Writers’ Tears is a perennial Irish whiskey favorite, and it’s been exciting to see a series of new expressions arrive from the brand. This latest is named Red Head on account of its lovely, ruddy color, a result of being matured in oloroso sherry casks. There’s no age statement here, but the impact is altogether clear on color, nose, and palate.
The color’s inviting on its own, but the rest of the experience reveals plenty more sherry-fueled fun. A bit leathery and wood-heavy on the nose, the whiskey takes its time to let fruit notes perk up, but eventually they do, with expressed orange peel offering a spritz of citrus oil aromatics across the top of your glass. A bit more time in glass reveals some curious notes of mint and rosemary, neither of which I normally expect to find in an Irish whiskey.
The palate flips the script and lets the citrusy orange emerge more clearly, alongside notes of plump raisins, vanilla, cream soda, and ginger. Increasingly aromatic and floral as it develops, the finish finds some sharpness, driven perhaps by the relatively upsized abv. Said finish is long and lingering, a bit hot, but never short of engaging.
Drink the sultry original all night long, but finish your evening with a glass of Red Head to perk things up.
Aka Writer’s Tears.