Irish whiskey brand Tullamore DEW has finally launched three products to the UK market, six years after the brand was bought by William Grant & Sons.
The first is the 14 Year Old (41.3% abv, £59.95), a single malt that’s been triple distilled and aged in four different types of cask. The liquid is first aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 13.5 years, then is split between port, oloroso sherry and madeira casks for the final six months. The result is a perfumed dram of pineapple, banana and crème anglaise with some sandalwood, pencil shavings and a whisper of rancio. A hot pepper character overlies this ultimately dry spirit.
The 18 Year Old (41.3% abv, £99.95) follows the same barrel-ageing formula, however the liquid spends 17 years in bourbon barrels before being finished in the other three casks for a total of 12 months. It boasts an elegant fragrance, with pine, papaya and further sandalwood intermingling with caramelised hazelnuts. There’s plenty of wood influence on the palate, which is notably dry – a clear piney character and some prickly spice gives way to some grassy characters before a clear dark chocolate note sings through on the finish.
The final offering is a limited-edition single-batch NAS called Tullamore DEW Phoenix (55% abv, £54.95) which was created to mark the opening of the new Tullamore distillery in 2014. The name of the whiskey is a nod to a hot air balloon disaster that happened in Tullamore – the world's first air disaster no less – that resulted in a third of the town burning down.
The resulting whiskey is no less fiery, with a sweet initial palate of toffee, fudge and cooked apples morphing into something rather salty, with lemon peel, wood shavings and lots of pepper and chilli spice before a cocoa and pecan finish.
The three whiskeys have been available in Ireland and travel retail in recent years, so you may have seen them on back bars before, but this is the first time they’ve been available over here.
It may be early years for the new Tullamore distillery, which opened in 2014, but William Grant & Sons UK's director of prestige Kirsten Grant Meikle revealed that they’re already doubling capacity. ‘We’re laying spirit down every day now,’ she said.
William Grant & Sons, 01698 843843