Review: Tipperary Irish Whiskey – Knockmealdowns and Watershed
Tipperary is a county in Ireland — just east of Limerick, northeast of Cork — and it’s also an Irish whiskey brand, one which our friends at ImpEx recently added to their stable of imports. Tipperary, like many American craft distilleries, is currently releasing limited editions of sourced whiskey while it gets its own production up and running — with the spin of cutting it to proof with water from its own family farm. These two releases — the first Tipperarys to be available in the U.S. — are both sourced from a tiny number of casks.
We tasted both; thoughts follow. Both are 94 proof.
Tipperary Boutique Selection Knockmealdowns 10 Years Old – “The first of our Limited Edition Mountain Range, “The Knockmealdowns” is created from only six casks, matured in Ireland for 10 years in ex-bourbon barrels. The whiskey is cut to 47% with water from Ballindoney farm in Tipperary, owned by our co-founding family, the Ahearns.” Gentle on the nose, with delightful notes of ginger and cinnamon atop a simple, caramel-heavy aroma. On the palate, the whiskey keeps things straightforward, folding some red pepper into the mainstream notes of brown sugar, caramel sauce, and toasted marshmallow. A bit of heat creeps up on the back end — along with some herbal and heather notes. A solid sipper that is at once classically Irish while also a bit elevated above the usual fare from Eire. A- / $90
Tipperary Boutique Selection Watershed – “Only six first-fill bourbon casks are chosen for each batch of Watershed, carefully selected for quality by our Malt Master, Stuart Nickerson. After being cut to 47% with our Ballindoney water, we number every bottle individually, so each one is special.” No age statement on this one. Much more grain heavy, with notes of wheat crackers and coal dust on the nose. The palate doesn’t stray far from this construct, with notes of cracked barley and lumberyard leading the way to a finish that is spicy but relatively devoid of fruit. B- / $63