Sunday morning, waking up. Slight headache, perhaps that last one before bed was a touch much, but I hadn’t timed my Netflix to drink ratio properly. Rookie mistake. Breakfast, things to do. Shower and all that shit. Sweet glorious coffee. I told my father that I would come over for dinner and the fútbol games and all that, free food, good company. Good plan, good day, sunshine, all of that. As the caffeine starts to take hold my brain begins to fire on all 5 cylinders, like an Audi or something. I’m not sure why they use 5 cylinder engines, but I also know I’m no V12. Full speed ahead Sunday, sort of, not too fast. I seek fresh air, beauty, nature. 32 degrees is lovely flannel weather, these woods are lovely, dark and deep, and this is a pleasant but small mountain and…holy shit what a view. I crack open a Smutty and marvel at my glorious decision to trek through the snow on a crisp winter’s day. Sunday morning coming up into a lovely afternoon.
Anyways, I carry on to the stated goal and make moves, hustling down the icy slopes to the valiant steed Cecelia and onwards to father’s home. My father is a good man, good conversation and the like. The Patriots are playing like absolute shit, and I assume Benedict Arnold must have something to do with it. Fortunately I don’t really care, it’s football, and my mind is on the prize. Bangers and Colcannon. Wild Boar Andouille and po-tay-toes. La vie en emerald, I shall wash it down for authenticity with Guinness extra stout (the bottle as stout as the contents.) I gorge myself, as I am wont to do, yet I must also hit the road and I know. With fare-thee-wells I hit the road and wend my way home to rest and digest. In the event of pleasant day, crack bottle and nightcap—today’s prize needed to be one to suit the diet of the day, Irish Whiskey, which brings me (sadly only figuratively) to West Cork.
West Cork Distillers is a relative newcomer to the Irish Whiskey biz, one of many fresh brands to invigorate a once threatened, and still under-rated market. Since their founding in 2003 it seems the Distillers have grown immensely, while sticking close to the roots and their own methods. In under 13 years (at this writing) West Cork has expanded to include a second distillery, and has expanded sales into 35 countries across the globe, including, glory-be, the Democratic Republic of New Hampshire. Also of note, as I steal all of this information so thoroughly professionally from their website, is that they are the only distillery in Ireland to malt their own barley, and one of few to use fresh spring water. (In-text citation, plagiarism.)
Tonight’s West Cork offering, which I highly doubt will be my last, is their base-model blended. The nose on this (mine is a touch stuffy) is strongly of citrus, to the point where I must ask myself if there is lemon oil in the soap I used to wash the glass—no? Well then, lovely light lemony liquor with a hint of warmth at the base so faint as to be a possible mirage. Shockingly I have confirmed I am not drinking straight lemon oil, which is a relief, because what I am drinking is quite pleasant. The taste is lightly of biscuit, with a base of sweet grain note I’m inclined to call “sconey” because I’m rather fond of scones. There is a light and pleasant vanilla, which after this many whiskey articles is starting to seem like a worthless thing to say, but it’s there dammit and it’s delicious. The lemon which dominated the nose is present, tingling round the edges of my tongue and flashing a tad with a deep breathe, truly a vaporous entity of the whiskey. Finally, that warm note hiding so cleverly in the nose again is lightly present on the finish a touch of light brown sugar, and even a dusting of spice, which I can only attribute to the possibility the bourbon barrels they age in once head a high rye jewel. Baseless accusations, I know.
In short, this was the perfect ending to a pleasant day of Irish culinary delights. Except I the bangers we had were far from traditional Irish, more Creole or something. I have noted before, and I will note again, that Irish whiskies can be very difficult to rate, because they play a fine game of subtle eloquence, like a liquid Yeats. As an entry offering, West Cork has done a lovely job of offering yet another fine piece to the canon of Irish liquor-ature, with a distinct and balanced blend, which only entices me to further explore their catalogue.