Hyde Whiskey – 10 year old and 6 year old

On Wednesday night, I took part in a Tweet Tasting (courtesy of The Whisky Wire) of two drams from Hyde Whiskey.  The Hyde family have a long tradition of being involved in the Irish drinks business, having run a tavern just outside Bandon in West Cork for over 300 years until the 1960s.

Now, I’m a touch confused about where this whiskey actually comes from.  The Hyde website doesn’t directly refer to their own distilling operation – it simply talks about the whiskey being “from a single distillery”.  After a bit of digging, it turns out that Hyde it the product of Hibernia Distillers, who have their own distillery, although it’ll be a few years before any of their own spirit hits the market.

I’ll just say that I don’t have a problem with this.  It would just be good to have a bit more detail on the background of the whiskey.  Anyway – on with the drams!

Hyde No. 1 President’s Cask 10YO Sherry Finish
This limited edition whiskey takes its name from Douglas Hyde – the first President of Ireland from 1938 to 1945.  It is initially matured in bourbon barrels for 10 years, before being finished in first fill Oloroso Sherry Casks for a further six months.  This results in a very creamy nose – almost like double cream – with a malty softness.  There are strong banana notes, with honey sweetness and a citrus zing.  The palate is VERY smooth, with lots of malt too.  Apricots and peaches come to the fore, with a honey sweetness to finish.

Hyde No. 3 Aras Cask 6YO Bourbon Cask
Hyde’s grain whiskey is made in a traditional Coffey Still from both corn and barley.  Unlike the 10 year old, this is triple distilled, before being matured for six years in ex-bourbon casks.  The triple distillation means the nose is EXTREMELY light, but some subtle bourbon notes do come through, including cinnamon and cloves, with a tiny hint of lemon.  The smoothness transfers to the palate, and is full of buttery vanilla and honey, with peaches and a hint of black pepper.

The Verdict
Both whiskies are a decent representation of what an Irish whiskey should be, but if I was to plump for one favourite, it would be the six year old grain number.

For more information about Hyde Whiskey, log on to www.hydewhiskey.ie