Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Boann Distillery. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
The Boann Distillery, located in the historic Boyne Valley, is a relative newcomer in the world of Irish whiskies. Founded in 2015, though, it has quickly moved to establish itself in U.S. and other markets under The Whistler label. (“Whistled into life one fabled New Year’s Eve,” according to company marketing materials, “the range is born of the noteworthy craft and time-honored traditions that are as old as the story told, the written word and the whistled tune.”)
We previously reviewed a trilogy of new The Whistler whiskies in April 2020, and in December looked at three other cask-finish whiskies from the brand. This time, we’re coming back around to look underneath the hood at the distillery’s P.X. I Love You Single Malt.
The first thing to know is that the label for this whiskey is a thing of beauty in an often-staid industry. Powder blue will stand out on any whiskey shelf, and the gold-outlined lettering gives it a touch of elegance, to boot. Plus, there’s the name itself – you could do worse than to bring home a bottle of “I Love You Whiskey” for a special someone on Valentine’s Day or an anniversary.
The second thing to know is that the P.X. stands for Pedro Ximénez wine grapes. These Spanish grapes are most commonly used in intensely sweet sherries, and The Whistler single malt was finished in for nine months in P.X. sherry casks after “spending the majority of its life” aging in bourbon barrels. (This is a non-age-statement whiskey, so it’s not clear how long that life was.)
So you’re going to get a sweet-looking bottle filled with relatively sweet-tasting Irish whiskey. Whether you find that wonderful or cloying is going to be a personal preference.
As of this review in March, the P.X. I Love You label is available only in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. Boann says additional markets will be coming online in the months ahead.
Tasting Notes: The Whistler P.X. I Love You Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Vital Stats: Mash bill of 100% malted Irish barley; matured in ex-bourbon barrels before finishing for nine months in P.X. sherry casks; 46% alcohol by volume/92 proof; $44.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
Appearance: Yellow-orange amber. Some legs materialize if and when you swirl your glass.
Nose: The sherry-cask finishing comes immediately to the fore. If you appreciate brandy or fortified wines like port, sherry or vermouth, you’re going to enjoy this. If you’re more of a whiskey traditionalist, the nose on this one might send you running the other direction. I found a vague margarita scent, along with cranberries and dried fruit.
Palate: The sweetness is less pronounced in the mouth than it was in the nose, which I was relieved to discover. Even so, there’s a lot going on. It’s very fruity, reminiscent of dates and maybe prunes. I’m a big tea drinker, and the P.X. I Love You also brought to mind creamy, vanilla-infused black teas. Finally, it leaves me thinking of a sweet-and-savory dessert like salted caramel brownies.
I’ll just say flat out that this is too sweet for me on the nose. Fortunately, it doesn’t taste nearly as rich as it smells. It’s a pleasant sipper that could pair nicely with some desserts, maybe a fun experiment as part of a date night. Some of the marketing materials refer to this whiskey as “decadent” – and I can’t really argue with that. If that’s what you’re going for, this could be your juice.
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Scott Bernard Nelson
Scott Bernard Nelson is a writer, actor and whiskey reviewer in Portland, Ore. When he's not working, you can often find him fly fishing or rock climbing in the Pacific Northwest.