Since we reviewed Hyde No. 1 back in 2015, another five President’s Reserve releases of this Irish whiskey have hit the shelves. We got on our hands on the most recent, 1938 Special Reserve. Unlike the first release, which was a single malt, this bottling is a blend of 8-year-old single grain and “much older” triple-distilled single malt, reportedly 18 years old (but comprising only 25% of the blend). The two are vatted together in Oloroso sherry casks for 9 months. The first release saw similar finishing, but we struggled to find much evidence of it. Let’s see how this one fares!
Again, a sherry bomb this is not, but there are at least trace elements of red fruits and dried orange slices this go-round, all mixed with a very sweet porridge of honeyed cereals. It’s rather elegant, but a pesky note of Lemon Pledge furniture polish subdues some of that appeal. The palate is really dominated by the single grain with its unctuous sweetness. Notes of vanilla pudding, ginger beer, and stone fruit struggle a little to stand out in a sea of banana Runts. The single malt arrives on the mid-palate with salted caramel and sweet biscuits. A medium length finish relinquishes some of the more cloying elements to bring out tropical fruits and a subtle spice. Be patient with this one, unless you have a serious sweet tooth.
92 proof. 5000 bottles produced.
B+ / $60 / hydewhiskey.ie