Monday, March 24, 2008

Tullamore Dew

Tullamore Dew 12 year is a fine Irish sipping whiskey. No, the origins are not the same as the caffeinated drink Mountain Dew whose name comes from the Tennessee mountain moonshine. This sophisticated drink hails rather from the small town of Tullamore in the Offaly County, smack dab in the heart of Ireland.

It's the nose sets Tullamore Dew apart from most American whiskeys and in a distinct class of its own among Irish whiskeys too. In the nose and on the tongue you will notice a rich caramel, just like the delicious treats that grandma used to make. That and a little touch of lemon. Barley grain, which is use to produce whiskey is dried over coal fires in Ireland, as opposed to the peat fires in Scotland. This keeps the flavor pure and clean.

Following the caramel taste that fills your mouth and nose you get a slightly pungent burn that a livens the taste buds. It's not quite to the "kick your butt" stage, but dangerous none the less. It has an addicting, buttery body, with a sweet range of spices and a smoky wooden undertone that doesn't shut your drinking down. The burn starts on the top of your tongue, lingers there and then fades to the deep back of your throat. Throughout you'll find a nuttiness coming through the drink.

Now, down to dinner. If you're going to pair this it will finish off any barbecue quite nicely. However, if I may, let me recommend keeping this drink with something off the emerald shores. Try a grilled leg of lamb with this. Maybe some pears and roasted potatoes on the side. Don't let the lack of a lavish dinner stop you from enjoying this drink though. Its a stand alone, after dinner, sit down with a nice figurado cigar.

*Snob Alert* This may be a bit mellow for a loyal Jack Daniels fan, but for anyone that wants one hell of a good drink that finishes smoother than Jameson and is more robust than Bushmills, try Tullamore Dew.

Now, the true story of how Tullamore Dew was named. What is remembered of the song of olden days is thus:

Down the hills and to the streams
The piper played for sweet dreams
Yet in the valley green
Among the yellow flowers fair
Comes the amber water beams

As it was the land of emerald isles was still new and born to the minstrels of Taglash, the seventh star set in the sky. It was the days before the first rain and the minstrels delighted themselves by playing and frolicking in the hills and valleys. Taglash loved so much the songs that radiated to his place in the sky that he filled his days with it. That was until the Meckrel came to what is known now as Ireland. The meckrel was a beast of the earth and brought with him a consuming fire that was never satisfied. It devoured the grasses of the land and left barren the soils. The minstrels of Taglash faltered in their song and gave way to wailing, for the hills were special to them and they dried up in spirit as the fields did in the fire. Taglash could not bear to have the music halted, for in that time the delight of the tune carried the heavens. So he brought down the clouds upon the emerald isles one morning and blessed them. They covered the fire and consumed it in turn. The waters were so pure that nothing could resist their movement. It was then that the Meckrel came up from the earth to see what had laid waste to his anger. He bent low and took drink from a stream and drew deep of its waters. He soon flooded his belly with it and grew merry as he had never before. Soon he brought out a lute and played a skipping melody. The minstrels came and joined him in harmony. For many years Taglash would decend the dew upon the hills for the Meckrel to drink and the joy continued. The Meckrel and the minstrels honored Taglash by playing upon the highest hill in all the isles to lift the sound up best to him. To this day, the dew that comes from the big hill, or Tulach Mhór in the Gaelic (Tullamore), is revered as a drink which brings lightness to a dark soul.


Kim L said...

Tullamore Dew must also be a great writing assistance, being as it helped you write all of that :-)

C. Brophy said...

Sounds good. In fact, instead of sending you Adam, I will try to convince Kadra about hand delivering it.