It's International Irish Whiskey Day, and given our love for all things Irish and all things Whiskey, today seemed as good a day as any to talk about some of my favorites out there. I encourage you to share your recommendations, so I can make sure we are well educated when St. Patrick's Day comes to Michigan!
Let's start with the classics...
Jameson Irish Whiskey. This blended whiskey is what introduced me to the idea of drinking "straight up." You could say that it helped me mature as a drinker:) It's not a terribly complex drink, but its simplicity is the strong point. Warmth with subtle vanilla, caramel, and a little bit of citrus in the finish, a glass of this will cure what ails you.
*Trivia Fact: On every bottle, you see the Jameson Family Coat of Arms, with "Sine Metu" written on it. Sine Metu means "Without Fear." You're welcome for your next tattoo idea!
Tullamore Dew 12-Year Special Reserve
This is one that I only taste on special occasions. Much sweeter than Jameson, with flavors of nutmeg, strawberry, and honey. TD has less burn, but more oakiness(is that a real word?).
*Trivia Fact: The "Dew" in Tullamore Dew is actually "D.E.W." and it is in fact the initials of Daniel E. Williams, the owner of the original distillery. Now you can impress that special someone with mad whiskey knowledge!
Special Mentions...these are not Irish per se, but Michigan Whiskey, which is pretty awesome in its own right!
Mammoth Distilling Woolly Bourbon Whiskey
Made right here in Northern Michigan, Mammoth Distilling knocked it out of the park with a bourbon that is smooth, not too sweet, with an incredibly satisfying honey and and cornbread flavor, with a slightly oaky finish.
*Trivia Fact: "Was-wa-gon-ong" is written next to a Newfoundland dog on the label. This is the Ojibwa Indian name for Torch Lake, which literally means "Place of the Torches". The dog? That is founder Chad's first Newfoundland, Dewey.
Traverse City Whiskey Co.
Straight Bourbon Whiskey
We can't talk about whiskey and not mention our hometown distillery! TCW Co. has been bringing this spicy and sweet bourbon to the locals out of their awesome little tasting room, just a few blocks from Tee See Tee HQ. Notes of rye, caramel, and cinnamon give way to a subtle nuttiness in the finish. Perfect whiskey for mixing!
*Trivia Fact: Traverse City Whiskey Co. sites its origin going back to early 20th century when John Silhavy Sr. emigrated from Czechoslovakia. His distilling processes were passed down from generation to generation, ultimately finding its home in Northern Michigan!
So there you have it. Hopefully not only did I make you thirsty(it is Friday, after all), but gave you a little education on the backstory of some of the best boozes around.
If anyone needs me, I will be at the bar.