Distiller: Cooley. Producer: Hyde. ABV: 46%. Age: 10 years. Price: $70.
The Hyde Irish Whiskey President’s Cask No. 1 is one of two very recent releases from the very new Hibernia Distillers in West Cork. No. 1 is a sherry finish, No. 2 a rum finish, and both start with a 10-year-old single malt sourced from the Cooley Distillery while Hibernia waits for its own stocks to mature. Sound familiar? It’s the Irish equivalent of American craft whiskey makers like Smooth Ambler releasing MGP stocks to bring in revenue until they’re ready to bottle their own.
I was eager to try this, having a soft spot in my heart for Cork after a memorable summer there during my college years. How is it? The nose is lovely, with the sherry coming through like an Old Fashioned cocktail with a singed blood orange rind. The palate is pleasantly malty but oddly quick.
The trouble comes on the finish: tarry with a touch of sulphur that goes on and on. I love a long finish–but not a sulphuric one. With enough time, the bitterness dissipates a bit, but not entirely. A shame after so promising a beginning. Still, I’d be curious to try the rum cask, which I’ve heard good things about.
Cheers, friends! -BO
Hyde graciously provided a sample for review, and the photo above is from Hyde’s Instagram page. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.