‘Old Fashioned’ – Greenore 18 vs Corsair Triple Smoke

With all the bans, whispers of prohibition, it is no surprise that the 1920s style “Speakeasy” bars are popping up all over India.

On a recent trip to Gurgaon, I stopped by CND and sampled their insanely good Scotch Sour. It was a toss-up between trying that and an Old Fashioned.

When our recent tasting session in Mumbai featured whiskies that encourage cocktails, thought why not create a little “Speakeasy” atmosphere at home!

20150917_Greenore Old Fashioned

Greenore Single Grain 18 year 43%

Greenore is an Irish single grain whiskey which they say can be enjoyed “neat, over ice, or makes a perfect base for a cocktail.”  Their 18 year only has 4,000 bottles and is deceptive as comes across as quite young.

Here’s the ‘Greenore Old Fashioned‘ recommendation for the 18 year….

  • Muddle together a cube of white sugar, dash of Angostura bitters, tablespoon of soda water
  • Top glass with cubed ice
  • Add whisky and stir slowly
  • Garnish with fresh orange peel, spraying a little on the glass

See their mixologist’s video here for more details.

Triple Smoke Old Fashioned

Triple Smoke Old Fashioned

Corsair Triple Smoke 40%

Corsair is an American small batch fine spirits maker. Their Triple Smoke has a bolder character – think smoky bacon on the nose, chewy coffee and tobacco on the palate with a complex curl of smoke. Rather an interesting base for a cocktail…

Here’s the Corsair Triple Smoke version of an Old Fashioned:

  • 3 oz Triple Smoke Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Amber Agave
  • 2 dashes old fashioned bitters
  • Combine in a mixing glass, add ice and stir til well chilled
  • Strain into a chilled rocks glass
  • Add large ice cubes
  • Garnish with a bing cherry

So there you have it – two very different whiskies with two contrasting Old Fashioned recipes!

Slainthe!

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Greenore Single Grain 18 year 43%

We’ve sampled quite a few Irish whiskeys over the years – not just Jameson but also a few of the T’s – Teeling, Tullamore and Tyrconnell.

Most are NAS or a maximum of 10 years… so it was a surprise to discover this Greenore Single Grain has ‘ripened’ to 18 years.

As usual, we sampled blind then revealed and reacted to what we found. Read on…

Greenore 18 year

Greenore 18 year

Greenore Single Grain 18 year 43%

  • Nose: Lemony, musky, rose water, definitely on the sweeter side, honey, fruity but not any specific fruit, perhaps a little wine? Come back after a few minutes and the nose takes on a citrusy character
  • Taste: Lemony, bitter, very light on the tongue, like sweet ice wine. Then a light spice…
  • Finish: No finish to limited with the faintest hint of woody smoke
  • Comment: You can get friendly with it, and have fun”
  • Overall: Unbelievable this is 18 years!

I’m not sure if others would agree, but if there is one characteristic we seem to find in whiskies from Ireland is their ‘sociable‘ quality. They may be a bit rough around the edges or a little light like this Greenore, however they all come across as quite ‘friendly’ sorts, tempting you to forget fancy shmancy tasting rituals to simply kick back to enjoy.

In this case, the very simple, fun element of the whiskey seems contradictory for its age. One typically expects a little complexity in an 18 year old single malt which is completely absent here from this grain whiskey. However if you set aside any assumptions about age = complexity, its happy character has a certain appeal.

From Cooley Distillery – part of the Kilbeggan Distilling Company now owed by Beam Suntory – the Gleenore 18 year has a limited production of 4,000 bottles.

What the Greenore folks have to say about the 18 year:

  • Nose: Soft sweet corn accompanied by a burst of zesty orange and citrus lemon
  • Taste: Sweet butterscotch toffee with a rich creamy vanilla character
  • Finish: Sweetness lingers on the tongue giving way to smooth clean oak note

They also encourage using it as a base for cocktails – like the Old Fashioned.

Check out the other whiskies sampled at our September 2015 session:

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