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The Mandarin In The Stocking

Writers Tears - Red Head

88.76 / 100

Fruity & Spicy Flavours

Visual: 3.88 /5  •  Aroma: 22.88 /25  •  Taste: 36.50 /40   •  Finish: 25.50 /30

Dram Code: E67

Producer: New Middleton

Bottler: Walsh

Type: Single Malt Whisky

Cask: Ex-Oloroso Sherry

Age: Not Stated

Country: Ireland

Region: Other

Chill Filtered: No

Added Colour: No

ABV: 46%

Cask Strength: No

Release: Special Edition

Price: $93.83 (at time of review)

Dram Code: E67

Producer: New Middleton

Bottler: Walsh

Type: Single Malt Whisky

Cask Type: Ex-Oloroso Sherry

Age: Not Stated

Country: Ireland

Region: Other

ABV: 46%

Cask Strength: No

Chill Filtered: No

Added Colour: No

Release: Special Edition

Price: $93.83 (at time of review)

About This Single Malt Whisky

About This Dram

I’ve been itching to try this whisky for almost a year now. Back in February of this year we almost featured this whisky in our “Bodega To Bothy” masterclass all about sherry cask whisky. I decided, however, to save if for the Irish themed class in March. Unfortunately, that plan was scuppered by me opening my big ol’ mouth and talking about this whisky at the sherry masterclass. Despite it not even being featured, we promptly sold out!

Finally, we’ve been able to source some more of this sought after special edition – and we can finally all taste it together! But what’s all of the fuss about? That’s a darn good question.

Writers Tears is a cult favourite pot still whisky brought to us by Walsh. Sourced from New Middleton, it is a classic Irish-style whisky with a great name and eye-catching branding. Walsh are also the creators of “The Irishman” single malts, also very highly regarded. Rather confusingly, when it came time for them to make a single malt using fresh ex-oloroso casks, they decided to use the Writers Tears branding rather than The Irishman. So while the original Writers Tears is a pot still, containing a percentage of unmalted barley, this is entirely malted.

The name is in reference to the slight red hue from the sherry casks. With the Writers Tears branding, I know a few well-read red-heads that would probably by a bottle on its name alone! The sherry cask flavour makes it a perfect whisky for the winter season – so if you missed out in February, now’s your chance.

 

Dram Association Panel Notes

It starts on the nose with Worther’s Originals, followed by cinder toffee. Then comes a little dried fruit, perhaps apricot, and mandarin peel. There’s a malty base to it all helping to keep rhythm.

The palate starts with off with the mandarins, this time complete with juice and even pith. There’s cinnamon and mint in the mix too, and it just makes us want to put our feet up by the fire and enjoy a good book.

By Adam Bradshaw on December 31, 2019

Score & flavour profile voted on by members who sampled the whisky

Recent Reviews

How We Review Whiskies

Score

Whiskies are rated by our members on the visuals (out of 5), aroma (out of 25), taste (out of 40), & finish (out of 30). With a total score out of 100.

Based on how scoring occurred for our early reviews, the following guide is given to members –

0-60 awful • 60-70 bad • 70-80 okay • 80-85 good • 85-90 great • 90-95 awesome • 95+ amazing

The individual scores are collected, and outliers are removed via the “agreeable group” statistical method to reduce bias and taste preferences (ie, people who score a peated whisky lowly because they don’t like peat). This gives us a better idea of the overall quality of the whisky in the eyes of our members.

 

Flavour Profile

Along with scoring the whisky, members are invited to choose up to three of the below flavour profiles which they think match the whisky. The profile that is most commonly chosen is then the official flavour profile for the dram.

fresh & floral
eg – blossoms, cut grass, apples, pears

fruity & spicy
eg – peach, vanilla, coconut, nutmeg

malty & dry
eg – breakfast cereal, nuts, cookies

rich & round
eg – raisins, figs, oak tannins, dates

smoky & earthy
eg – wood smoke, bacon, iodine

 

Dram Association Nickname

The nickname is usually given by the writer of the initial review and tasting notes. It is based on their tasting notes and used to refer to the whisky to keep its true identity hidden for those who enjoy blind tasting.