The Irish Whiskey Masters 2014 Results
on 12/08/14 at 11:24 amSpirits
Judging the Irish Whiskey Masters on the same day as The World Whisky Masters is an insightful way of comparing the category’s style and quality with that of others around the world. But with the Irish whiskey sector booming, and several new brands set to enter the market over the next 12-18 months, this may well be the last year the competitions are judged side by side.
It’s undoubtedly an exciting time for Irish whiskey right now, with sales forecast to double by 2020, and every time the Irish Whiskey Masters comes around, I certainly feel a thrill to discover what new entrants might be on the list this year.
Joining me at London’s The Fable to find out were Adam McCullogh, bar manager of The Cadogan Arms, Toby Quirk, freelance brand ambassador, and Charles Montanaro, group manager for 5cc.
To kick things off, the judging panel was initially presented with a large flight of Blended Premium whiskeys, the backbone of Irish whiskey, but despite its size and importance to the category overall, our judges were left somewhat underwhelmed. “These were all great whiskeys but all lacked any excitement or depth,” explained Montanaro. “They would however be fantastic for mixing, which is what I suppose their purpose really is.” The judges did however manage to award one Master in the round, to William Grant & Sons’ Tullamore DEW 12yo Special Reserve, which was described as “just delightful”. The flight also landed four additional medals, with relative newcomer Teeling Whiskey Small Batch Blend securing a coveted Gold.