Origin: Wicklow (Ireland)
Type: Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, Sherry oloroso and PX, Marsala and Muscatel
Added coloring: No
Owner: The Powerscourt Distillery
Average price: € 180.00
Official website: powerscourtdistillery.com
After some time I return to the distillery that is the fruit of Noel Sweeney’s love and extraordinary professionalism, with a limited edition of 1,500 bottles that represents the most mature ageing to date presented under the Fercullen brand.
This is the second release in the annual Five Elements series, preceded by the 18 year old in 2020, where the name refers to the five different casks type used for ageing, starting with the 16 years spent in ex-Bourbon. This is obviously whiskey from third parties, namely the distillery where Sweeney was Master Distiller, which he then decided to age in four different types of casks for at least four years: ex-Sherry (Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez), ex-Marsala and ex-Muscatel.
Warm and creamy malt on the nose, evoking a memory of Ovaltine, with deep veins of tropical fruit (lots of pineapple with banana, mango and grapefruit), lemon cream, apricot yoghurt, honey. It’s a very charged and iridescent nose, over time red fruits emerge with plum, dried figs with almonds, a touch of liquorice root. The sweet and persuasive component embraces the drier and more acidulous notes in a mesmerising dance.
A nice waxy note starts on the palate, accompanied by a lively but not cumbersome pepper and ginger spice scattered over the fruity notes in a mix of tropical, apricot, peach and red fruits. Orange tart and malt in the background, with a certain dryness in the long run.
Quite long, dry and spicy finish of pineapple, grapefruit, apricot, milk chocolate, malt.
A truly sensational nose is not supported by the palate, which is excellent but less layered, even if particularly drinkable. Still, it’s a great testament to Sweeney’s skill in handling the casks, which on paper could have created a cacophony but are instead skilfully harmonised.