We’ve been keeping tabs on Ireland’s Dingle Distillery since 2019. While we haven’t been privy to the entire progression of their house-distilled single malt whisky, Chris had the opportunity to explore both Batch 3 and Batch 4 a few years back. Those batched expressions, which each relied on a different mix of cask types, appear to be taking a back seat for the moment to make way for the distillery’s first core expression, which officially entered the American market in December 2022. Dingle Single Malt Whiskey is produced entirely at the Dingle Distillery, a rare distinction among smaller Irish distillers many of whom still rely on sourced product. While the first limited run Dingle batches that we encountered both utilized some Port cask aging, this expression has been aged in a mix of first-fill ex-bourbon (39%) and ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry (61%) casks for a respectable six to seven years. Let’s see how this new Dingle flagship fairs, shall we?
It’s surprisingly vibrant, even for a style of whiskey that can often be bright and lively. The aroma is fresh with honeyed malts and a bit of oatmeal cookie, but it’s the outsized fruit notes that really steal the show with candy-sweet elements of Maraschino cherry, lime zest, and even a little strawberry. A bit of butterscotch gives the whole thing a pleasantly creamy edge. On the palate, the fruit notes initially tend toward tart lemon and even a little stone fruit before offering up more sweet malts, baked apple, and a subtle mix of baking spice and vanilla bean. Light bodied and impressively approachable, it’s also a bit restrained with most of the complexity delivered up front and dissolved into an easy finish showcasing subtle notes of dark raisin and cinnamon sugar. For Dingle’s first mass market offering, there’s plenty to admire.