By Father John Rayls
Irish whiskey is the fastest growing sector of the world whiskey industry, driven to the largest extent by exports to the United States. That boom has driven a proliferation of new Irish whiskey brands, both sourced and from new distilleries, and I believe Barr an Uisce is one of the better ones. It’s made from 80% four year old grain and 20% ten year old malt whiskeys (presumably the same as used in their single malt expression), and these are then aged finished for an additional 6 months in Oloroso Sherry casks.
The color is a pale gold in the glass, although it appears slightly darker in the bottle. There are bright gold highlights as the light is reflected off of and diffused through it.
The nose is subtle, but easily detected with a very slight alcohol burn. There are notes of honey, cereal and very light oak. The legs are long and very active.
There is a light oily mouthfeel, with most of the activity at mid-palate. It is a very smooth and easy drinking whiskey with flavors of creme brûlée, light grain alcohol and very subtle sherry notes. The finish is long and clean (crisp?), with light notes of sweet ginger.
You definitely want to drink this neat, and this is a very good whiskey to try with a medium to full bodied cigar.
I do believe that Barr an Uisce whiskeys are priced a little higher than they are really worth, so I can’t call them bargains, but they are nice whiskeys all the same. Barr an Uisce Wicklow Rare Irish Whiskey itself is retailing in the neighborhood of $49.99 for a 750ml bottle.