George’s Rants and Raves: Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey
What do Irish Whiskey and politics have in common? Why of course, one makes the other more palatable. The more Whiskey you drink the more palatable politics becomes. The Irish need to drink more than most because they have 11 political parties while we only have 2 main parties with a few fringe ones thrown in for fun and confusion.
Overall, the Irish are 4th in the world in pure alcohol consumption beaten out only by the Czech Republic, Andorra and Estonia. The United States is 43rd on that very same list. I just might consider moving to Ireland as I think I would fit right in with those good Irish folks. Besides, I just love that Irish brogue those sassy lassies speak.
Hey, speaking of politics, the politics in the good old US of A are certainly heating up enough lately to make me want to drink every time a political ad comes on the television which is about every 4 minutes. With all the mudslinging and truth bending both parties are engaging in, I have gotten to the point where I just might appreciate 8 or 9 more parties throwing their hats into the ring to really shake and stir things up.
Speaking of shaking and stirring things up, let’s get down to business. This Kilbeggan is a blend of Cooley’s Greenore, a single grain whiskey and Tyrconnel, the company’s signature malt whiskey. And all this distilling and shaking and stirring goes on at the Old Kilbeggan Distillery formerly Locke’s Distillery, which is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world, dating back to 1757. Kilbeggan is finished off and aged in used bourbon barrels.
Straight up, the nose is grassy, woody, has bourbon notes, a touch of oak char and a hint of sweet honey. It smells nice and smooth with little alcohol interfering. A straight shot hits the palate with smoke, oak and malt backed by a low layer of smoky sweetness that just lays there pleasantly making nice with the mouth but eventually, upon swallowing, turns spicy and tingly. The finish picks up the spice note and amps up the volume to Dolby standards that make sure you just can’t miss it. Just as suddenly as it appears, that spice note disappears within a short finish that leaves a pleasant warmth.
On the rocks, this Whiskey loosens up, undoes its tie, unbuttons the top button of its shirt, takes the jacket off and rolls up its sleeves and relaxes. The nose becomes laid back and inviting just like a cool swimming pool on a hot summer’s afternoon. But it doesn’t want you to just run and jump in; it invites you to dangle your feet then lower yourself to your thighs and then finally slowly lower yourself up to your chin and just grin. The nose’s aromas are all still there but nicely muddled together with each complimenting the other. On the palate, it becomes thick and oily and simply belongs in your mouth. Again all the flavors are present but civilized and restrained and muted and that much more enjoyable. The finish is smooth and warm and wavers between all of its flavor attributes like a chameleon that just can’t make up its mind as to which color it wants to become next.
This is a nice Whiskey, not a complex Whiskey, not a snooty Whiskey but a very nice Whiskey that can be enjoyed more often than not as it only costs $17-$20 per bottle. There are better Whiskeys for drinking straight up but none better for drinking on the rocks or with a bit of branch water. I do believe I’ll have another and then watch a political documentary!!!!
By George Brozowski
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