GSN Review: Glendalough Poitín

Glendalough-Poitín-365x320Every drinker certainly knows about Irish whiskey, but very few are aware of Ireland’s oldest spirit.  Known as Poitín (pot-cheen) it dates back to the late 6th century.  It was the emerald isle’s national spirits until it was outlawed in 1661 by Charles II.  In fact it wasn’t until 1997 that it was legalized.

The Glendalough distillery was founded by a quintet of Irish lads to reintroduce this almost forgotten spirit to the world.

Premium Poitin (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Deeply malty with a crisp and peppery high note.
Taste: Slightly sweet with a funky bitter edge.  Think of a vodka that’s been distilled just a few times.  Viscous mouthfeel has an enveloping character.
Finish: As it fades, delicate notes of fresh pear appear.
Overall: Rough in an appealing way, this shares much of the style of american “white dog”.
GSN Rating: B

Sherry Cask Finish Poitin (80 proof)
Visual: Golden yellow.
Nose: Sweet malt tempered by a vivacious sherry overcoat.  Quite enticing.
Taste: Delicate and elegant notes of sherry perfectly balanced with a heftier malt base.
Finish: More pepper and ginger spice develop as it fades.  A fair amount of tannins on the back of the palate leave a warming baking spice heat.
Overall: Quite unique and unusual.  The sherry works beautifully here.
GSN Rating: A-

Mountain Strength Poitin (120 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Intensely fresh and bracing nose.  Loads of pepper spice and just the slightest note of wintergreen.
Taste: A lot of heat (no surprise there), but controlled by a powerhouse of well distilled malt flavor.  Almost chewy and in the mould of sourdough bread.  Very approachable and to the point.
Finish: Quite long with a goodly dose of heat retention and sprightly peppercorn.
Overall: Probably the closest you would come to the original style of Poitin made in the hills of Ireland circa 750 A.D.  If you want to shake off a winter chill, an ounce of this will do you fine.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Glendalough Distillery