Spirit: The Pogues Irish Whiskey
Distillery: West Cork Distillers
Aged: 3 years 1 Day
Proof: 80 Proof
About The Distillery:
“WCD was formed in 2003 by childhood friends, John O’Connell, Ger McCarthy and Denis McCarthy at a time when it made very little economic sense to do so. The early years were far from glamorous, operating in a room at the back of Denis’ house in Union Hall with two small stills we bought from a schnapps producer in Switzerland. In 2014 we moved to a new distillery in Skibbereen. We currently operate out of a 12.5 acre site on Marsh Road, with a distillation capacity of 4mln litres of pure alcohol. With distributors across the globe, our award winning West Cork Irish Whiskey is now sold in almost 70 countries. Case sales have risen considerably every year for the past six years and our staff has grown to over 80 people, with the majority based locally in West Cork. We want to make Irish whiskey accessible. We will continue to expand our operation but maintain our Irish ownership and stay true to our West Cork heritage. Our new distillery and visitor centre will open in 2020, making us the largest, wholly Irish owned distillery in the country. Meanwhile, more jobs, new products and additional warehouses are being added to meet rising demand.”
About Pogues Irish Whiskey:
“When the legendary Celtic punk band The Pogues put their heads together with the equally legendary whiskey maker Frank McHardy in West Cork, there was no doubt they were going to create something unique. And they did; the raucous spirit of the band fused with Frank’s craft and knowhow in the cool mesothermal microclimate for which West Cork is famous, resulted in an award-winning whiskey – a true Irish rebel. But while The Pogues Irish Whiskeys are exceptional, make no mistake; they are not for sipping by the fireside. After all, if rules were broken in the creation of this golden liquid, then they must surely be broken in the drinking of it. So, here’s to the high times when joy abounds, mischief is made, and hell is raised.”
Proof vs Heat
Nose: Toasted toffee, baking spice, honey, dried dark fruit, cracked pepper
Palate: Caramelized fruit, very mild banana, malt
Finish: Long finish of toffee, cracked nuts and dark chocolate
I was a bit skeptical to purchase this botte. My experience with “celebrity” bottles has been disappointing to say the least. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this pour, especially at its price point. The nose gave me everything I want in an Irish Whiskey; fruits, spice, and a hint of smoke. The palate, while thin, was bursting with traditional Irish whiskey flavor.
The Pogues Irish Whiskey is a 50/50 blend of malt and grain whiskey that comes with a surprisingly pleasant depth to the nose and palate. The goal of The Pogues Irish Whiskey was to capture the essence of the legendary band in a bottle. While I’m not willing to call this spirit “legendary,” I do believe West Cork Distillery did a fantastic job in personifying this whiskey and capturing the spirit of the Celtic Punk Band. The Pogues offered a new age flare to traditional Irish Folk music and that is exactly what you get in the bottle, a new take on a traditional Irish Whiskey.
“Exceptionally smooth; enjoy it neat, with ice, with a mixer, in a cocktail, or however you damn well want.” – Master Whiskey Maker Frank McHardy.
Chris first became affiliated with Whiskey Culture when he met Greg at one of their regular hangouts, Whiskey Willy’s in Tampa, FL.
Their mutual love for whiskey and connecting with other whiskey enthusiasts quickly spurred a great friendship between them. Chris and Greg would share samples, and hunt bottles for each other as their travels took them around the country.
Chris regularly attended Whiskey Culture events, and was even invited to sit on the tasting panel for Whiskey Culture’s first private barrel pick!
Now in Philadelphia, Chris is a regular contributor for Whiskey Culture writing op-ed pieces and bottle reviews.