Whiskey Review Round Up: Tipperary Irish Whiskey - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review Round Up: Tipperary Irish Whiskey

Editor’s Note: These whiskeys were provided to us as review samples by Tipperary. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

While Jameson tends to come to mind first in the Irish category, there are many other distilleries out there proving why Irish whiskey is seeing a resurgence in popularity. Established in March 2016 on Ballindoney farm, Tipperary Boutique Distillery has been celebrating its third anniversary. The farm is ultimately providing at least some of the grain for its single malts, and we will be seeing more of this farm-to-glass distilling in the future of whiskey. Ballindoney farm, located in the Golden Vale of Ireland, is home to a unique freshwater source, and it is said the distillery uses this water in at least some of its whiskeys.

For this review round up, we are tasting the Tipperary Watershed and the Tipperary Knockmealdowns, both of which are sourced as of this writing. The Watershed is named for the water source that runs to the farm, whereas the Knockmealdowns is named for the mountain range that shapes the valley the farm is located near. Stuart Nickerson, the distillery’s whiskey consultant, chose six casks per batch for each expression to bottle.

Tipperary Watershed

Tipperary Watershed Irish whiskey (image via Tipperary)

Tasting Notes: Tipperary Watershed

Vital Stats: 47% ABV; Irish single malt aged around three years in ex-bourbon barrels; per batch, six barrels are hand selected, while bottles are hand numbered; 750mL; ~$55 to $60.  

Appearance: Natural/light gold.

Nose: Malted cereal notes lead this dram. Salty air mingles with Rainier cherry. It feels like I am standing in the countryside. 

Palate: A soft velvet and creamy mouthfeel is the first thing noticeable. Next, is the grassy and hay-like nature of the dram. A bit of stone fruit comes through with peppery cigar ash. On the breath is vanilla buttercream frosting and sarsaparilla.

Final Thoughts: The Tipperary Watershed is lacking some oomph. On the other hand, this one provides easy sipping and a gentleness, which can appeal to many whiskey drinkers. I appreciate the heavy nod the distillery lends to the farm it was born from.

Score: 3.5/5

Tasting Notes: Tipperary Knockmealdowns

Vital Stats: 47% ABV; Irish single malt aged 10 years in ex-bourbon barrels; per batch, six barrels are hand selected, while bottles are hand numbered; 750mL; ~$60 to $75.

Appearance: Natural/light gold.

Nose: Where cereal led the way on the nose on the Tipperary Watershed, bright fruit is the main quality on the Tipperary Knockmealdowns. Specifically, crisp green apple followed by lemon and lime peel stand out. Straw and hay wafts in and out of the dram.

Palate: The one has a light peppercorn note with a lot of citrus. Despite the lemon peel on the nose, I get a taste of satsuma or tangerine. The mouthfeel is really grassy and has a corn starch-like softness that coats the tongue, teeth, and cheeks. Also finishes with a bit of cigar ash.

Final Thoughts: Maybe it’s just this particular batch we reviewed, as there are limited quantities per batch, but I am not sure the aging truly enhanced this Irish whiskey. It comes off a little hotter even though it’s the same ABV as the Tipperary Watershed, but the palate is too mellow. It’s easy drinking, yet I was expecting more from an Irish whiskey aged 10 years.

Score: 3.5/5