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  • Writer's pictureNigel

Dingle Single Malt review

This Dingle distillery’s release – the Dingle Single Malt, which is the first whiskey in their new core range – was greeted with huge interest. The distillery has been a very notable part of the Irish whiskey renaissance, bringing notable attributes to this portfolio. Releasing several small batch releases, each distilled at the distillery and aged nearby, stood out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Here was a whiskey brand that was its own and not sourced, aged for six months in, say, a Pedro Ximenez cask, then rebranded and released under a new distillery’s name. Those of us with slightly longer memories will recall the Dingle Gold release, but I understand that was a short-term one-off in the very opening days of the distillery. This was authentic.

The distillery has been something of a darling for afficionados; from the Founding Fathers who have their own releases, to a loyal group of Dingle distillery fans who swept up every release. The distillery has, to borrow a sporting phrase, fans. And I admit, I’m one.

My own whiskey journey started around the same time as the distillery began to launch its first releases. Here was a whiskey with a strong flavour, potent spirit and a taste profile unlike any others I’d tasted until that point. It was, in the initial releases, immature. But there was something there I really liked. Subsequent releases softened the potency of the spirit and the flavours were further developed to create a far more rounded whiskey. So I’m biased; I want this release to be great.

So, a distillery whose DNA until now has been the double helix of unique small batch releases and its scarcity release their first core offering which will be neither small batch nor scarce. A distillery can get away with a poor small batch release, but it can’t get away with it’s first core whiskey not being up to par. No wonder there was huge interest.

This whiskey is a single malt, non-chill filtered, matured in bourbon and sherry casks and sits at 46.3% ABV. Dressed in a deep blue now, the bottle and packaging stand out from others and, indeed, it’s older siblings that preferred a clean white label. The bottle, the cork, the wren boy haven’t changed mind you, so there is plenty of consistency with the small batch releases.

The nose is still slightly spirit-forward – more so than the sixth small batch releases, far less than the first and second releases. The whiskey is unmistakably Dingle though, the bass notes of typical Irish whiskey sweetness (caramel, vanilla) are there, mixed with an intriguing mix of marine salt, pot still spices and a small amount of exotic fruits and zest.

My first impression, on taste, is a combination of spices and saltiness. There’s an almost dry woodiness coming through too. The profile is very consistent between nose and taste and while the taste finish is relatively short, the alcohol lingers a touch.

This is a good whiskey, and arguably an important whiskey as part of the overall Irish whiskey offering. It has a flavour and profile different from that produced in Cork, Cooley or Antrim. It is very much its own whiskey. At €55 for a bottle, it’s one to include on your shelf.

Review rating (Nigel) – 6.5/10

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