Situated in the beautiful setting of the Golden Vale in Ireland, Tipperary Boutique Distillery was founded in March 2016 by Jennifer Nickerson, Stuart Nickerson and Liam Ahearn. Their own barley, grown on Ballindoney farm in County Tipperary is distilled and then cut with water from the outside Clonmel from which the Tipperary Boutique Distillery operates. The land at Ballindoney has been farmed by the Ahearns for over 200 years. The Farm lies on a plain of land sheltered by the Galtee, Knockmealdowns and Comeragh mountains, with fresh water flowing down to be collected and used to cut their whiskies.
Work on the distillery is planned to begin soon. However, in the meantime, they have searched Ireland for mature whiskies which reflect the style of the spirit that they will shortly make in Tipperary. They have specifically selected these casks to bottle and release as inaugural expressions – Knockmealdowns, Watershed and Rising.
Only six first-fill bourbon casks are chosen for each batch of Watershed, selected by Malt Master Stuart.
‘Knockmealdowns’ honours the Knockmealdown mountain range, which straddles the border between County Tipperary and Waterford and overlooks the Ahearn Farm. A particularly picturesque spot, the Knockmealdowns mountains are home to the ‘Vee’, a V-shaped turn on the road up Sugarloaf Hill. A number of stories relate to a stunningly beautiful lake close to the Vee called Bay Lough. Local legend tells that the lake is bottomless and the waters are haunted by an unfortunate woman called ‘Petticoat Loose’ who was banished there to empty the lake with a thimble.
‘The Rising’ takes its name from the 100 year anniversary of the Irish Rising in 1916; a significant uprising which would pave the way for Ireland’s eventual Independence some years later. GSN did not receive a sample of Rising for review.
Tipperary Watershed (94 proof)
Visual: Medium-light gold.
Nose: Malty, with a slight char to cut the sweet overtones. Some lemon citrus and black pepper.
Taste: Fresh, smooth and balanced with notes of caramel, butterscotch and lemon zest coming through after a few seconds. Fresh baked bread, cinnamon and clove close things out.
Finish: Medium long with a peppery ginger finish.
Overall: An Irish that will easily hold up under ice. Unusually piquant.
GSN Rating: A-
Tipperary Knockmealdowns 10-Year-Old (94 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Rich blend of malt and oak. Buttery, lively and very much in the style.
Taste: Much deeper in character than the Watershed, this one has been aged to perfection and achieved the kind of balance the gives it a lush and well-rounded character. Luscious, chewy and near perfect.
Finish: Long with softer tones of peach, lemon curd, and even young banana. Quite interesting.
Overall: This would be a great bottle to request from a genie if stuck on a desert island. On second thought, make it two bottles.
GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Tipperary Distillery