include a Café, Night Club and a Barbeque area on the terrace. The live Irish Dancing is not to be missed, if you do pop in tell Darren we sent you.
Every Whiskey Tells a Story, What Will Yours Be?Sláinte from The Whiskey Trail
#EatDrinkExplore – By Paul Kavanagh