Origin: Killaney (Northern Ireland)
Type: Irish Single Malt Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: No
Owner: Hinch Distillery Co.
Average price: € 45.00
Official website: hinchdistillery.com
When it comes to Irish whiskey, it must be remembered that there are two Irelands: the Republican one (part of the EU) and the Northern one, part of the United Kingdom.
And the emergence of new distilleries is affecting both countries, in a growing (and aggressive) occupation of the market that could threaten the dominance of Scotch.
Hinch is one of them, just born in 2019 between Belfast and Ballynahinch (we are therefore in Northern Ireland), at the behest of Terry Cross with an investment of almost twenty million euros.
With a total capacity of three million bottles a year, the distillery produces gin (under the Ninth Wave label) and, of course, whiskey, offered in bottlings at the moment made with externally sourced distillate and under the label “The Time Collection”, which refers precisely to the patience required to obtain a good whiskey.
At the moment their portfolio is already quite rich: a small batch in Bourbon, a five and a ten year old, a single pot still and the present peated version.
Returning to the question of the two Irelands, researching online I found many online shops mentioning the republican one (EIRE) as the origin: I wonder how happy Hinch would be to know that!
Pale yellow in the glass.
A pronounced smokiness and medicinal peat on the nose, almost a distillate of iodine tincture, with balsamic and woody veins of resin and pine needles. And under this bucolic blanket there are cooked apples, banana, vanilla and cloves. Intense.
The palate confirms the vocation of a forest ranger, with first aid kit in tow, ready to deal with fires that burn the wood. The accentuated spice loads the flavours, requiring a slow and gradual tasting to avoid being overwhelmed, while the sweeter aromas are muted, making way for an impression of smoked herring and aniseed with cigar tobacco in the background.
The finish is quite long and obviously smoky, of burnt wood, iodine, spices, tobacco and liquorice.
Smoke, smoke and more smoke: an exuberant, overwhelming peatiness which devours any other aroma without much ado. Truce and direct but not lacking in interest, the peat it’s declined in different nuances, as an alternative to the “usual” Islay scores, and for this reason I appreciate it.