I went in search of something interesting… Not really having anything specific in mind, I stopped at Wampum Corner Fine Wine & Spirits. My hope was to wish my good friends a Merry Christmas and pick up something fun… Well, to my pleasant surprise I was presented with a fine bottle of Irish whiskey, one of which I had no prior experience, not even a passing nod of recognition, but Fran (the elder) indicated that he thought it a fine whiskey and he was wondering what I thought, so I took it home for some research!
First, some history… Clontarf has significance in Irish history, being the location north of Dublin where the decisive battle between the Vikings and the Irish under Brian Boru was fought in 1014. It marked the turning point in the Viking occupation and unfortunately the demise of Brian Boru…
Next, the whiskey is a product of Castle Brands, the folks who bring you Goslings Rum and Jefferson’s Bourbon among other products… There are three types of Clontarf – Classic Blend, Reserve and the Single Malt. I sampled the Classic Blend and found it to be quite nice, especially given its price – around $20 average retail per bottle.
The Clontarf has a smooth palate with rich, woody tones and hints of butterscotch and vanilla. Clean on the finish with a refreshing nutty, spicy quality. Quite nice for an Irish blended whiskey, which I sometimes find a little hot and one-dimensional.
So, if you’re interested in toasting a bit of Irish history, why not toast with a whiskey whose name drips of significance – Clontarf 1014!