The path to achieving Irish whiskey renown may have taken a roundabout route, but for Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, the destination was never in doubt. Prior to the release of what would become two iconic whiskeys, they had been exploring the coffee-and-cream fringes of the Irish whiskey industry. The first was an Irish coffee mix in a bottle, and the second was a refined version of classic Irish cream. Fortunately for all of us, they had something more ambitious brewing.
With the launch of their flagship releases — The Irishman Whiskey, a premium blend of old Irish pot still whiskey, and Writers’ Tears, a spirit that combines single malt and single pot still whiskeys — they have garnered rave reviews. By paying homage to Ireland’s whiskey-making heritage, the distillery has distinguished itself by drawing inspiration from older recipes.
From its pastoral operation in County Carlow in southeast Ireland, the distillery is making waves by producing exceptional small-batch releases that use only premium ingredients. As Walsh adds its own innovative spin to the process, the distillery still insists on employing manual operations instead of automated ones and is winning a large and loyal following in the process.
From these early successes, the distillery has developed a hotly anticipated range of expressions, including The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, an award-winning old Irish pot still whiskey that blends single pot and single malt styles. The Irishman Cask Strength is a triple-distilled, limited-edition super-premium whiskey that’s aged in American oak, while The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Rum Finish adds a seam of island-inspired sweetness to the proceedings.
The distillery has also added a few chapters to the Writers’ Tears series, including the Writers’ Tears Copper Pot Cognac Finish, the Writers’ Tears Red Head, which draws its vibrant ruby hue from aging in sherry casks, and the limited-edition Writers’ Tears Cask Strength, a triple-distilled wonder that’s bursting with complex character.
Where will the path lead next for Walsh? If the journey so far is any indication, you’d be wise to keep following.
Aging in oak bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks sets this triple-distilled single malt apart from other Irish whiskeys. Lush, tropical fruit aromas are parlayed into more complex flavours that touch on toasted almonds, vanilla, oak and a lick of honey.
Highly coveted and released in limited quantities, this award-winning whiskey is triple distilled and aged in American oak. Tinges of ginger and oak occupy the upper registers as smooth, soft vanilla, chocolate, fruit and honey fill the palate in this lightly malted whiskey.
This wholly unique Irish blended whiskey is 100 per cent produced from a copper pot still rather than a column or grain still. Fully flavourful, it features rich chocolate, malt and bourbon oak notes, a spicy nose and a prolonged butterscotch finish.
The influences of aging in Spanish sherry butts that were once filled with Oloroso sherry impart a richly tinged colour and nutty edge. Succulent raisin and zingy orange are equal parts captivating and complex.
The next step of the journey for fans of the original Writers’ Tears lands on this limited-edition, triple-distilled marvel. Aged in American oak, it features berried fruit aromas that precede a bold proposition of butterscotch, toasted wood and spice and a powerful finish.
An exclusive, limited release for the LCBO from just two casks, this is a non-peated, triple-distilled whiskey aged in French oak that previously held XO Cognac. Expect sumptuous flavours of poached pear, citrus and fresh grape.