Writers Tears Copper Pot
Taste score: 90
Category: Pot Still & Single Malt Blend, Irish Whiskey, NAS
Whisky Cabinet Score: ★ ★ ★ ☆ *
It's cliche, I know, to drink Writers Tears while writing. A cliche that I know I share with many writers in the whisky genre. A cliche that I endured while writing The Whisky Cabinet. And for that reason, it was hard to rate this whisky. When reviewing whisky, it's important to be devoid of attachment when rating the whisky.
The whisky inside the glass remains unique to the genre of Irish Whiskey. Much of Irish whiskey is pot still whisky, which is defined as a whisky made from malted and unmalted barley. Malting barley converts the starches in the grain to a sugar, and helps during fermentation. Unmalted barley is tougher to ferment (the yeast has to do more work). The use of malted and unmalted barley is an expensive process Ireland has kept on despite no longer getting tax benefits from using unmalted grain (The UK used to tax distillers on the use of malted barley exclusively).
Writers Tears is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged whisky, with single malt whisky. These are two streams of whisky that are aged separately, and blended for the final product. It's a unique offering from Ireland and anywhere else in the world.
Also, important to note, Writers Tears is probably grammatically incorrect. It should be Writer's Tears. The tears belong to the writers, after-all. When writing The Whisky Cabinet, my editor and I had a short debate about who was write on this. As always, the editor won.
Nose: Vanilla, candied orange citrus, honey, and the notes of milk chocolate that has aired out some. Lemon zest comes out over time. The dried fruit notes come through later, holding up a depth to this drink you're not likely to get on first nosing.
Palate: A lovely combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and peppery spice blended in a well seasoned caramel 'stew' of sorts. The spread of spices will rival most kitchens, and the flavour narrows down to a butter and peppery finish. The battle of sweetness and spice remains through the tasting, with no clear winner in the long tangy finish. The only fault to this whisky is the slightly bitter oily finish that doesn't quite fit in the story, but it's barely perceptible.
Conclusion: Easy to ignore as a simpler whisky, but given a chance, Writers Tears draws out many great flavours. At it's price point, this is an excellent buy.
*Whisky Cabinet Rating Explained:
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Not recommended
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’
★ ★ ☆ ☆ Your great regular rotation whisky that'll come and go
★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent, a near must-have
★ ★ ★ ★ Extraordinary, memorable, and original