Egans Vintage Grain - Single Grain. 92 proof.
Here is a wonderful Irish whiskey unfamiliar to many; this sourced single grain whiskey is aged for 8 years in ex-bourbon barrels. Distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2017. While a Single Malt uses malted barley, the Pot Still whiskeys are a mixture of malted & unmalted barley. A Single Grain could be a blend of barley, corn & wheat. Aromatically it is a wonderful blend of apples, pears, and vanilla. As is typical of ex-bourbon oak cask maturation, there is a lot of honey and a little vanilla. In comparison to Red Breast 12 YO (our daily drinker), it's a lot sweeter, the RB12 is also allowed to mature in sherry casks which impart more of a variety of fruit flavours. Egans is smooth to the taste and sits nicely on the tongue, with very little alcohol burn. The initial honey & grapes initial taste gives way to honey & cereal as the whiskey is oxidized in the glass. I prefer to sip this in a Riedel single malt glass rather than a Glencairn whisky glass; the former allows one to appreciate more of the subtle flavours, while the latter delivers more of an explosion on the palate.
Clearly, Egans have a winner on their hands here. Retail is $45 but Total Wine sells it on the West Coast at $30. Don’t buy one but two bottles as unfortunately we have no idea as to when we will taste this again. (I bought five bottles, so far - wonderful Christmas gift). Slainté. (Good health in Gaelic).