Whiskey Review: Tullamore D.E.W.

, | October 20, 2015

Tullamore D.E.W.Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

Now owned by William Grant & Sons, Tullamore D.E.W. remains one of the standby Irish whiskies. Easily accessible to non-whisk(e)y drinkers, Tullamore retains a steady foothold in the Irish whiskey world, alongside such behemoths as Jameson and Bushmills.

Triple-distilled in typical Irish fashion, D.E.W. is a blend of the three styles of Irish whiskey: single pot still, single grain, and single malt. This process transforms the combined spirits into the fourth style of Irish whiskey: blended.

Despite being credited with the invention of whisk(e)y distilling as we know it, Irish whiskey has been a suffering market for a very long time. With only a handful of active distilleries left, Irish whiskey has some work to do if it intends to catch up with the explosion of Scottish single malts over the past few decades or the American craft whiskey boom of the past single decade. That said, there’s definitely been exciting innovation in the category over the past several years: the release of Connemara’s peated expression in the ‘90s was the opening salvo in Irish whiskey’s current resurgence. Here’s to hoping Irish whiskey continues to grow.


A liquid gold, buttery tone in the glass, Tullamore D.E.W. promises the classic Irish style of triple distillation. Boiled sugar and nut brittle, as well as warm butter on toast complement the sweet, airy quality of the nose. After some time, grassiness appears. Buttered toast and hairspray are the lasting impression given.

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The combination of malted and unmalted barley present in the blend used pop out immediately on the palate. This is an entirely different expression of what barley can be than a typical unpeated Scotch whisky. A soft, light mouthfeel and taste make Tullamore incredibly accessible. The buttered toast on the nose comes through, almost transforming into buttered pancakes with bright, crisp fruit, like green apple and unripe pear. Charcoal rounds out the incredibly clean lines of this whiskey before it finishes with a slightly warming, clean finish.

Tullamore D.E.W. is an all-around great introductory whiskey. As Dave Broom notes in The World Atlas of Whisky, this bottling is “fresh and made for drinking long,” a session whiskey if there ever were one. I would recommend Tullamore to anyone hesitant to get into whisk(e)y, or anyone looking to fuel a lengthy instance of imbibement. And at less than $30 a bottle, Tullamore proves a reasonably priced dram in a world of overpriced, over-hyped whiskies – a treat in and of itself. All things considered, I give Tullamore D.E.W. a score of 80.

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Savannah Weinstock

I am a graduate of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR whose Environmental Studies thesis focused on “Scotch Whisky, Sustainability, and Commodification of Nature & Culture”. While writing my thesis, I spent time living and studying in Glasgow, Scotland where I visited and interviewed distilleries nationwide, concentrating on the...