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Writers’ Tears Introduces Limited-Edition Ice Wine Cask Finish Irish Whiskey

Walsh Whiskey, makers of Writers’ Tears and The Irishman, recently unveiled their newest creation of an ice wine cask finished Irish whiskey.

Writers’ Tears – Ice Wine Cask Finish was made in collaboration with Inniskillin Winery in Niagara, Ontario, Canada’s original estate winery and leading producer of ice wine.

The limited-edition release is a triple-distilled vatting of single pot still and single malt whiskeys, and was finished an additional 12 months in ice wine hogsheads, before being bottled at 46% ABV.

Writers’ Tears – Ice Wine Cask Finish
Writers’ Tears – Ice Wine Cask Finish (image via Walsh Whiskey)

This, the 23rd expression from Walsh Whiskey founders Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, is the latest in their journey as Irish whiskey makers. And their journey took them to Canada’s wine region, when the two visited the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, in January of 2020.

There, they worked with Inniskillin Winery and Head Winemaker Bruce Nicholson (now retired), touring the vineyard and sampling fermenting wines before selecting 12 hogshead casks originally coopered by the Berthomieu Cooperage in France.

The dozen selected hogsheads were emptied of Inniskillin Ice Wine in March of 2020 and shipped to Ireland where they were filled with Writers’ Tears – Copper Pot (at high strength) in May of that year.

Checked at monthly intervals, the ice wine-casked Irish whiskey was bottled 12 months later, in May of 2021.

Bernard Walsh said in a prepared statement he first tasted ice wine in 2011, and plans for this expression have been fermenting in his head ever since. “With our core Writers’ Tears – Copper Pot expression, we have a unique combination of predominantly spicy Single Pot Still married with Single Malt Irish whiskey. This core expression gets a whole new dynamic complemented beautifully by the intense natural sweetness imparted by Inniskillin’s show-stopping ice wine.”

He added that when touring the vineyard, Inniskillin’s then head winemaker explained how they only harvest well-matured, thick-skinned Vidal grapes when the weather presents a window of opportunity between 17.6 and 6.8 °F.

“Based on what we have produced, Inniskillin Ice wine certainly contains that intense sweetness that can carry through in the wood to our whiskey,” Bernard said. “The whiskey’s nose delivers peach and apricot over a unique pot still spice. On the mouth, it offers floral blossom and nutty oak, with a fruity finish of mango and lychee.”

In total, 3,500 bottles of Writers’ Tears – Ice Wine Cask Finish are available in the US, Canada and Ireland, retailing for $84.99.

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