By Richard Thomas
The Irishman Founder’s Reserve is the original version of The Irishman created by Walsh Whiskey founder Bernard Walsh, the same man and company that also bottles Writer’s Tears. The blend is an unusual one in that it is a mixture of 30% pot still and 70% malt whiskey, all triple distilled and aged in ex-bourbon barrels. At the time this 40% abv blend was originally created, it was the only blend in Ireland with no grain whiskey content. Today it stands as the entry-level whiskey of The Irishman line.
I sometimes see pictures of The Irishman with metal screw tops, but my bottle came with a heavy foil seal and a plastic and cork stopper. In the glass, the whiskey has a bright, solid gold appearance, firmly on the malty Irish whiskey turf.
The nose drips of apples, honey, herbs and just a pinch of white pepper. Mirroring that, the silky liquid delivers a cookie spice and apple sweetness with a note of peppery wood. The finish is lightly spiced, but very, very long.
For the opening statement of a line-up, Founder’s Reserve does a magnificent job. Although not complex, the whiskey is certainly rounded and balanced, and not being complicated makes it very approachable.
In the UK, expect to pay £35, while in Europe The Irishman Founder’s Reserve might run you as little as €28 or €30. In the United States, expect that to be $30 to $32.