Pearse Distiller’s Choice Irish whiskey (42% ABV)
Star rating: 4/5
Pearse Lyons Distillery is yet another of the new Irish whiskey distilleries that have made an appearance in the last few years, situating themselves in The Liberties in Dublin. In fact, they’re right next to a brewery you may recognise – Guinness.
It’s named after the founder Dr Pearse Lyons, who appears to have been quite an individual. With a doctorate in brewing science, he worked for Irish Distillers at the Midleton distillery in the early 1970s before heading to the USA. There, he founded the massive agricultural feed and supplies company Alltech, then a brewery which grew to a distillery.
He returned to Ireland, and when he passed away in 2018, there was a distillery with his name on up and running in an old church in Dublin, now open to tourist groups.
A neat bit of foresight with the distillery is that the stills were running offsite for a few years in anticipation of the building being completed, so their whiskies contain a proportion of the single malt they created, despite the business only launching in the last couple of years.
The Distiller’s Choice is one of the core range, none of which are chill filtered and have no colour added. A seven-year-old blend of grain and malt whiskies, aged largely in bourbon and some sherry casks, the Distiller’s Choice is a pale straw colour.
The nose is light, with citrus hints, a little apricot, light grass, some oaky vanilla and a warm spiciness throughout. On the palate, there’s grape and pear before familiar vanilla notes, with stewed fruit and then a hint of cocoa and caramel.
The finish is light and short, emphasising the stewed apple and cloves over vanilla and continued cocoa, before quickly departing.
A very delicate sipper if taken neat, this doesn’t require anything to enjoy as is. That lightness does mean it fits neatly into the repertoire as a cocktail ingredient and their suggestion of enjoying it instead of gin with tonic is well worth the experiment.
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This review was last updated in March 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.