Irish Whiskey

Review: The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Back from a little break with a look at this affordable single malt Irish whiskey – The Sexton. Made from 100% Irish malted barley and triple distilled on the North Coast of Ireland (presumably Bushmills), the Sexton is matured for four years in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. For the $27.99 asking price, that’s a steal.

But how does it taste?

On the nose, a slight grassy note is helped along with dried fruit and almond. Not as much ‘green’ on the palate, thankfully. The sherry casks really come into play here, providing hints of berries, cloves, cocoa. There’s an undercurrent of sweet malt running through the entire palate. Not utterly complex, but what’s there is quite enjoyable. The finish maintains the fruit notes found in the palate, with the slightest touch of spice.

I didn’t know what to expect with this whiskey, given the price tag and young age. I’ve gotta say, it’s quite impressive. The sherry casks make up a large part of Sexton’s flavor profile, which means a fruity, nutty, and slightly sweet whiskey. Bonus points for the cool looking, hexagonal black bottle.

The Sexton touts itself as an everyday dram. I agree with that statement. A couple of fingers in a rocks glass (minus the rocks – we’re at 40% ABV here) is what this whiskey is made for. Recommended.


Thanks to The Sexton for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition Whiskey Review

Experimentation in the whiskey world is not only a way to stand out, but it’s a chance to showcase the quality of the whiskey itself in a sometimes interesting way. Irish whiskey giant Jameson came out with the Caskmates series a while back. The first expression was Jameson finished in barrels that held stout. Quite delicious! Jameson’s latest offering is another entry in the Caskmates series. This time, they have aged their whiskey in barrels that held IPA beer.

For Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition ($29.99), they sent freshly dumped barrels to a local craft brewery who filled them with IPA. After an undisclosed amount of time, the barrels were emptied and sent back to Jameson to be filled with their triple distilled Jameson Original, their standard expression. The resultant whiskey is bottled at 40%.

I’m not a fan of IPA. Let me rephrase that: I haven’t found an IPA I’ve liked. I prefer beer with more malt than hops. So my approach to this IPA cask-finished whiskey is met with slight anxiousness. I say that, but I enjoyed Glenfiddich IPA Cask.

The nose is bright, with hints of grapefruit, candied rose petals, toffee and hops. It’s actually not as hoppy as I expected. The low proof gives the whiskey a slightly watery mouthfeel. Taste-wise, a wonderful mélange of flavors features candied almond, orange peel, toffee and hops. The medium finish leaves lingering sweet malt and hops, as well as light floral notes.

The whiskey and IPA combination mostly works. It’s good, but I don’t find myself reaching for another glass. I loved the Caskmates Stout Edition, so my lack of enthusiasm for this IPA Edition has to do more with my dislike of IPA rather than the quality of the whiskey. 7/10

Thanks to Jameson for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Jameson The Blender’s Dog Whisky Review

There’s always a new whiskey hitting the market. Based on the ever-expanding whiskey shelves in spirits shops, I’d argue there are more whiskies now than ever before. THE biggest perk of being a whiskey blogger is being able to taste many of these new spirits. Hell, it’s the reason I started this blog about four years ago. As you can imagine, my inbox is flooded with press releases announcing the latest and greatest. Some names stand out instantly. Subject lines featuring the word Jameson grab my attention every time. They don’t make the best Irish whiskey. That simply doesn’t exist. However, Jameson makes very enjoyable whiskeys, and you can’t ask for more.

The Blender’s Dog ($69.99) is Jameson’s second entry in their Whiskey Makers Series, after The Cooper’s Croze. Blender’s Dog is all about touting Jameson Head Blender Billy Leighton’s ability to marry whiskeys. Leighton is aiming for “a perfect balance of spirit, wood, and time.” Bottled at 43% ABV and non chill filtered, Blender’s Dog starts off on a positive note. Like all Jameson whiskeys, this expression is triple distilled.

On the nose, hints of cardamom and allspice are complemented by sweet malt, butterscotch, and sawdust. The palate features an initial wave of cream-filled pastry soon punctuated by sprinklings of spice and toffee. Slightly astringent oak tannins appear in the back palate and into the medium finish. A splash of water slightly sweetens things up. The medium-bodied whiskey finishes with spiced cream, sort of like an egg nog.

Not bad. Not bad at all. I’d agree that Blender’s Dog is nicely balanced. It’s quite enjoyable, albeit not too complex. That’s my nitpick. The lack of complexity is what keeps this particular blend from reaching greatness. I’ll happily drink this all night long either neat or in an Irish Coffee. The whisky’s creamy nature makes for a killer Irish Coffee. Another nice job from the folks at Jameson. 8/10

Thanks to Jameson for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.