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Sainsburys Taste the Difference Dun Leire 8yo Single Malt

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Master Of Malts
Master Of Malts

Joined: 10 Apr 2012
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Location: East Lothian

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:32 am    Post subject: Sainsburys Taste the Difference Dun Leire 8yo Single Malt Reply with quote

Those in the know will be aware that some of the supermarket-branded premium products (Tesco Finest, Sainsburys Taste the Difference, Asda Extra Special) really do deliver good value. However when I heard that renowned whisky critic, Jim Murray had awarded his Irish whiskey of the year 2011 to Sainsburys Taste the Difference Dun Leire I was still a little surprised! A browse on some whisky forums suggests that, prior to this distinguished award, Sainsburys had actually discontinued Dun Leire due to a lack of interest though I can't confirm this. However, when I got myself down to Sainsburys, it was in plentiful supply and I discovered that the £18.39 price tag has already risen to £19.99 - a bit of craftiness or merely a reflection of today's inflation rates? I'll let you be the judge. However even at the higher price this bottle represents excellent value.

Dun Leire is produced by the Cooley distillery in the Cooley peninsula, County Louth, just south of the border with Northern Ireland on the east coast. Established in 1987 it is the only independent Irish-owned distillery in Ireland* and has won the IWSC European Distiller of the Year award for three consecutive years and the Distillery of the Year in 2008. The distillery (along with its sister in County Westmeath) produces four whiskey ranges: Kilbeggan; Connemara; Greenore; Tyrconnell. Dun Leire (like the Connemara) is notable for being double-distilled rather than the usual Irish practice of triple-distilling. It is made exclusively from malted barley and aged 8 years in American white oak ex-Bourbon casks.

Now the important bit, how does it drink? In short, very well! The nose develops with a little time in the glass and the overpowering aroma is unmistakably that of oranges. There is, however, an underlying light spiciness, like Christmas potpourri. The taste is exactly as you would expect from the nose, oranges and mandarins dominate with honeyed and vanilla tones and that hint of spice (nutmeg, cinammon) in the background. Very, very smooth, no need for water. The finish is pleasant but not particularly long but then, this is not a complex whiskey, it's straightforward and honest. I'm not very knowledgable about Irish whiskey, Bushmills Original and Jamesons are the extent of my experience and they can be had for around the same price however they are blended so a comparison is probably unfair. I certainly regard Dun Leire as superior, the distinct citrus character sets it apart and gives it a lively and engaging appeal. Perfect stocking filler?

* I originally wrote this review in Oct 2011, Cooley is no longer independent as it was subsequently acquired by Beam Inc.
"Whisky is liquid sunshine."
[George Bernard Shaw]
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