Origin: Cork (Irlanda)
Type: Irish Single Grain Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon First Fill
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Hibernia Distillers
Average price: € 38.00
Official website: hydewhiskey.ie
The Hyde family has a long tradition tied to Irish whiskey, having run a pub in Bandon, County Cork, since 1640. As was the case with many pubs on the island, they not only sold whiskey but also bottled it, buying casks from various distilleries around Ireland.
The latest generation took up the tradition in 2014, founding Hibernia Distillers (the name is that given by the ancient Romans to Ireland), and creating the Hyde label, which of course takes the family name, but is designed especially in honour of the first president of the Irish republic, Douglas Hyde.
And it’s to the history of Ireland that their progressively numbered bottlings are dedicated, now numbering 9 (plus an “out of series” cask strength), which often show important vintages in the turbulent vicissitudes of the republic.
Coherent with the bonders tradition, there is no in-house distillation: Hibernia buys casks from a few select distilleries (mainly Cooley), sometimes finishing the maturation in other casks on their own property, plus a few new makes made to order and matured in a warehouse on Little Island, with bottlings always and only from individual distilleries.
This No. 3 is a triple-distilled single grain (100% wheat), aged for at least six years in former Kentucky Bourbon barrels. 1916 on the label is the year of the Irish War of Independence.
Light gold in the glass.
The nose is a little weak, after an initial effluvium of solvent which fades with time, a vague herbaceous and balsamic scent is revealed, punctuated by pineapple and lemon. But it’s all very, very faint, with the solvent tending to prevail.
The taste is a tad alcoholic on the palate, with a pleasant spicy note of cinnamon and ginger on a still herbaceous but fresher tenor, with contributions of vanilla, apple and nuts. The solvent note is still present, especially along the length.
The finish is not very long and dry with a bitterish hint of spices and yellow fruit, which is much more pleasant in the glass.
Perhaps too young a whiskey to still have character, that ethereal yet unpleasant nose plays a lot (negatively) on an unconvincing and anonymous complex.
The Scotch Noob