Thanks to a mutual whisky aficionado, I was introduced in Mumbai many months ago to two of the merry men behind Ireland’s new whiskey brand – Hyde. Note the deliberate use of brand not distillery… as these folks are building a name for themselves as “bonders” working with existing distillers to craft a range of whiskies with ambitious plans to some day some way have a distillery of their own.
What did they send our way?
Well… A curious miss greeted the Hyde on its arrival… and then I waited an exceedingly long time to find the right evening to share this bottle… So what did we find?
Hyde No. 6 President’s Reserve (May 2017) 46% Bottle No 4780/5000
- Nose – Bright lemon, a very light sherry perfume, talcum powder, hint of lavender, somehow quite astringent with the lemon the most obvious element – shifting from zest to liquid dishwashing soap, a synthetic lemon desert
- Palate – One found sulfur, for most it was honey or sugar water, lightly fruity
- Finish – An initial spice that then relatively quickly dissipated
As the gents knew the theme was some dimension of sherry, speculation turned to it certainly not being fully matured in an ex-sherry barrel but instead only finished and that too not a PX but perhaps Olorosso.
It was a pleasant beginning, simple, sweet with the nose probably the most interesting element.
What do we know about this whisky? First off, it is a blend an 18 Year Old Irish single malt and 8 Year Old Irish single grain. Both were first matured in bourbon casks before being finished together for 9 months in Oloroso sherry casks. It was named in honour of Douglas Hyde, Ireland’s first president, who was inaugurated on 25th June 1938.
And here is what the Hyde folks have to say:
- Nose – Delightfully floral notes of vanilla, sweet, honey, caramel, chocolate, and mixed fruit, infused with spices.
- Taste – Wonderfully smooth yet complex, creamy yet fruity with notes of caramel, honey, apricot, and apple, with a silky rich texture.
- Finish – Rich & Oaky. It lingers in the mouth with a rich long finish.