REVIEW: WRITERS TEARS :: MARSALA CASK FINISH
On my recent travels to Ireland, I had the pleasure of meeting with Serghios Florides of Irish Whiskey Magazine at The Dingle Whiskey Bar. An encyclopedia of Irish Whiskey knowledge and a very generous human, he shared so much great history on the category over some great drams. If you ever visit the bar, please be sure to ask for Eva, as she too is a powerhouse full of knowledge on Irish whiskey! We tasted through Bushmills Black Bush, Dingle Single Pot Still, and Method and Madness Single Malt , all delicious and leaving me quite satisfied. Then Serghios pulls out his backpack and says something along the lines of “Oh, I have this new whiskey that hasn’t been released yet, would you like to try it?” My eyes of course lit up like a child seeing presents around the tree on Christmas morning! Too, I must note that I really appreciated that moment, as I’m usually the one pulling whiskey from my bag! What he brought out was The Writers Tears Marsala Cask Finish, with this particular bottle being No. 268 of 480 of Cask 3149, specifically designated for The Celtic Whiskey Shop! My eyes of course got wider and my heart started to thump a wee bit harder. Trying a new whiskey for the first time, especially in its homeland, with people who love it as much as I do, is a very special thing for me. Now, before I get into the whiskey, I want to talk to you about how beautiful and packed full of great information Irish Whiskey Magazine is. The pages feel like velvet, and what is written on them is everything you need to know about Irish whiskey right now. Serghios gives great perspective from both sides of the coin, and is covering the latest and greatest rumblings on the rebirth of this determined and underrated category. I highly recommend subscribing, as each issue is a true labor of love, much like whiskey.
I’ll be completely honest, this was my first ever experience with Writer’s Tears, or anything coming from Walsh Whiskey. The Whiskey Fairy drinks Writer’s Tears quite often, specifically on Wednesdays at the local Irish pub, and he rather enjoys it. So he was quite chuffed to be bringing this home!
For this particular expression, Walsh released a blend of single pot and single malt finished in 5 Marsala hogsheads for 12 months from Florio Winery in Sicily. Of the 5 casks that were bottled and released, Ireland will have 3 of the 5 (Dublin Airport Cask No: 3147, the Celtic Whiskey Shop in central Dublin Cask No. 3149, and Cask No. 3148 assigned for general release in Ireland), with Cask No. 3145 headed for Australia. As for the last cask, nobody knows. Perhaps the Walshes have it in their kitchen, fashioned with a spout. I mean, thats what I would do.
I’m glad they decided to bottle at 45%, which is 5% higher than their standard bottlings, as the Marsala fireworks would have been lost at 40%. I will say though, selfishly, that this would be stunning at cask strength! Also worth noting, this has NOT been chill filtered (yay!) , and again I believe this really benefits from that.
Writer’s Tears Florio Marsala Cask Finish
Cask Type: Marsala Hogshead
Cask No. 3149
Bottle No. 268 of 480
Non chill filtered, bottled at 45%
Distilled, matured and bottled in bond for Walsh Whiskey Distillery
RRP for Ireland is €75.
Nose: From the bottle, thick sticky Marsala notes are exploding with caramel green apples. In the glass, I get candied pecans, cantaloupe, and on the tail end bubble gum the further away the glass gets.
Palate: It is not thick and sticky as the nose previews, but thinner and with some bright refreshing qualities on just mouth feel. Flavors are super nutty, like macadamia and more candied pecans and peanut brittle. There is a hint of sweet melon and baking spices too. A lovely combination of flavors that evolve more and more with each sip. Think rich and decadent flavors, but not heavy and hearty. Best way to describe this is like Christmas in July.
Finish: Short on departure but sneaks back up and sits on the inside of your bottom lip with some tang.
Overall: I am sad this wont be making its way to the states. For my first rodeo with Writer’s Tears, I am super pleased. It is a beautifully rich whisky thats not heavy and offers a great taste of how lovely Irish Whiskey can be! If you’re ever in Ireland, or Australia, give it a go!
Walsh Whiskey Offices (not open to the public)
Deerpark Business Park,
Tel: +353 59 9133232
Fax: +353 59 9133291
Irish Whiskey Magazine
I have so much more to share with you all on my recent trip to the Emerald Isle, but those posts are all still in the making, as there is so much information to tell! Stay tuned!
The fine print: All reviews and thoughts are honest, and photos are my own. The sample, bottle, and magazines were very generously gifted to me by Serghios Florides. A very kind gesture! Thank you so much Serghios for your incredible generosity!