A few months ago I got to know Stefan Bohn when he hosted an Arran tasting at this year’s Hamburg-based whisky fair Hanse Spirit. Shortly after, I found out that he also offers regular tastings in a much cosier environment, namely Der Zigarrenmacher in Hamburg-Altona. This month, Stefan welcomed a wee round of eight guests to a tasting focusing on Irish Whiskey. The gathering took place in a small and very homely room, where water, bread and chocolate were readily prepared for everyone. Upon entering the cigar shop that we had to pass in order to reach the tasting room, we were also free to pick a cigar of our fancy from the full assortment.
We started our evening with a poitin from Teeling Distillery called Spirit of Dublin, which was surprisingly fruity and smooth. Based on this spirit drink, we can expect great pours from the whiskey making site at Dublin’s Newmarket once their casks are ripe for bottling. We then went on to an eight-year-old single malt finished in Olorosso casks. This expression of The Quiet Man was exclusively bottled for the German market and offered a lot of fruity notes as well as some nuts, chocolate and cotton candy.
Up next was my favourite whiskey of the evening. The Green Spot is a single pot still whiskey finished in Bordeaux wine casks. Besides distinct wine aromas, it also offered sweet and fruity notes combined with very likeable vanilla flavours. Our fourth glass contained a ten-year-old whiskey by The Cooper Alley, which was finished in sherry casks and by-named after a district in Dublin called The Dublin Liberties. It was a very nice whiskey that had received a distinct fruitiness from the sherry cask. In addition, it also burst with nuts, chocolate, raisins and cinnamon. The oldest whiskey of the evening was the 15-year-old Jack Ryan Beggars Bush going by the name of The Bourdega. It was matured in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in sherry casks. A very complex drop with notes of apples, apricots, nuts and citrus fruits.
To round things off, we had a blended whiskey called The Irishman matured in bourbon casks and bottled at cask strength with an ABV of 54%. This was another fruity whiskey full of apples and pears as well as pepper and ginger. Although our visit to Ireland was done at that point, Stefan did not let us off the hook right away. After all, he had also prepared a little dessert for us in the form of the very maritime Noss Head by Old Pulteney. I really enjoyed the contrast between this single malt Scotch whisky’s distinct citrus notes and strong saltiness. As you can imagine, I was really happy when I went back home and I will surely return for another tasting with Stefan at Der Zigarrenmacher.
Teeling – The Spirit of Dublin (New Make, NAS, 52.5%, ~30.00 Euro)
The Quiet Man – Oloroso Finish (Irish Whiskey, 8yo, 46%, ~50.00 Euro)
Green Spot – Bordeaux Finish (Irish Whiskey, NAS, 46%, ~50.00 Euro)
Cooper Alley – The Dublin Libteries (Irish Whiskey, 10yo, 46%, ~55.00 Euro)
Jack Ryan Beggars Bush (Irish Whiskey, 15yo, 46%, ~90.00 Euro)
The Irishman – Cask Strength (Blended Whiskey, NAS, 54%, ~90.00 Euro)
Old Pulteney Noss Head (Single Malt Scotch Whisky, NAS, 46%, ~45.00 Euro)