Composed of single pot still whiskies aged between 13 and 26 years that were originally matured in ex-bourbon American oak casks before being married together and then filled into seven individual Irish oak cask sourced from Knockrath Forest in County Wicklow for two years of additional maturation. Available from earlier this year in selected markets (Ireland, UK, US, France and China) for an RRP of €310.
Nose: Soft brown sugars, toffee, biscuit crumbs and vanilla cream are joined by an assortment of dried stone and tropical fruits and a similar array of juicy tinned fruits. The result is medley of apricot, peach, guava and mango – everything rather orange in colour. Dusty spices perk through – ginger and nutmeg, whilst milk chocolate and freshly baked pastry provide additional sweetness. Reduction expresses Fruit Salad chews (…back to the old skool) alongside overripe honeydew melon and kiwi fruit.
Taste: A rich and velvety arrival with orange juice, mango and pineapple all tinned in their own juices and served alongside ginger and nutmeg spices sponge cake. Milk chocolate and cashew nuts sit with light wood polish, whilst pepperiness builds steadily (but sympathetically) in the background. Dilution adds a slight ‘fizzing oakiness’ as well as overripe nectarines, blood oranges, baked buns and toasted cereals.
Finish: Long with fading tropical fruits, pepperiness and lurking tannins.
Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest Tree 5 is one of the softer bottlings in the series. Whilst the wood is still a driving feature, there’s more of a dainty nature which allows the fruit-forward nature of the well-made distillate ample room to shine. This tree is notable well integrated – everything feels like it should be where it is. And whilst that means that there are fewer surprises, the end result is nothing less than tasty stuff.