Barr an Uisce Wicklow Rare – Producer: Barr an Uisce. ABV: 43%. No age statement. Blend: 80% grain, 20% 10-year-old malt. Price: $50.
Barr an Uisce 1803 Single Malt – Producer: Barr an Uisce. ABV: 46%. Age: 10 years. Price $80.
One of the real pleasures of the Axis experience is discovering new and delightful Irish whiskies. From the various Spots from Mitchell & Sons (Green and Yellow, with more to come) to the great stuff being produced by Teeling, Irish whiskey is absolutely on the rise.
I’m pleased to report that the offerings from Barr an Uisce fit in quite nicely with the aforementioned heavy hitters. The name translates into “above the water,” and I’d say that this relatively new distillery out of Barraniskey is punching above its weight with these two releases.
The Wicklow Rare is a blended whiskey that’s matured in first-fill bourbon barrels, then finished in Oloroso casks for six months. I got scents of honey, baked raisin, vanilla, and an ever-so-slight medicinal apple on the nose. The palate carried more of the raisin, along with hazelnuts and dark fruit–some plum. The finish is brief but pleasant. It’s a good whiskey, if perhaps a tad bit overpriced.
Now the 1803 Single Malt–well, that’s an entirely different beast. Its name comes from the year when the Barraniskey St. Patrick’s Church was built, and the drink drives for classic single malt. There’s a Wicklow-ish vanilla and honey on the nose, but the palate is infinitely richer than that of the blend. Malt is present throughout, along with a whisper of ginger, cinnamon, baked caramel, and absolute oakiness. The finish is far more sustained, and leaves you wondering whether you want to pour another, or just want to hold onto the sweet memory of the dram you’ve just drained. I adored this one, and you can be sure I’ll be looking for a bottle very soon.
Cheers, friends! -TM