Happy St. Patrick's Day! If you're Irish, this is your day. If you're not Irish, well, today you are, because everyone is. It is all in good fun. Even the whiskey is Irish today. My pour actually is.
I have a few excellent Irish whiskeys in my library, but for my celebratory pour, I decided to go with something brand new to me. I've chosen Slane "Triple Casked" Irish whiskey. What, exactly, is Slane? The short answer is it is Brown-Forman's contribution to the Irish whiskey world. The distillery itself is located at Slane Castle in County Meath.
Slane is an affordable choice. My bottle ran $29.99. The bottle itself is hefty with SLANE embossed on two of the side panels and the crest on the front and back and a screw-top closure.
Brown-Forman does not disclose who sources this whiskey for them, and it carries no age statement, but in order to meet the legal requirements of Irish whiskey, it must be at least three years old. It is a marriage of an Irish Single Malt and Irish Single Grain whiskeys that have been aged in three different casks: virgin oak, seasoned oak, and Oloroso Sherry barrels. It was then bottled at 80°.
The background and story are interesting, but what matters most is how this Irish whiskey tastes. As such, it is time to #DrinkCurious.
In the glass, Slane had a unique appearance for an Irish whiskey. I'm used to a far paler color. In this case, a rich gold presented. It left a very thin rim on the Glencairn that generated equally thin and slow legs to drop back to the pool.
Aromas of honey and sherry were heavily represented. Underneath those were sweet, dried fruits such as raisins and prunes. I also picked up oak and vanilla. When I inhaled through my lips, it was all thick butterscotch that made my mouth water.
The mouthfeel was very thin and oily and led to a very complex palate. Up front, flavors of leather and oak were dominant. But, after the initial shock to the palate, it was far easier to pick up cocoa and coffee. While the front was very savory, mid-palate became fruity and sweet, with honey and raisin dancing across the tongue, obviously due to the sherry influence. The back changed up to an interesting combination of butterscotch, vanilla, and malt.
That sweetness hung on for a medium-long finish of the sweet, dried fruit and oak. When I allowed long pauses between sips, pepper popped up, hung around for a moment, and then vanished while yielding to sherry sweetness.
Bottle, Bar or Bust: I have to say I really enjoyed this whiskey. Slane is completely atypical of my experience with Irish whiskey that it captured my full attention. I'm not suggesting it blew me away, but considering the price point and everything that was going on in my mouth, I'm rating this as a Bottle to keep in my library.