Dingle Single Malt and Jags.
It has been quite a while since I last visited Dingle Distillery. For the last few years when visiting Kerry, I have had to take the Southern road at the fork in Castlemaine towards Iveragh and Portmagee rather than Dingle. But a lot has happened in Dingle since then. Over that last few years there have been regular limited releases of really premium whiskey out of Dingle; five Dingle single malt and three Dingle single pot still releases.
Dingle whiskeys have always been beautifully packaged and labelled in solid heavy bottles and tactile soft finish labels topped with natural beechwood stoppers and real cork. These are the small touches that spell quality and set a brand apart. You are always 100% safe in gifting a bottle of Dingle Whiskey even to either a whiskey aficionado or beginner. It’s a super-premium look and feel product. Just yesterday, I opened a bottle of similarly priced Scotch whisky. Great whiskey, buts a serious loss of “feel good” when twisting open a weedy little cork made from fragile, agglomerated artificial cork.
It’s like buying a classic old Jaguar Mk 2 car with a plastic interior and vinyl seats.
Stretching the Jag analogy a little, Dingle has it all, the wood, the leather, the chrome. But like Jags are famed for serious growl in their motor, Dingle have been raising the bar again and again with each new release of Single Malt and especially so with their Single Pot Stills. They have also been driving quality in their cask finishes. The third Pot Still release a year or so was quite exceptional with a double wood finish of Bourbon and Port. If you see it for sale, don’t hesitate, just buy it and drink it as one of the best single pot still expressions on the market.
Back to Jags!
Sixty years ago, Jaguars were big fast and expensive luxury saloons, just one step down from Bentley and Rolls Royce. But around 1960, Sir William Lyons, the owner of Jaguar released a new and more accessible “Baby Jag” for a wider market, the Jag Mark 2. The design brief was that it had have “grace, pace and space” but be affordable for the motoring masses.
High volume sales and exports would grow business and secure jobs at Jaguar, but the new mass-market model still had to retain the quality and qualities of past Jaguars with Mahogany Wood, Leather Seats and Plush Carpets standard on all models. This one car model propelled Jaguar from a niche British market for fast luxury saloons, to become a leading international luxury car marque which is still going strong today. They did this by taking all of the qualities that made Jaguar special and repackaging it as a single core product which could be produced and exported at scale.
I practically grew up in the back of a Jaguar Mk 2 in the 70’s as my Dad was able to buy a second hand one which we kept for 12 years. Such is my love and affection for this marque and model, that I will buy my own one in the next year or so when I have time to enjoy and more importantly, mind it.
There is a point to all of this sentimental old car talk.
On this evening, Thursday May 13th 2021, Dingle Distillery will launch its first core whiskey expression, Dingle Single Malt, a milestone in the distillery’s history and a huge step forward in its growth journey. In doing so it becomes one of few Irish distilleries to produce a core mass-market single malt product made entirely with its own spirit.
Some 50,000 bottles of the triple distilled, non-chill filtered Dingle Single Malt have been produced and will be sold domestically as well as exported to key international markets including the UK, Germany, France, China and, later this year, the US. The distillery expects to produce 100,000 bottles of Dingle Single Malt, and half a million bottles across the distillery’s portfolio, by 2023.
Matured in Pedro Ximinez Sherry (61%) and Bourbon (39%) first fill casks and comprising predominantly six to seven-year-old spirit, every element of the production of Dingle Single Malt is manual, with a human hand and eye at each critical point. The distillery’s water source is its own well, 240 metres below ground. There is a lovely, subtle nod to this natural water source on the front label and outer tube.
Priced at €55.00 (RRP) per 70cl bottle, the new whiskey (46.3% ABV) is available to purchase from 13th May, 2021 at DingleDistillery.ie, IrishMalts.com, Celtic Whiskey Shop and across independent off-licenses nationwide. Dingle uses non-chill filtration to produce its whiskey and adds no colouring.
Elliot Hughes, Managing Director at Dingle Distillery, explains:
“Quality has always been at the heart of our DNA at Dingle Distillery, and that remains the case with our Single Malt launch. We are one of few distilleries in Ireland solely producing our own spirit – we don’t buy from or sell to other distilleries. When a customer buys from Dingle, they do so with the reassurance that the spirit is 100% Dingle.
This new core expression will provide the opportunity for the distillery to grow. By adding significant volume to our business, we can open up new markets and broaden our appeal to attract a new type of customer. We’re very excited to present our Dingle Single Malt to the market and look forward to hearing the reaction from Dingle fans and new customers alike.”
Graham Coull, Master Distiller at Dingle Distillery, comments:
“Cask quality is hugely important in the production of our Dingle Single Malt, and a key point of differentiation. We use first fill only casks to produce a richer flavour, while the sherry casks with their sweetness help to get the flavour in quickly, providing good body to the liquid. Dingle Single Malt can be enjoyed neat, with ice, or as a mixing spirit for high end cocktails. We hope whiskey lovers will enjoy sampling our new signature product.”
Virtual Tasting Event:
On 21st May at 7.30pm GMT, Dingle will host the a virtual tasting event for Dingle Single Malt. Hosted by Matt Healy, from Potstilled.com and podcast series Potstilled Radio, the event will take place on the Dingle Distillery Facebook page.
Tasting Notes for Dingle Single Malt:
Nose – Lime Zest & Chopped Mint. Fresh Sweet Pear.
Taste – Apples, Caramel, Raisins, Vanilla.
Finish – Honey sweetness & mixed spice linger on the tongue.
These were the official tasting notes from Dingle. There’s a lot of whiskey for your spend here @ 46.3% ABV. But even at that it there is very little alcohol burn when sipped neat. A small dash rather than splash of water brings it to greater heights though especially in terms of mouth feel. There is also a gentle and not unpleasant tinge of aniseed to the spice notes in the long warm finish.
Dingle Single Malt is a solid three Pooka Whiskey and a wonderful Irish whiskey at this price point.
This is Dingle’s Jag Mark 2. I can pay it no higher compliment.
It has all of the Grace, Pace and Space of it’s more senior stable mates. The growl in this whiskey is as good as anything that Dingle have produced and labelling and packaging still have that tactile wood and leather feel-good factor.
Just as Jaguar kept producing their large, bespoke limousines alongside the Mk 2, Dingle Distillery will continue to produce limited-release whiskeys alongside its new Dingle Single Malt.
I confidently predict, that just as William Lyon’s Jag Mark 2 propelled Jaguar to Global success through US and International Sales, this is the Whiskey that will take Dingle, as a Distillery and a Business to the export success levels of Bushmills, Teeling and Tullamore D.E.W.
Follow Dingle online and on social media at: