back to Dublin.
As we leave at the dawn of the Celt (Dublin pub in which we had already experienced some great moments - see tasting -), we come across John O'Brian whom we met a little earlier. Knowing that we liked good things, he said to us in good Irish: "Má tá tú ag lorg beagán géire,Téigh agus féach ar Lambay" (If you're looking for a little cheerfulness, come and visit Lambay!). Still in the atmosphere of the pub, we say "no! we met a Matmatah fan".
Actually John wasn't talking about Lambé An Dro, but about the island of Lambay off the coast of the city! So we head for the port of Dublin where we board a canoe to cross the 3 miles of Muir Eireann that separate us from the island.
When we arrived on the island, which was beginning to emerge from the fog, we landed at the end of a long jetty. We have just changed the scenery. The city's torpor has given way to nature's silence. In front of us are hills populated by sheep and above our heads the rapid flight of puffins. From experience, it is better to avoid their proofs because they are rather corrosive!
John tells us that he will accompany us to the Island distillery! It's gonna be a while longer! Even though no alcohol has yet entered our mouths and at the moment we are crossing a bridge over the Trinity Well (a river that is used in the distillation of local whiskey -ndr-), we think we are hallucinating when wallabies appear before us...! This is not the southern hemisphere! What is this island? Fantastic Animal Island or what?
We arrive in front of a building with grey stones that j.-k. would not have disowned. Rowling for his adventures. We finally arrive at the door of the Sea Cask Room (wharehouse where a large part of the taste of this liquid was created and which allows to give the barrels marine notes).
Inside the barrels of Cognac! Another weird thing on the magic island? No, John explains that the whiskey we are about to taste is first aged in bourbon casks (like any good whiskey) and then "finished" in 100% French cognac casks (from Camus -NDR-).
We will taste the brand's single malt.
John present us with a beautiful amber liquid bottle on which a puffin in a tuxedo (class) proudly sits.
When our nose plunges into the glass we have direct confirmation that we are in Ireland and that we are dealing with a triple distillation: freshness and sweetness mixed with summer fruits (peaches, apricots). When it returns, the nose is surrounded by flowery meadows that further support the floral and fresh notes. It is at the third stage that the odours of wood, spices and honey emerge and part of the finish appears in French casks (more pronounced than in bourbon casks usually used for Irish whiskey).
The real difference in finish comes in the mouth. The usual aromas and roundness of the Irish distillate are masked by more marked notes of smoke and toast but also spices. Its 40° gives it a certain sweetness that allows it to keep a little longer in the mouth and to smell the sweeter aromas of honey or dried fruit.
Beautiful sensation and discovery that makes this irish an atypical and interesting whiskey (like the island where it is distilled).
It is with a long finish (triple distillation obligatory) adorned with woody, spicy sensations and at the limit of the slight bitterness of liquorice, that we leave the distillery in the direction of new discoveries on the Irish soil.
When we get back on the boat, a puffin (not in a tuxedo) sends us a beautiful light green souvenir on our shoulders as if to leave us a mark (indelible!!!) of the Irish island of Lambay.