THE WILD GEESE® Irish Whiskey
Maybe it’s subliminal, but in my local off license 90% of the time I’d grab a bottle of scotch without even giving Irish whiskey a thought. In fact, of the other 10%, I’d be looking at some of the fine whiskies coming out of Japan before I’d consider a bottle of Jameson’s or Bushmills. The reason? Irish whiskey just isn’t on trend. The likes of Johnnie Walker and Monkey Shoulder are pushing Scottish whisky to a younger, stylish audience and the Japanese are creating ridiculously good whisky that is making the whole world take note. However, I recently went to a tasting of THE WILD GEESE® Irish whiskey that piqued my interest once more.
The term Wild Geese refers to the story of the courageous Irish soldiers, led by Patrick Sarsfield, who left Ireland in 1691. Patrick and his men adopted the name ‘The Wild Geese® ’ in the hope and belief that they would one day return home. And this is the philosophy that THE WILD GEESE® whiskey sticks to. The range features three products, the entry level Classic Blend, Rare, and Single Malt.
The tag line of the brand is ‘Untamed’ and that certainly is the first thing that sprung to mind when trying the Classic. The other word that came to mind was “harsh”. It can certainly put hairs on your chest and not one that I’d sip neat too often. However, it did make some handy cocktails (ginger infused Whiskey Mac recipe included below).
Next up we try the Rare which is my favourite of the three, and a stark contrast to the Classic Blend. Plenty of complexity and a deep spiciness that makes it a great sipping whiskey, or in an Old Fashioned.
The Single Malt is more like the whiskey I’m accustomed to drinking; punchy, woody, and one to make you red in the cheeks after a few sips. Yet it remains extremely smooth, perfect with a cigar or in front of an open fire. Mix this at your peril!
Wild Geese Irish Whiskey. More information available from http://thewildgeesecollection.com
Classic Blend Irish Whiskey (RRP £19, 50cl, 40% ABV), Rare Irish Whiskey (RRP £34, 70cl, 43% ABV), and Single Malt Irish Whiskey (RRP £54, 70cl, 43% ABV)
Ingredients: 50ml THE WILD GEESE® Classic Blend Irish Whiskey, 10ml Kings Ginger Liqueur, 10ml homemade ginger syrup, 25ml ginger wine, Slice of fresh ginger.
Method: Mix THE WILD GEESE® Classic Blend Irish Whiskey, Kings Ginger Liqueur, homemade ginger syrup and ginger wine together. Combine in a cocktail shaker and vigorously shake 5-10 times. To serve, pour into a tumbler glass and garnish with a slice of fresh ginger.
To try some of the specialist cocktails, Bitters & Rye bar in Clerkenwell have a specialist Wild Geese menu.