Drizzly day dram. If you've known me a while, you'd know my first whiskey was an Irish whiskey. I've always been a fan of the style of whiskey in general, but have certainly taken a liking to bourbon and rye as of late. I like to bring it back whenever I can and this relatively new release from High N' Wicked is certainly an excitable return.
This whiskey comes out of County Carlow, Ireland and is produced from locally sourced malt at the Royal Oak Distillery. It is first filled in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in 300L Pedro Ximénez sherry casks for 8 months. This is a one time bottling of 1000 9L cases.
I received this bottle from Altamar Brands who kindly provided me the opportunity to review it with no strings attached.
Company on Label: High N' Wicked
Whiskey Type: Irish Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: 100% Malted Barley
Further identification: The Wild Rover comes in a wide bottle with a prominent green label; the neck label states 'HNW No. 2', signifying the second release from the brand; Bottle No 2,639
Nose: Herbal forward on the first nosing. There's a rich, creamy sweetness that floats up out of the glass before your nose gets anywhere close to the Glencairn. Dry cacao, copper metallic molasses, and a sharp, bright pepper aroma build. Very earthy now; wow. It's mossy and damp like wet grass. Lemon clover presents itself delicately as well. Woah, suddenly there is a stark transition towards vanilla aromas; effervescent sugar cookies burst forth from the light colored liquid. Some soft oak can be found now as this glass has rested for a while. Pear and a medley of stone fruit sit on a pie crust. Touches of fig. Faint hibiscus and strawberry cereal build in some nice complexity. Leafy sweets continue to dance in the glass. Time for a sip! After tasting, the nose turns brighter and the oak mellows out into a creamy malt sugar base. Swirling rekindles the intensity on the oak aromas and adds in a slight layer of smokiness. Definitely a sweet dessert whiskey, I would love to pair this with a heavily glazed, warm cinnamon bun. The empty glass smells of Pirouline dark chocolate filled wafers, blackstrap molasses and just a touch of smokiness that makes this feel extraordinary.
Palate: My first sip is quite pleasant leading with vanilla, rich oak, black tea and honey. There is a pleasant buzz to this at cask strength, which most Irish whiskeys don't get bottled at. There is a long citrus linger that drips down through my chest at the pace of molasses. Another sip builds in some of the complexity of the nose with hibiscus, sherry sweetness, and a raspberry filled chocolate truffle finish. The mouth feel is on the thinner side but is also impossibly long and sticky. Plum and raisin are highlighted in the areas of my mouth where the linger is tingling on the longest. Giving this glass some air really improves the crème brûlée vanilla. The palate only has a hint of the oily copper pot characteristics I would've expected on this pour. My last sip is a decadent array of sweet cinnamon, nutmeg, leather and rich toffee.
A lovely, lovely glass to enjoy - I'd definitely recommend this one to your favorite lover of Irish whiskey who needs to try a bit of a splurge bottle. This bottle opened up much better on the second glass I poured on separate occasions. I'd suggest you get yours while you still can if you want to try this. There is another exciting Irish release coming out of High N' Wicked now that I'm also excited to try...