Last Friday saw the launch of Whiskey Burn at Whiskey Live Dublin, a lively affair if ever there was one. I was there with a batch of 56 books - hot off the press - and shortly into the Saturday session they had all sold out, so we were left with just the display copy on the table for the rest of the evening – but, can’t complain about that.
With every copy sold or ordered, there was the offer of a ‘free mystery dram’ from a brown-paper-wrapped bottle, the identity of which was not revealed to anyone. All we could say was that it was not available elsewhere at WhiskeyLive Dublin this year, and it was Irish. There were some interesting guesses: ‘Could be a Bushmills’ .. `Kilbeggan?’ .. ‘Teeling?’ .. ‘A blend of all Irish whiskeys?’
Someone even said it might be Proper 12 – true, that was not at WhiskeyLive, as far as I saw, but no that wasn’t it either. There were notes detected of ‘autumn fruits’ - ‘apricots’ - ‘vanilla’ – ‘coffee’- ‘white chocolate’ – ‘toasted wood’ - and so on. But nobody got it right (there wasn’t a prize for the correct guess anyway besides bragging rights) and, as promised, the identity of the mystery dram can now be revealed. The mystery dram was:
Kinahan’s Irish Whiskey
Small Batch, 46%, from the Heritage Collection.
Kinahan’s was originally founded in 1779 in Dublin by Daniel Kinahan (1756-1827). It was the first ever legally protected whiskey brand (1863), before any trademark had been registered. The L.L. on the labels, by the way, first appeared in 1807 in honour of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland who reserved his own vat of Kinahan’s – he was a big fan, by all accounts. The brand hit those hard times along with most of Irish whiskey in the 19th century, (and that’s another long story) but was eventually revived in 2012.
These are the official tasting notes for Kinahan’s Small Batch 46%:
- 37.5% grain. 1st fill bourbon casks for vanilla, extra sweetness, caramel sweet cream.
- 37.5% grain. 2nd fill boubon casks for light vanilla, light cream, orange peel & apricot.
- 25% Malt. 1st & 2nd fill bourbon casks. Fruity toffee, red apple, mocha coffee, tobacco.
A big thanks to the team at Kinahan’s for supplying us the bottles, and letting us use it as the Whiskey Burn mystery whiskey – Slàinte!