By Emma Briones
Flaming Pig is the brainchild of Irish entrepreneurs Joey Shore and Flor Prendergast. Under the name of Malone’s Whiskey Co., they’ve launched a whiskey, Flaming Pig Black Cask, and a whiskey liqueur, Flaming Pig Spiced Irish.
Flaming Pig Black Cask is a small batch blend of single grain and single malt Irish whiskey aged from 4 to 10 years. The whiskey is produced at West Cork Distillers’s plant in Skibbereen. The whisky is finished in first-fill bourbon casks that have been intensely charred, which, according to the brand, gives them a richer and slightly smoky flavor. Like some Bourbons, the whiskey draws any smoky flavor from the barrel (hence “black cask”) and not peating the malted barley. It is bottled at 40% abv (80 proof).
The name of the whiskey, Flaming Pig, is inspired by the great fire of 1875 that took the Liberties neighborhood in Dublin. That inferno on the night of June 18th burned Malone’s warehouse, which had around 1.800 whiskey casks..
A problem in the neighborhood at that time was that there were a lot of farm animals. It is said that while the whiskey was flowing in rivers through the streets, the pigs started to scream. According to the brand, the Dubliners, warned by the pig’s noise, took everything they had in hand, like boots and hats, and started to collect the precious liquid. As a tribute to the thirsty Dubliners, Flaming Pig was born.
Flaming Pig Black Cask comes in a simple and elongated bottle. It displays a label in black and white where there is an illustration of a pig running, with some houses in the back. In the glass, the whiskey is dark gold with medium tears.
The first scents on the nose are really sweet. Some vanilla, caramel and toasted oak notes prevail, a clear influence of the Bourbon casks. They are followed by smooth fruity scents, mostly peaches and apples.
On the palate, the blend is soft and mellow while strong in the aftertaste. There are vanilla and hazelnut notes that slowly blend with apple pie notes and touches of peaches in syrup. Finally, the sweetness becomes a dry and spicy touch.
The finish is medium going to lengthy. It highlights pepper notes, with sweet and mellow touches on the background.
Flaming Pig Black Cask is a surprise. It has the soft character of an Irish whiskey and the dry touch at the end catches your attention. Even though it is quite discreet on the nose, it has some layers on the palate and the finish is quite interesting. A different whiskey easy to enjoy on a rainy afternoon.
Nevertheless, in its price range, there are some whiskies (Irish and Scottish) that have much more depth. But it is an interesting dram for those who want to taste all the options that the new Irish whiskey wave can offer.
Flaming Pig Black Cask is currently available in some European markets. It is retailed around €30.