The Ryan Family have been the proprietors of the Beggars Bush Public House on Haddington Road Dublin since 1913, and had historically produced “Ryan’s Malt” in association with Dublin Whiskey Distillery until it closed in 1946.
To celebrate the centenary year of ownership, they recreated the whiskey and launched Jack Ryan’s “Beggar’s Bush” 12 year old single malt at the end of 2013.
The whiskey is from Cooley Distillery and has been matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks and is bottled at 46% with no chill filtration or artificial colouring, so a ‘craft presentation’ as Ralfy would say. 1450 bottles of the 12 year old have been produced and there is also a limited edition ‘cask strength’ expression with only 250 bottles available.
The 12-year old has already won Best Irish single malt whiskey at the Irish Whiskey Awards and Jim Murray scored it 92.5 in his 2016 Whisky Bible so we’re grateful to have received a sample of it as part of the #JackRyanWhiskey Tweet Tasting in conjunction with Steve Rush of The Whisky Wire.
Here’s our notes from the night:
Very fresh nose, with green apples and citrus (lemon, grapefruit and orange) appearing initially.
Takes a few minutes to open up, but worth the wait; flavours get softer and sweeter.
Red apple, creamy vanilla custard and gingerbread, though still with a sherberty lemonade still present. Lemon curd and even a bit of rosemary can also be detected.
It’s fresh, creamy and spicy — really interesting nose.
The palate follows the nose with sharp lemon and cinnamon spice in the initial taste, though the lemon is more peel-bitter than sugary sweet.
Elderflower follows along with grilled pineapple and wood-spice. Finish is medium length and light oil texture, gets slightly sweeter but still quite spicy and sharp.
It’s very good neat, but I tried adding a drop of water which suited me better — settles down the spice but retain the flavour and allows the softer, creamier notes to emerge.
Was getting Lemon Bonbons, toasted almonds and Pineapple Upside-Down cake towards the end — a very pleasant whiskey.
Irish whiskey (in my experience) can often suffer from over-processing as the big brands seek to sustain the ‘smoothness’ which it’s known for.
With this Jack Ryan 12 year old being unchilfiltered and 46%, it doesn’t have this problem and as a result offers a lot more than many of its peers.
It’s got bags of flavour and enough complexity to make it interesting whilst still being easy to drink. Well worth seeking out!