by Delin Watmough
Hello all. This month I had a heck of a time trying to figure out what I was going to write about. I am going to blame Covid- seems like everyone else is, LOL. Anyways, this month I am going to step way out of my comfort zone. With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching and with many of the FSC members having Irish ancestry, I am going to talk about Irish Whiskey. (note, Scotch and Canadian whisky’s end in just '-y', while Irish and American Whiskey’s use the '-ey').
The first time I tried Irish Whiskey was in Lethbridge at a food and alcohol tasting. I tried a Jameson whiskey and thought it was really good so on my way home, I bought a bottle. But when I got home and opened it up, I really did not care for it at all. I wound up giving the bottle to my stepson and decided to never drink Irish Whiskey again. Last year, however, someone brought a bottle of Proper #12 to the Alehouse and, not being one to turn down free booze, I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. So this month, in honour of the Irish members of the FSC (The FSC is very inclusive, they even allow the English to join LOL), I am going to talk about the 2 most popular Irish Whiskey’s in the area both of which are available at Railside Spirits and Killam Co-op.
Tastes of pears, hops, green apple and vanilla. Jameson has the distinction of being the best selling Irish whiskey in the world and millions of people worldwide enjoy a glass of Jamesons now and again. With a very smooth mouth feel, many describe it as a not bad Whiskey but for my own personal pallet, I'm not a fan.
Conner McGregor, an MMA fighter and boxer joined forces with distiller David Elder and blended over 100 different recipes in order to produce Proper #12. Now, the #12 is not the age of the whiskey but the name of the region in Dublin Conner grew up in. The reviews on this Whiskey are all over the map, from being a really good whiskey to not being good enough to clean a shower with. Proper #12 blends grain alcohol with single malt and is matured in ex-bourbon barrels to produce a smooth blend with hints of vanilla, honey, toasted wood with a sprinkling of spice to add complexity.
So, come this St. Patrick’s Day, put on your kilt (according to Dan Fee, the Irish have tartans as well, only theirs tend to go by districts rather than clan or family like the Scottish. If you don’t have one, there is a St. Patrick’s kilt at the FSC store), grab yourself a bottle of Irish Whiskey, listen to one of the many Irish bands who will be livestreaming music this St. Patrick’s Day , sit down and enjoy a wee taste of Ireland.
May your days be long and your glasses full
Here is a swatch of the Irish National Tartan, and a wee map of Ireland's District Tartans from House of Tartan