Tullamore D.E.W. has been on a tear with new variants lately, and its latest expression, following up on last year’s Cider Cask Finish release, is here: Tullamore D.E.W. Caribbean Rum Cask Finish. As you might expect, this whiskey consists of “the brand’s signature Irish whiskey, Tullamore D.E.W. Original, finished in barrels previously used to age Demerara rum.”
Tullamore D.E.W. Caribbean Rum Cask Finish is inspired by the brand’s new global advertising campaign, “Beauty of Blend,” which champions the ways in which blends of all kinds impact our whiskey and our world for the better. In the 16th and 17th centuries, more than 50,000 Irish immigrants settled in the West Indies where a tradition of Irish whiskey distilling blended with local rum production and expanded the business globally. Reflecting this unique history, the product’s packaging is inspired by antique Caribbean trade maps, passport stamps and travel journals.
A little boozy on the nose, the whiskey actually offers the initial impression of a young white rum rather than any of its barrel influence. Ample vanilla and some apple cider notes round out the aromatic profile. The palate finds more of those heavy alcohol notes, here backed up by a rustic melange of fresh wood, salted caramel, and some dusky clove notes. The rum makes some impact on the finish, which is again on the tough and aggressive side.
Rum cask-finished whiskey can be an enchanting thing, but the delicacy of the original Irish spirit and the apparent power of the rum casks used to finish this offering from Tullamore D.E.W. simply feel at odds with one another this time around.