The Global Spirits Masters is a tasting panel comprised of Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, Senior Buyers and renowned mixologists. Each year, they convene to blindly judge entries from thousands of brands across dozens of categories. Experts have released a fall list of the best liquids currently on shelves. And today we’re taking a closer look at what they’ve named as their top Irish whiskey bottling: The Don.
This ultra-premium single malt from The Craft Irish Whiskey Company has undergone quite a journey before arriving at the judges’ table. Initially in Boubon barrels he was aged for four years and then placed in barrels seasoned with Tawny Port. The whiskey then returned to its original Boubon, this time with heavily toasted oak, before being given the final finishing touch in a series of his PX barrels ranging from 64 liters to 225 liters. This meant that he used six different barrels in just under seven years of maturation.
This is obviously labor intensive and a very unusual approach for a relatively young juice bottled at a strict cask strength of 46.15% ABV. However, it is clear that this methodology has achieved remarkable results, as evidenced by the glowing praise of the GSM judges. In fact, this helps with how a whiskey under 7 years old can stand up to competition three times its age.
“Don has a rich nose with a rye-like dusty character, a beautiful deep amber color, and port-like red fruit aromas on the nose,” said Harvey Nichols panel chairman Brian Rodriguez-Curtis. said. “The taste is so rich, pure luxury. It makes you stop and demands your attention, delivering opulence, complexity, full-bodied texture, and wonderfully complex flavors. Savor slowly with companions. It’s a sacred whiskey that you want to enjoy while enjoying it. It’s amazing.”
It’s hard to imagine a greater compliment. The only thing he doesn’t mention is the unique mouthfeel of this particular whisky. It has a smooth nutty flavor that is rarely seen in alcoholic beverages of this age.
It’s also worth noting that this expression comes from the same brand that made headlines in 2021 with the release of a $2 million luxury set. In fact, The Craft Irish Whiskey Company is known for its flashy, eye-catching design elements and astronomical pricing. The main product of its portfolio.
But the brand has been keen to prove that there is significant substance behind its style. Last year, Craft Irish won the World’s Best Irish Whiskey award at the 2022 World Whiskey Awards for the release of Devil’s Keep. The bottle is on shelves for a staggering £12,400. Don retails for approximately $220, making it the company’s most accessible bottle to date.
Nevertheless, it stops great on any backbar. Its geometric design is meant to evoke the shape of Tech Duinn, the mythical home of the Irish god Don, from whom this release takes its name. The top of the bottle has a stopper made of copper and obsidian. If you want to pop the cork, you can expect to find one of the 4,477 bottles that make up the initial release in select European markets. On its website, CIWC promises further information about this expression, which will soon be introduced to the US market.
Stay tuned for more winners to be announced at the Global Spirits Masters 2023 Bling Tasting…