The Irishman brand underwent some tweaking in 2022 with sexy new packaging and a few edits to the core lineup. What once was the entry-level Founder’s Reserve Blend is now dubbed The Harvest and a new rum-finished expression has joined Single Malt and Vintage Cask in the non-age stated portion of the portfolio. All that said, today we’re finally taking a look at The Irishman’s two age-stated offerings, both of which are holdovers from the old lineup but now sport fancy new duds. Thoughts follow.
The Irishman Single Malt 12 Years Old – This one is fairly straightforward in composition; triple distilled from 100% Irish barley and aged exclusively in first fill bourbon casks. The aroma is sweet and effusive with a lovely mix of malt and fruit. Top notes of ripe honeydew melon and tinned pears give way to waxy honeycomb, shortbreads, and apple butter. The palate is medium-bodied and well-balanced with a classic, malty entry – vanilla biscuits and toffee – that transitions quickly to sugary plums, nectarine, and fruit cake. The finish is peppery and warming with dry baking spices and a lingering baked peach note. An impressive single malt. 86 proof. A- / $75
The Irishman Single Malt 17 Years Old – This single malt is also triple distilled from 100% Irish barley, but maturation occurs in a first fill oloroso sherry butt. The final whiskey is bottled as a single cask expression without chill filtration (only three casks are produced each year). It’s a completely different whiskey from the 12 year old with an intense, alluring nose of raisin, treacle, black tea, and old furniture. It’s a touch dry but there’s still an underlying, custardy sweetness that builds as it opens. On the palate, the oloroso shines with rich notes of chocolate-covered almonds, fig jam, buttery dark berry cobbler, and a flourish of baking spice. Things dry out a bit heading into the finish with more spice and black pepper, followed by a sweet coda of syrupy cocktail cherry and dark chocolate sauce. A roller coaster ride. And a fun one, at that. 112 proof. A / $160