By Dave Faries

Tullamore Dew


The uninitiated might think Irish whiskey brandishes the same pugnacious, brawling character as the “Hell on Wheels” railroad laborers of the wild, wild west--and it is distilled to a greater proof than American bourbons.

But blended Irish whiskey owes its popularity to a much less volatile nature.

Tullamore Dew, for example, approaches you with fresh, citrusy aromas wrapping around mellow notes of malt and oak.

The taste is balanced, with wood and buttery caramel nodding to orange and spice as they pass. The finish is long and more assertive, yet softened by the ever present comfort of malt.

As with most Irish blends, the word “smooth” comes to mind when one begins jotting down tasting notes.

The whiskey houses of Ireland and Northern Ireland generally measure malted and unmalted grain to soften edges and distill three times to tame the spirit’s mood. The brands that last--Tullamore, Bushmills, Jamesons--share an everyday familiarity.

So Tullamore is mild and approachable--and a bit too easy for those of us brought up in the angst-ridden world of terroir, age and single grain.

Fortunatly, Ireland produces some alluring singles, as well.


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