Origin: Offaly (Ireland)
Type: Blended Irish Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: William Grant & Sons
Average price: € 16.00
Official website: www.tullamoredew.com
One of the best-known Irish blends, along with Jameson, whose origins date back to the early 1800s, with the founding of the distillery in the county town of Offaly, in the heart of Ireland, by Michael Molloy.
The acronym comes from the man responsible for the brand’s great growth, Daniel Edmund Williams, first general manager (at just 25 years old) and then owner of the distillery in the early 1900s.
The great crisis that hit Irish whiskey didn’t leave Tullamore unscathed, either, closing their doors in 1959, selling the brand the following year to John Powers & Sons, which then became Irish Distillers.
Focusing all its commercial efforts on the Jameson, the conglomerate sold Tullamore in 1994 and passed it on to its current owners in 2010. At the time, the whiskey that ended up under this label was actually produced by Midleton, but William Grant & Sons decided to invest in the brand by building a new distillery on its original site, with production officially beginning in 2014.
The blended includes malt, pot still and grain whiskies, the latter being the only one not yet produced on site at the time.
There are several expressions in the portfolio, starting with the basic version featured in this article, flanked by those with a declared age (12, 14 and 18 years), two with different finishings (rum and cider) and a special edition, the Old Bonded Warehouse Release (only available at the distillery).
Triple distillation as usual, minimum alcohol content, chillfiltration and added colouring for this economic blended.
Solventy and herbaceous, the nose is initially rather elusive with light notes of green apple, unripe banana, lemon. Given time, it softens a little, bringing out warmer tones of caramel, honey and a hint of cinnamon. The whiff of solvent is still prominent.
The alcoholic presence is quite exuberant on the palate, which begins with ginger and pepper on a subtle texture of yellow fruit, cinnamon, sultanas, a touch of anise, honey and lemon. Far from pleasing, it maintains a herbaceous substrate with solvent notes appearing along the length.
The finish is quite short and dry with bitter tips on dried fruit, caramel, lemon again.
For an ultra-basic blended, it defends itself rather well, avoiding pandering and presenting a certain personality which, between merits and demerits, makes it stand out from other whisk(e)ys in the same range.