The Bridge -Black Donkey No.1 Single Malt Irish Whiskey: 43 % ABV,
We’re proud to work with local Craft Brewers whose beer we enjoy- we collaborate and help each other out on different levels, and one of those is beer cask finishes.
This collaboration is with our friends in Black Donkey Brewing in Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon. Husband and wife team Richard Siberry & Michaela Dillon have been producing some amazing beers since they set up approximately 10 years ago. Their range of Irish Farmhouse Ales (saisons), wild yeast beers and cask aged specials are well worth seeking out.
The Whiskey –
This is a 6 year old Double Distilled Single Malt from Great Northern Distillery. It’s limited to 324 (TBC) bottles and is bottled at 43% abv.
We purchased a Recioto del Valpollicella Italian Red Wine Cask from Pasqua Winery in Verona, Italy. This wine is known for jammy, dark fruit flavours- think black Cherries and Prunes. We loaned this cask to Black Donkey Brewery to mature a limited edition (600 bottles) of their Rua Ale, which they called Ruacioto.
Rua is part of their Underworld series of Beers, made with Native Irish Yeast harvested from the mouth out Oweynagat Cave in Rathcroghan, Co Roscommon, where the tradition of Halloween originated.
The beer was first matured in another ex Irish Whiskey Cask for 9 months, then it got 6 months in this Recioto cask. The beer from this cask was exceptionally fruity and aromatic.
As soon as the cask was emptied of ale, it was brought to Lanesborough and filled with 6-year-old, double distilled Single Malt Irish Whiskey from Great Northern Distillery, which had previously been matured in a first fill Bourbon Cask for 6 years. We finished this whiskey in the beer cask for 6 months.
Nose: Lovely, sweet maltiness with a hint of chocolate, just like Ovaltine. Then some lovely fruity aromas coming through – figs, prunes and sultanas (especially with a little drop of water)
Taste: Sweet, soft with chocolate, fruit- figs, golden raisins, maybe even melon. Definite warming spices– cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Finish: Long and spicy with malt and golden raisins.
The rich deep fruitiness of the Ruacioto beer has translated across to the Whiskey. The lovely malt character from the beer has also come through and there’s a decent warming spice to it also. A perfect whiskey for winter months!
Like all of The Bridge releases, this is a non chill-filtered whiskey with no added colour.