Barr an Uisce, Wicklow Rare, Small Batch Blended Irish Whiskey is quite the mouthful to say. It is a blended Irish Whiskey comprised of 80% four year old grain and 20% ten year old malt whiskeys, matured in first-fill bourbon barrels for 4 years and then finished in sherry casts for an additional 6 months.
From their website: “The Irish words “Barr an Uisce” literal English translation is “above the water”. It is also the Irish name given to Barraniskey, which is a town land set in the heart of the beautiful County of Wicklow, on the East Coast of Ireland. The Irish word “Uisce “ or “water” in English, was used during the time Irish monks first distilled what we now know to be whiskey. They called it “Uisce Beatha” meaning “Water of Life”. Known as the Garden of Ireland, Wicklow represents all that is stunning in Irish countryside. With its fresh water streams, rolling hills , lush forests and majestic views , it offers all that is expected when we think of Ireland. The founder of “Barr an Uisce” Irish Whiskey, Ian Jones, comes from a small village called Redcross which lies just below the townland of Barraniskey. Redcross, has an interesting history. It was a major stopping point for horse and carts travelling from southern Ireland to Dublin. People who travelled along the East Coast of Ireland found themselves in Redcross.
It became a meeting point for gossip, news, culture and music. Redcross and Barraniskey were both affected by the penal laws many years ago and in 1803 the Barraniskey church was built for people who moved from Redcross. The copper coloured Cross still stands in the graveyard in Redcross to this day.Ian’s family have a long history in the Pub business. Ian’s great grandfather owned a rural family pub and following in that family tradition, Ian’s family-run pub, set in the rolling hills of County Wicklow, is a hub of Community activity and life – over one hundred years on from his great-grandfathers story. It is in this pub in Redcross where friends and families come together and enjoy music and laughter in a typical Rural Irish pub. Our Brand truly represents all that is beautiful in Wicklow and Ireland and celebrates the history of our town lands and culture.”
You can find out more about Barr an Uisce, Wicklow Rare and their other offerings at their website: barranuisce.com.
AGE: 4+ Years
SERVED: Neat / Glencairn Glass
COLOR: Light Gold
Coats the glass well and forms very nice legs.
NOSE: Light, with a bit of alcohol, honey, cereal, subtle ripe fruits, and a sliver of oak.
PALATE: Quite smooth. Slightly sweet, vanilla and honey, but quickly has some mild baked fruits, a touch of light spice, bitter oak and ginger.
FINISH: Mild heat, and medium finish. Light honey and vanilla overtaken by bitter oak and ginger. It fades cleanly though, leaving just a trace of mild oak and a kiss of honey.
OVERVIEW: The tasting notes that accompanied the bottle at the store would lead one to believe this is a more complex pour that it is, in my opinion. I am not a fan of bitter or prominent oak tannin being a major player in a whiskey, and this one has that. For me, there are other Irish Whiskeys in its price range (and even lower) that I feel suit me better. It is not a bad whiskey but I am not sure it is worth the full price. If you can get it on sale, and enjoy the notes above, by all means pick some up. If it is not on sale, but still enjoy the notes above it may very well still be a good pick for you.
ADDED: As you go through your dram, and more, the oak tannins become a bit more subtle. This whiskey may open up with oxidation, so I will come back and add my thoughts as I work through this bottle.
Updated addition: With oxidation the whiskey becomes very mellow and sweet. The oak tannins still hold their spot though. So if you enjoy oak tannins this would be a very nice Irish for you. If you don’t, it is fine, but might not be ideal. Just know it is there and choose accordingly.