zondag 27 augustus 2023

The Dubliner. About barrels filled with whiskey, then beer, then again with whiskey.

Over the past two decades, distilleries have embarked on a captivating journey of experimentation with various barrel aging and finishing techniques. It's now widely understood that the intricate flavours of a spirit develop through the profound interaction with the barrels it matures in. A captivating evolution has seen spirits aging in multiple types of casks or the harmonious marriage of differently aged spirits. These possibilities seem limitless, and at the helm are the master distillers, the modern alchemists of our era.

In recent years, amidst the realm of extensive spirit and wine cask aging, a new trend has risen – the beer phenomenon. The practice involves loaning whisky-soaked barrels to craft beer breweries. After a period of housing beer, these barrels are returned to the distilleries and once again filled with whisky, creating a captivating exchange of flavours. The outcomes vary: sometimes the added flavour necessitates a careful search, while other times it's a marked enhancement. This dynamic holds true for both beer with a whisky twist and whisky with delightful beer undertones.

A noteworthy player in this innovative landscape is The Dublin Liberties Distillery, the birthplace of exceptional whiskies such as The Liberties, The Dubliner, and The Dead Rabbit. Their ingenious approach involves crafting a diverse range of beer-matured whiskies. These distinctive whisky releases acquire their final flourish from casks that previously cradled everything from a light blond ale to a rich dark stout.

My fortunate encounter led to a bottle of The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, meticulously finished in barrels previously housing O’Hara’s brewery’s Irish Stout. The first sip was a delightful revelation: vivid notes of green fruits intertwined with hints of cake and marshmallow, dusted with a touch of nutmeg. On the palate, an intricate dance of chocolate, confectionery delights, and vanilla unfolded. Eager to celebrate these flavours, I chose a path of simplicity. A swift mix within a mixing glass, and a classic Old Fashioned emerged, elegantly presented in a Liiton tumbler. Simplicity to the max.

In essence, the last two decades have witnessed an enchanting evolution where spirits and beer intersect within the sanctum of barrels, fostering a symphony of flavours. From the master distillers' artistry to the interplay between casks and brews, it's a tale of innovation that continues to unfold, captivating the palates of those who seek unique and exquisite tastes.

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Consulting unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.