By Richard Thomas
Although it is a much smaller country, sometimes it seems as if Ireland has a new whiskey brand popping up just often as is the case across the Atlantic in the U.S. One of the newcomers is Hyde Whiskey, a sourced 10 year old single malt from Cork County’s Hibernia Distillers.
The whiskey is named for Douglas Hyde, who as Ireland’s first President (1938 to 1945) was quite a character, and also a prominent figure in the Gaelic Revival. Hyde was famed for his handlebar whiskers and warm personality, and corresponded with both Franklin Roosevelt and King George V about stamp collecting. His namesake whiskey ex-bourbon barrel Cooley stock, finished in first-fill sherry butts, and bottled unfiltered at 46% abv as part of a 5,000-bottle release.
In the glass, Hyde shines like bright, rich gold. The nose is crisp, bearing malty and apple sweetness mixed with field heather and fresh wood shavings.
On the palate, the whiskey has a hefty texture and flavors of malty honey flavor mixed with peppery spices, with notes of dried fruits and caramel. The finish rolls off an aftertaste of orange blossom honey, coming on with a peppery, warm afterglow. The degree of warmth was surprising, given the mildness of the spices on the palate.
I’m left wondering where the sherry finish is, or perhaps how long the whiskey spent in the sherry butts, because of how little of the archtypal signs of Oloroso time there is. That said, this is still a nice little Irish single malt, and as good or better than any 10 year old Irish single malt I’ve had.
£50 in the UK and €70 in Ireland.