In the run up to Christmas this year, we've asked our Whisky Marketplace retailers to have a look through their shelves to select some whisky recommendations that would make great presents or enhance your festive whisky cabinet.
First up is Richard Hawley from The Whisky Vault. To begin with, we asked him tell us a little about his business and how he became interested in whisky.
Those of you keeping a close eye on the Irish whiskey scene may have spotted “The Irishman” brand. A relative newcomer, it’s been highly rated at various international awards and by whiskey critics such as Jim Murray. Unfortunately, so far, it’s been fairly hard to come by outside of Ireland.
There is a great deal of buzz surrounding Single Pot Still Whiskey at present and many would say it’s been too long in coming. For those uninitiated into the fold, it’s worth mentioning just what defines this quintessentially Irish style of whiskey and what it is about the flavours produced that sets it apart from others. It is indeed produced in pot stills, but more importantly the mash mill is made up of both malted and un-malted barley, leading to an oily, richly characterful make that can offer considerable complexity and depth.
The Midleton Pot Still range has recently seen the addition of several new bottlings, all of which have drawn widespread praise. The Powers John Lane 12 year old is well worth a look (check out February’s Whisky Marketplace staff picks), while the Barry Crockett Legacy offers a rare chance to taste the style with some extra age and oak influence. This new Cask Strength version of Redbreast joins the reliably excellent 12 year old at 40% and 15 year old at 46%, and has already received the Whisky Advocate Award for Best Irish Whiskey of the Year 2012.