So tonight I was lucky enough to attend a Dingle Whiskey Tasting. Much fun, many highlights, but a certain bearded man gave me a drop of something that is reserved for the high fliers and those with full wallets. I refer of course to the Dingle Batch 4 Cask Strength.
Dingle gets bigger every time. This release, for example, see’s 33,000 odd bottles, whereas the batch 3 saw an odd 11,000 and the previous less and less. The cask strength on the other hand remains at 500 each time, and commands a high price on all markets as it is a collectible. This one however? Don’t collect it. Bloody drink the stuff. A combination of ex bourbon barrels from Basil Hayden, sherry (both Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez), and some lucky export casks makes this the most scrumptious whiskey from Dingle to date. Oh, and for reference, here are the vague measures
- 40% Oloroso
- 20% Pedro Ximenez
- 20% Bourbon
- 20% Port
Now there’s a dram, plenty of flavour and plenty of excitement. The bottle shown may not have an accurate measure of the bottles shown, but I am assured it is roughly 62%. The beardy boy can be off on some of the things.
We start first with heavy roasting peaches and nectarines, with a ginger nut biscuit and pecan nut heart, lovingly doesn’t with Glayva. From there, we head into plums, maraschino cherry and blood orange each dusted lightly with cinnamon sugar. After that we get a touch darker, with hints of roasted coffee beans, rums and raisin dark chocolate and glace cherries, a beautifully wet, hot and sticky dram. It continues on the nose with hot summer picked strawberries, blackcurrant jam and orange conserve slathered over a Christmas pudding, before apple, rock melon and watermelon juice, fruit roll-ups and melted caramel next to a macchiato with a heaping of brown sugar and almond milk, absolutely delicious.
The palate starts with touches of tobacco notes, before chocolate pudding, melted chocolate, chunks of orange, plum, raisins, sultanas, peaches and cherry all coming together in an absurd black forest gateau, lying next to a chocolate éclair with heavily whipped vanilla cream. And then we hit the spice, Jesus the spice, full of dried ginger, cinnamon sticks a light chilli flakes falling over Turkish delight and rose petals. Red vermouth suddenly appears, with strawberry jam filled donuts and a roasted coffee cake. The finish is long with an initial explosion of thick, viscous sticky cooking fruits, into a fallout of spice, chocolate flakes and coffee.
This is a ridiculously good dram. Slow to start, an intense build, with all the flavour you can pack under the sun, and so much to offer. The disappointment is that most of these bottles will find their way onto the shelves and into the cabinets of collectors who will never drink it, never look at it, and the bottles will make the rounds between buyers left right and centre. Grab a bottle if you can, and open it. You will not be disappointed with this whiskey, it is the most drinkable of any of the Dingle and new Irish releases to date. Grab a dram from the bar. Pester that collector mate of yours to open his bottle. Because a dram like this deserves to be drunk and enjoyed, and if it gathers dust then we all should be ashamed of ourselves. And because a whiskey like this is made to be drunk, not to sit on the shelf. I hope you can be as lucky as I have been, and if not, pester the beardy boy. He knows where such things can be found.