The Quiet Man Tells No Tales - But We Do

Irish Whiskey is a category that has been going from strength to strength in the last decade and it shows no sign of losing traction any time soon. It makes sense then that there are numerous plans to build new distilleries on the famous Emerald Isle. Niche Drinks, producers of the excellent Quiet Man whiskey, are one of them. They started in 1983 and have been busy producing Irish coffee, cream liqueurs and RTD (Ready To Drink) cocktails for their influential retail partners around the globe. During this time, they have built strong relations with many of the top bourbon producers, something that has come in very handy now they are making their own whiskey. Niche Drinks, under the command of Ciaran Mulgrew, are going to build the first whiskey distillery in Derry for 200 years on the outskirts of the city in the Campsie area. They will produce authentic triple distilled Irish malt whiskey with the distillery being called "The Quiet Man Craft Distillery Co. Ltd". Not ones to sit idly by until the distillery is up and running, Ciaran has been stockpiling reserves of grain and malt whiskey for several years and maturing them in first fill bourbon barrels obtained through his aforementioned connection with the big bourbon producers. These barrels will surely be utilised in the new distillery but for now they have proven their worth by maturing the rather good Quiet Man 8 Year Old Single Malt; the barrels are all first fill so they will be imparting some strong and distinct flavours to the Irish malt. The 8 year old is chill filtered and bottled at 40% ABV but future single malts will be full cask strength and non chill filtered. Whilst it would be natural to assume that The Quiet Man is just a stop gap until the distillery opens, it would be wise to cast those assumptions aside as the quality of this malt has been overseen by experienced Scotch whisky blender Billy Mitchell. In other words, this is a whiskey that shouldn't be overlooked! Most whiskey names are not just randomly thought up and The Quiet Man is no exception as their is a compelling and very personal story behind this whiskey as Ciaran Mulgrew explains; "My father was a bartender who worked for over 50 years in bars around Belfast.  Sometimes he would bring me into work with him and so I grew up loving the sounds and smells of the bar, the craic, the laughter, and the smell of the beer and the whiskey.  Especially the whiskey. Now that I am making my own whiskey, I am naming it after my father. In 50 years as a bartender he saw a lot of things and heard a lot of stories but, like all good bartenders, he was true to his code and told no tales. My father, John Mulgrew. 'The Quiet Man' or, as they say in Irish, 'An Fear Ciúin."

The Quiet Man 8 Year Old Single Malt

Nose: Fresh fruits, banana, lemon, orange and apple are all present along with smooth, soft oak vanilla and light cereals no doubt imparted from the bourbon casks. Palate: Big pepper hit along with chili that thankfully doesn't overpower the spirit and without water the citrus just shows through with dry oak and some more vanilla.  With water the orange comes out on top with clove spice and more creamy oak. Finish: Medium length with dry spices and fresh fruit with cream. I would highly recommend adding a splash of water to really open this whiskey up. The Quiet Man is a solid whiskey that will provide Irish whiskey lovers with another great staple whiskey to choose from; it's not trying to reinvent the wheel or shake up the category but is successful in keeping your interest none the less. There are strong hints of Cooley in here so if you enjoy their Greenore whiskey then I would certainly recommended this to you. This bangs you on the nose and palate with distinct flavours that are quite honestly delicious and this would be a great session whiskey to enjoy with friends. It will be great to see what the distillery comes up with once it opens but in the meantime I will be enjoying this very happily, safe in the knowledge the barman will be keeping my secrets!