Jason/Seamus here again… I know I missed a few weeks of tasting notes, so I’m playing a little catch-up to share what is happening inside my little 1.875 liter barrel from Woodinville Whiskey Co.
I last left off right at the beginning. I had just set two 750ml bottles down in the charred new oak barrel and began the process of waiting. I’ll tell you, that first week of not taking sips was tough! I was dying to see what the oak was doing minute by minute! I -was- however to steer clear of any tastes that first week, leading to a fun discovery on day 7 when I was finally able to pour a wee dram: Colour!
Pictures of week one:
Here are the tasting notes from week one (May 30th, 2011):
- Colour: Light caramel colouring very similar to the levels of colour in Knappogue Castle and other lighter Irish whiskies.
- Nose: Sweet and floral followed by a bit of iodine.
- Palate: Toasty chocolate with a light oak. Woody, still mash heavy, but clean and hot.
- Finish: Short story, as expected at this point. Finishes very clean with a mild caramel way at the end, almost as if the dram realized it ended its story too soon and came back to finish it.
Week two I ended up tasting two days early, and as I didn’t discern much change between the first week’s tasting and this one five days later, I opted not to write down my findings (really, I had no findings other than ‘no discernible change’).
Which brings us to week three (June 12, 2011):
- Colour: Light caramel, again much like a light Irish whiskey similar though ever-so-slightly more rich than week one though barely even worth a mention.
- Nose: Light oak notes followed by a heavier corn mash / rye spice overtone (which is odd since I don’t believe any rye is used in this distillate). Still young.
- Palate: Initial sense is of the corn/wheat/barley mash, moves into a light oak with a brief bitterness in the middle reminiscent of week one’s bitterness, only slightly more muted.
- Finish: sweet and hot. Not as clean as week one with the mouth-feel imparting more lingering oils.
Since week three was a slight disappointment in terms of changes seen (not surprising mind you, but I was hoping none-the-less), I opted to cut another taste with water at a 1 part water to 2 parts whiskey ration to bring it down from the 110 proof to a more reasonable 80 or thereabouts.
- Nose: Floral notes become more evident after cutting. In this case the water really did ‘bloom’ the dram and coaxed it enough to release those florals.
- Palate: Still hot, but with a diametrically opposed watteriness. The alcohol bites, but the rest of the dram tastes thin now. Only hints of toast followed by the mash again.
- Finish: back to the clean finish of week one with greatly reduced oils, but still a big alcohol burn to contend with.
So there you go. At this point I think I will sit on this for a while before coming back to taste again. Woodinville indicates a finished product in 3-6 months, so I’ll likely cut down the frequency of tastes to once a month at this point in order to keep enough distillate in to actually fill a bottle when the process completes! Of course I’m also starting to think ahead of this run and see what I may change and do differently in the next run… my main idea being use of a different distillate…
If you’re dying for even MORE whiskies related content, you can also check out the 3DC’s “Whiskies News & Reviews Daily” over on paper.li: http://bit.ly/k3XNbj It is a GREAT way to stay abreast of all the cool things going on in the world of whiskies!