Writers’ Tears launch Icewine Cask Finish, A First for Irish Whiskey
Walsh Whiskey, producers of Writers’ Tears and The Irishman super-premium whiskeys, have unveiled a first for Irish whiskey with the creation of an Icewine finished whiskey. Writers’ Tears Icewine Cask Finish has been produced in collaboration with Inniskillin Winery in Niagara, Ontario, Canada’s original estate winery and leading producer of icewine.
The limited-edition release is a unique triple-distilled vatting of Single Pot Still & Single Malt whiskeys, has been finished for an additional 12 months in icewine hogsheads, before being bottled at 46% ABV. This 23rd expression from Walsh Whiskey founders, Bernard & Rosemary Walsh, is the latest innovation in their quest to produce the perfect taoscán [tay-scawn]/drop of whiskey. This time their journey took them to Canada’s prime wine region, when Bernard & Rosemary visited the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, in January 2020. There they worked with Inniskillin Winery and its then Head Winemaker, Bruce Nicholson (now retired), touring the vineyard and sampling fermenting wines before selecting 12 hogshead casks originally coopered by the Berthomieu Cooperage (estd. 1906) in France. The dozen selected hogsheads were disgorged of Inniskillin Icewine in March 2020 and shipped to Ireland where they were filled with Writers’ Tears Copper Pot (at high strength) in May that year. Checked at monthly intervals, the first Irish whiskey ever finished in icewine casks was bottled 12 months later, in May 2021, at 46% ABV. Commenting on the first ever icewine cask finish of an Irish whiskey, Walsh Whiskey Managing Director, Bernard Walsh, said: “I first tasted icewine in 2011, so plans for this expression have been fermenting in my head for some time. With our core Writers’ Tears – Copper Pot expression we have a unique combination of predominantly spicy Single Pot Still married with Single Malt Irish whiskey. This core expression gets a whole new dynamic complimented beautifully by the intense natural sweetness imparted by Inniskillin’s show-stopping icewine.” He added: “When taking us around the vineyard, Inniskillin’s then Head Winemaker Bruce Nicholson (now retired) explained how they only harvest well-matured, thick-skinned Vidal grapes when the weather presents a window of opportunity between -8 and -14 degrees Celsius. Bruce’s ideal ‘sweetspot’ being -10 to -11 degrees. Based on what we have produced, Inniskillin Icewine certainly contains that intense sweetness that can carry through in the wood to our whiskey.” The whiskey’s nose delivers peach & apricot over a unique Pot Still spice. In the mouth it offers floral and nutty oak, with a fruity finish.
Tasting Notes: Nose – Peach & apricot over a unique Pot Still spice. Taste – Floral blossom & nutty oak. Finish – A fruit compote of mango & lychee.
3,500 bottles of Writers’ Tears, Icewine Cask Finish are being released to Canada, the USA and Ireland, retailing for CAN$99.95/US$84.99/€70. The whiskey is in market in Canada and Ireland and will be on shelves in the USA in early November.
In Ireland Writers’ Tears Icewine Cask Finish is available exclusively from the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Dublin. Slán go fóill,