Well faith and begorrah, St. Patty’s Day is nigh upon us, and there is no finer way to celebrate that Irish snake chasing, shillelagh swinging saint than with a taste of some good Irish Whiskey. Whoa you cry out; how can we dink whiskey, even good Irish whiskey, when Lent just started and we’re all supposed to be abstaining until Easter? Well, thank the good Lord and all the sensible yet not so sober Irish Christians, and pass the bottle, as they saw fit to lift the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking for St. Patty’s day. AMEN!! You just gotta love the Irish; they let nothing stand in the way of celebrating Saint Patty’s Day or, for that matter, almost any other day.
Irish Mist Whiskey is as old as the Irish hills it comes from; it is blended from an ancient recipe reputed to be over 1,000 years old. Using that recipe, it was resurrected in the 1940’s and has been continuously produced since then. This product is actually a liqueur since it contains honey and heather. It has a mild yet aromatic nose with subtle hints of honey and peach and vanilla backed by a bit of whiskey vapor. However, on the palate the whiskey comes front and center with just the slightest tingle and a taste of the oak. The honey and heather follows and, much to my pleasant surprise, follows in a very muted manner that does not overpower or interfere with the whiskey. The finish is mostly a wonderful whiskey taste that lasts a fair amount of time. I must admit, this was a real pleasant surprise in that the flavors of honey and the other botanicals did not eclipse the flavor of the whiskey. By faith and begorrah, when I drink whiskey, I want to taste the whiskey!
On the rocks, the whiskey taste steps more to the front and the other flavors become even more muted; however, they add an interesting dimension to the whiskey flavor. Lately, I have tasted a lot of flavored spirits, and I do believe those folks have gotten it wrong in that all those flavors tend to mask the flavor of the spirit they have been infused into. In this particular case, Irish Mist got it right because the flavors enhance the whiskey experience and don’t interfere with it. It is reasonably priced around $26.00 per 750 ML bottle. When St. Patty’s day rolls around, do get yourself a bottle of Irish Mist and drink a toast to Ireland’s favorite son.
By George Brozowski