02 03 Wild about Whisky: LEAPING LEPRECHAUNS!!...A South African field guide to 12 available Irish blends (in descending order)... 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

LEAPING LEPRECHAUNS!!...A South African field guide to 12 available Irish blends (in descending order)...

Clontarf Irish Blend 43%
Perfumey/acetone and then rum 'n raisin, toffee 'n chocolate...an inspired nose! The palate is a delicious mix of mocha and coffee liqueur. This is stunning in its complexity and range of flavours. Water ups the ante revealing a greater depth of richness with
more vanilla and oak supporting the rich mocha. Outstanding! 88

Locke's Irish Blend 40%
Intense vanilla, then menthol and garden mint, a touch of peat smoke and sweet grain. Smooth and velvety on the palate, the dense vanillins balanced nicely with the peat in the background. The finish lingers with apple sweetness and smoke. 85

Kilbeggan Irish Blend 43%
Layers and layers of sweetness, then vanilla, caramel and condensed milk..a golden dram. The palate is oily and smooth-bodied, the vanilla balanced perfectly with the grain and malts. Water just boosts all of the above. 82

Powers Gold Label Irish Blend 43%
Slightly solvent and acetone initially, then vanilla and toffee break through, then fruit gums and mocha. A smooth and oily delivery on the tongue with cherry vanilla, grain on the mid-palate and a dry finish. Water improves more of the grain element and a cherry toffee develops. 77

Jameson Irish Blend 43%
A metallic off-note initially, then a vanilla and grapey note appears, developing into icing sugar,mocha and malt, sweet grain and iced lollies. Despite the complexity of the congeners on the nose the palate offers very little but the strawberry lolly which then dries to nothing. Water intoduces a distinct coppery note along with more vanillins. The palate now a touch sweeter and the finish has pink sweets and chardonnay. Fascinating nose but the palate has very little character. 76

Tullamore Dew Irish Blend 43%
Metallic initially, then syrupy guavas. Fruity vanilla with a guava twist on the tongue, the finish is dry and coppery. Water helps sweeten this dram tenfold but still remains too dry and thin on the finish. 75

Bushmills Original Irish Blend 43%
Grain and barley with light coating of vanilla...knock, knock..is anybody there?...light, soft fuzzy cereal....mmmm...that's it? The palate has snatched whatever character remains after I smelt most of it out of the glass. Smooth, soft vanillas and then a chilli-bite finish...much ado about nothing. 74

Finnegan Irish Blend 43%
Overripe bananas, banana skin and honey. Honeycomb is evident on the palate but it is thin and dries to nothing. Water does little to develop any other character. 72

Erin's IsleIrish Blend 43%
Grain and woody vanillas on the nose with sweet chilli on the palate. A simple Irish dram...simply put it in a Irish coffee. 70

O'briens Irish Blend 43%
The signature Cooley Connemara elastoplast Irish peat smoke (Doom) note is evident but softer here with toffee and the malts trying to make this dram a little more respectable. However the palate, despitethe vanilla sweetness is bitter and dry on the finish. 57

The Wild Geese Rare Irish Blend 43%
Elastoplast and sugary sweet with a little pepper on the nose. Vanilla initially on the tip of the tongue, then chemically harsh and brutally bitter and dry on the finish. Appalling whiskey. I cannot find anything remotely redeeming about this Irish disaster. 56

Millars Special Reserve Irish Blend #L8194 40%
Another Cooley special. I think they lost the plot with these last three. This would kill any mosquito within a three mile radius with so much chemical and elastoplast on the nose. A touch of vanilla on very young grain....unpalatable. This dram is just so plain awful I wouldn't even put it in my Turkish coffee. 55

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