Irish whisky hasn’t been a whisky of choice here at Whisky & Comics. Not for any real reason, but rather it’s more about being selective with the time and money you can invest into a hobby that is drinking and tasting whisky. Since it’s the first St. Patrick’s Day since the site started, we figured this was a good opportunity to delve into a practically unknown part of the world of whisky.

We also happened to make this decision on the fly, as we were driving away from civilization and liquor stores that had a real selection of whisky. We took a chance at a liquor store we don’t usually shop at, and picked up the Bushmills Single Malt 10 year old. This was about as fancy as it got, but it’s also good to establish a baseline for a whisky you might not be very familiar with. I find if I’m trying a new distillery, I don’t like to go for the high end release initially, but would rather “taste my way up” to gain perspective on the whisky. How the barrels, aging and other factors change the taste through the different releases.

The Bushmills 10 year old is matured in bourbon and oloroso sherry casks, this was a good indication that there would be some familiar tastes in the whisky, even though we’d never tried it before. The ABV or alcohol by volume is 40%. The colour is nice golden amber, honey-ish look.

On the nose, it’s very sweet with hints of vanilla, peaches and cream, black cherry, and raspberry. It doesn’t have a spicy, earthy or floral undertone to it at all, at least none that were obvious to us.

To taste, there was immediately a continuation of the vanilla from the nose, but also opened up with a woody taste, which may have been a result of the bourbon barrels (total guess). It’s a bit sea-salty, with a bit of a metallic taste. On the finish it’s a herbal finish (maybe even a touch peaty?) with a very smooth mouth feel.

We decided to add in a beer tasting for this post as well. We don’t normally taste beer for the purpose of writing about it, and actually drank a glass of it before realizing that we probably should have paid attention to what we were doing. C’est la vie.

Porterhouse Oyster Stout has the obvious stout-ness to it. It certainly leans to a coffee on the nose has that familiar “roasted” smell to it, maybe the smell at the beginning of a fresh pot of coffee. To taste it has that light, non-acidic coffee flavour, it’s a lighter stout and isn’t as smooth as a Guinness. It doesn’t drink like a meal, like a Guinness tends to do. The finish is pretty much a mystery which is likely due to the oysters that are added during the brewing process, although there are some hints of seafood throughout. The Oyster stout is an enjoyable beer that I would likely buy again if it were more readily available.

Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, you should probably pair the drinks with a delicious Guinness and Baileys cupcake, since it fits with the theme of the day right. Our go to recipe for the cupcakes can be found here.

Remember, drink responsibly and don’t drive if you’re going out for drinks!

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