Now that the Miami Valley’s largest St. Patrick’s Day gatherings have either been downsized or canceled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus threat, how should you celebrate on the day when everybody’s Irish?
Well, those Irish pubs want to remind you they’ll still be open on March 17, but if the idea of celebrating at home seems a bit more appealing this year, the Ohio Division of Liquor Control wants you to know they’ve got you covered.
“I know I'm usually coming to your inbox to announce the next bourbon release, but as we enter March, I wanted to get in the spirit and highlight some items that are sure to please all audiences ahead of St. Patrick's Day!” Ohio Division of Liquor Control Superintendent Jim Canepa wrote in an email to spirits enthusiasts earlier this month.
“While my team is hard at work getting product delivered to stores and working with our OHLQ locations and supplier partners to ensure we're prepped for March 17, I wanted to focus in on a few Irish whiskies that are new, unique, (or) small sizes (for those of you who just want to sample!) ...”
And here are those products the liquor-control folks want you to know about, starting with this list of new products: Irish whiskeys brought into Ohio since last St. Patrick's Day. The descriptions are the division’s, not ours, by the way:
-- Proper No. Twelve is an incredibly smooth, triple-distilled Irish whiskey, crafted from only the finest grains and malts available in Ireland using locally sourced spring water. Distilled at the oldest distillery in Ireland and inspired by modern, authentic Irish cues, it has hints of vanilla, honey-like sweetness, and toasted wood. Proper Twelve is $57.99 for a 1.75 bottle.
-- Jameson Cold Brew combines the smooth taste of triple distilled Jameson and the richness of natural cold brew coffee flavor into one bottle. This is a perfectly balanced combination of their smooth Irish Whiskey with hints of toasted oak, dark chocolate, and a rich coffee aroma. Made with Arabica beans from Brazil and Colombia and with no added sugar. Jameson Cold Brew is $27.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
-- Green Spot Leoville Barton is initially matured in traditional sherry and bourbon casks, then finished in French oak wine casks from the renowned Chateau Leoville Barton, Bordeaux. A familiar mouth coating is a very satisfying balance of oak and spices. Sweetness works in harmony with the dry orchard fruits and oak. Green Spot Leoville Barton is $99.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
-- Green Spot Montelena is matured in traditional sherry and bourbon casks, then finished for 12 months in French oak Zinfandel wine casks from the prestigious Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley, California. A sweet mouth coating takes on a dry note from the wine cask. Pot still spices lead to zesty citrus and a touch of marzipan and toasted oak to add to the complexity. Green Spot Montelena is $99.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
Looking for just a wee dram? Here are some smaller options that includes what we old folks might call “airplane bottles.”
-- The Jameson Trilogy Set has three 200-ml bottles for you to sample and decide which is your go-to Jameson product. It includes Jameson, Jameson Caskmates, and Jameson Black Barrel. This set is $29.99 for three 200 ml bottles.
-- The Redbreast Tri-Pack has three 50 ml bottles for you to sample: Redbreast 12 year, Redbreast 15 year, and Redbreast Lustau. This tri-pack is $14.99 for three 50 ml bottles.
-- Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey has an early fresh fruit taste that leads to a definite light spike followed by some toasted wood which evolves into a delicious vanilla sweetness. Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey is $2.99 for a 50 ml bottle.
And for those with discriminating tastes and, well, fat wallets, here are some more upscale Irish whiskeys for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, including one for a penny under $400:
-- Red Spot has matured in a combination of American bourbon casks, Spanish sherry butts, and Sicilian Marsala wine casks, all contributing in rich and complex flavors. A mix of ripe fruit sweetness from the Marsala-seasoned wine cask. While fruit remains, sweet pepper and cracked black pepper add some spiciness, finished by notes of American oak. Red Spot is $129.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
-- Tullamore Dew 18 is a new expression in Ohio for Tullamore. It is the oldest age statement ever released for Tullamore D.E.W. and is a single malt whiskey. Its ideal balance of rich flavor and satisfying silkiness comes from years spent maturing in four different cask, ensuring its velvety and warming finish. We took our time so you can take your time enjoying it. Taste is Velvety smooth and mellow vanilla notes with cinnamon, baked apple, toasted marshmallows and a biscuit sweetness. This is a limited production for Tullamore D.E.W. Tullamore Dew is $125.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
-- Redbreast 27 is the oldest permanent release from the Redbreast, a 27-year-old single pot still finished in Port Pipe barrels. Incredibly rich in texture with a luxurious combination of ripe stone fruit and summer berries balanced by a hint of chili oil. Cherry menthol, vanilla, and cinnamon sweet spices complement the red pepper, nutmeg, and toasted oak. Redbreast 27 is $399.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
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