Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Dublin Liberties Keeper's Coin Irish Whiskey Review & Tasting Notes


My 2020 Whiskey of the Year was an Irish whiskey out of The Dublin Liberties Distillery called Murder Lane.  Without getting into too many details, I've really enjoyed everything that's come out of this distillery so far.  For the most part, they're priced fairly and very flavorful.

I've been an eager student of history for as long as I can remember. One of the things I can appreciate about The Dublin Liberties is that they don't mess around with their whiskey backstories, rather, each release concentrates on the historical context of the area. The Dublin Liberties was a pretty rough part of town, located just outside of Dublin proper.

Today I'm reviewing Keeper's Coin, and the story is equally fascinating. 

"In the 1600s, under Christchurch Cathedral, there were a series of crypts that were used as illicit drinking dens. The cellar keepers each had their own coins and casks—which is where the name keeper’s coin is derived from. Excavations under the Cathedral unearthed a purse full of silver coins and several leather bottles still containing alcohol." - The Dublin Liberties Distillery

Keeper's Coin is a 16-year triple-distilled single malt that spent most of its life in first-fill Bourbon barrels, then finished in 30-year-old PX sherry hogsheads. Bottled at 46% AVB (92°),  you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $159.99 for a 750ml. There were only 1700 bottles produced. I'd like to thank The Dublin Liberties Distillery for providing me a sample of Keeper's Coin in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. It is time to #DrinkCurious and discover if this is worth the premium.

Appearance:  In my Glencairn glass, Keeper's Coin presented as the color of old gold, much like a gold coin.  A surprisingly thick rim was created, and that led to a heavy curtain of wavy legs that fell back into the pool of liquid sunshine.

Nose:  Pineapple, pineapple, pineapple!  It was unmistakable. Aromas of lemon zest, honey, vanilla, and malt were buried underneath. When I inhaled through my open mouth, the pineapple and vanilla carried through.

Palate:  The mouthfeel was thick, creamy, and full-bodied.  On the front, lemon was introduced and then pineapple shoved it out of the way. The middle was far more complicated, with stewed pear, baked apple, golden raisin, apricot, and milk chocolate. Toasted oak, toasted almond, and honey danced on the back.

Finish:  One would think with all that sugary sweetness, there would be no room for spice on the finish. Clove and freshly-cracked black pepper through me for a loop before the pineapple and honey said they weren't quite done yet. The finish was medium in length, and as everything faded away, vanilla rose from out of nowhere. 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I found Keeper's Coin to be full of flavor, and I'm usually a sucker for pineapple notes.  Keeper's Coin had plenty of it to go around from the nose to the palate, and the palate to the finish. It also had a very rich mouthfeel.

I have to consider a few things with Keeper's Coin.  First is the fact that this is a 16-year-old Irish whiskey. The second is that I stated for $120.00, I could be persuaded to buy a bottle of Murder Lane, but wouldn't pay much more than that and tossed a Bar rating at it. I'm looking at something three years older for another $30.00. This leads to a couple of questions:

  • Did I enjoy Keeper's Coin?  Most certainly.
  • Did I enjoy it more than Murder Lane?  Truth be told I would rate Murder Lane higher than Keeper's Coin.

While very good, I still can't see myself paying $160.00 for this whiskey. That leaves me with no other rating than a Bar for this one, same as with Murder Lane. Cheers!

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System
  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

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