The Irishman is a brand of (previously) sourced Irish whiskey released by the Walsh Whiskey Distillery Ltd. The company built their own distillery in Royal Oak, County Carlow in 2016, but there’s no indication when my sample was poured. It’s very likely to be the older sourced liquid. Walsh also sells the very popular Writers’ Tears. Unlike the company’s other products (Founder’s Reserve was… not great) which are blends of single malt and single pot-still Irish whiskey, this is straight triple-distilled single malt aged in a combination of oloroso sherry and ex-bourbon casks. The final product of uncertain age is bottled at the bare minimum 40% ABV.
This review is for the older version, before they changed the packaging (and, presumably, started using their own-distilled stock). Take it with a grain of salt, then, and I’ll update the review when I acquire one of the new bottles.
Nose: Very vegetal, with some floral notes but primarily a grassy / aloe aroma. Heavy green banana is underscored by light coconut sugar. After a rest in the glass, a little honey and dairy cream emerges. “Banana Milkshake” is the primary characteristic.
Palate: Moderate but not quite syrupy body. Nonexistent tongue burn. Vaguely sweet, with some vanilla and soft caramels, as well as the same strong banana note (banana taffy?).
Finish: Short. Insubstantial, likely due to the low ABV. Slightly mouth-drying tannins but no bitterness. A little bit of the sweet banana note persists. Fades without changing.
With Water: A few drops of water bring out more woody aromas, but they’re flat and cardboard-like. The palate is thinner and tastes watered-down, as does the finish. Skip the water here.
Overall: An inoffensive and somewhat forgettable malt. It narrowly avoids the off-notes associated with inexpensive Irish single malt (namely, bitterness and graininess), but also doesn’t have much in the way of laudable high points. The banana, which is not my favorite note in whisky, is not quite overdone. The sweetness is mild… everything is mild. This might be interesting at a higher ABV or with some more maturation. As it is, I wouldn’t go back for a second dram.