Whiskey Reviews: The Whistler Irish Whiskey Cask Finishes

By John Dover / December 3, 2020

Editor’s Note: These whiskeys were provided to us as review samples 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 links 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.

When you go to the website of Boann Distillery you will be taken on a historical journey of Irish whiskey production up to when the current iteration of Boann comes about. The Irish history is steeped in centuries of knowledge, political strife, and hits home just what whiskey means to the people of Ireland.

Those traditions and histories are wonderfully present in The Whistler selection I have tasted for this batch review. Master distiller, Michael Walsh, brings a youthful air to The Whistler collection, infusing the whiskey with tradition, ingenuity, and a mature palette.

Aside from the exciting flavors in these whiskeys given the cask finishes of Oloroso sherry, imperial stout and Calvados, Boann Distillery is focused on the future. They recycle their locally sourced mash as animal feed, farm rainwater and have built a business that is forward focused without sacrificing what is truly important. Flavor.

The Whistler Cask Finishes

The Whistler Cask Finishes of Oloroso sherry, imperial stout and Calvados (image via John Dover/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: The Whistler Irish Whiskey Calvados Cask Finish

Vital Stats: Triple distilled and with an ABV of 43%, this whiskey is finished in Calvados casks from the Normandy region of France. Blend of 35 percent single malt whiskeys and 65 percent grain whiskeys. Priced around $40 per 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: It has a light appearance reminiscent of dry hay.

Nose: The nose is light and fruity with a hint of dry grains. I also caught some specific notes of green grapes and pear. There is a just a hint of cane sugar at the end as well.

Palate: On the first sip there is a gentle heat that wakes the palette. Though the flavors are soft, they are not watery. Bosc pear came forth very dominant without being overly sweet. There is a bit of salinity and a hint of oak to round out the tasting. This is a very well-balanced whiskey that can be enjoyed by whiskey novices and seasoned sippers alike.

Final Thoughts: This is a subtle sipper ready for a full night of stories and friends over a fire or in a traditional Irish pub. It woos the palette with subtlety and inspires you to pour just one more.

Score: 4.5/5

Tasting Notes: The Whistler Irish Whiskey Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish

Vital Stats: This whiskey is aged in ex-bourbon barrels, then married in Oloroso sherry casks to finish. It has an ABV of 43% and prices around $35 per 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: Slightly darker than the Calvados above, but still has the dried in the sun hay look to it.

Nose: Wonderful fall flavors fill the nose of this whiskey. Caramel, red apple, and citrus were the most dominate notes I pulled out. These were followed by citrus and vanilla and finished with a hint of oak.

Palate: This whiskey has a buttery mouthfeel. There is a soft prickle of heat that accompanies each sip but never overpowers the flavors behind it. There is red apple and pear with a hint of malt and just a bit of leather on the end. Overall, this had an almost floral nature to the flavors. Complex but balanced and very inviting.

Final Thoughts:: The sherry cask really smooths this out. The challenge is the discipline to put the bottle down after a drink or two.

Score: 4/5

Tasting Notes: The Whistler Irish Whiskey: Imperial Stout Cask Finish

Vital Stats: This Irish whiskey is finished in Imperial Stout barrels. It comes in at 43% ABV like its siblings above and prices at around $40 per 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: I was surprised at its light color. It encased in a black colored bottle and when poured out it has the appearance of sun kissed blonde hair.

Nose: There are strong notes of dark Chocolate and roast coffee beans which I much expected from the aging process. As you dive deeper you will also get some raisin, fig, and a decent amount of malt on the nose.

Palate: There are rich notes of bitter chocolate accompanied by lesser notes of coffee. There is a creaminess similar to a burnt marshmallow. The heat is present but gentle. A few sips in I found the raisin flavor again and yeasty baking notes. There is also a bit of bitterness from the hint of nutmeg on the back.

Final Thoughts: Drinking this reminded me of sitting around a campfire and munching on burnt s’more’s made with bitter chocolate. The flavors in this are balanced but not for everyone. I do recommend giving it a try though just for the experience.

Score: 3.5/5

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