Irish Whiskey (making note of the ‘e’) is a category that I enjoy, but haven’t explored much. Some time back I received a bottle of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey for review and what struck me most was their claim that this whiskey is distilled in the oldest operating distillery. Operating under license since 1757 (holy awesome!) the old distillery as it’s called only recently began producing Kilbeggan whiskey again but it’s just as tasty as ever.
Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey – 40% ABV
As you fill your glass you’re first greeted with a light amber/honey color and an aroma that is distinctly whiskey. Subtle earthiness and notes of vanilla and spices with a light sweetness throughout. The mouth feel and flavor are tremendously smooth. While there are notes of clove and cinnamon with a vanilla caramel sweetness, this whiskey isn’t super complex. Rather, Kilbeggan is very drinkable and approachable. I’d happily offer some to any whiskey drinker knowing that they’re certain to enjoy the dram.
So, given that this whiskey isn’t overly bold I wanted to craft a cocktail that played off the spices without overwhelming the whiskey itself. With fall at hand, something using fresh apple cider seemed like a great plan. Here is the result.
2 oz Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey 1 oz Spiced Apple Syrup 1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1) Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass 2) Garnish with an orange twist
The spiced apple syrup brings even more spice to the party and a tangy sweet apple flavor that plays really well with the whiskey. The cocktail is drier than you’d initially expect which is perfect for my tastes. Very reminiscent of spiked apple cider, but with the whiskey taking center stage. Finally, the lemon juice adds brightness to the cocktail and the amount should be considered a suggestion only. Based on the cider you choose for the syrup you may need more or less acidity to add the right level of sourness. This is a great fall cocktail that I’ll definitely be making more of in the coming weeks.
Spiced Apple Syrup
2 c Apple Cider (fresh if possible) 1 Cinnamon Stick 1 Star Anise 10 Allspice Berries 3 Cloves Peel of 1/2 Orange (minus the white pith)
1) Bring the mixture to a low boil 2) Boil until reduced by half 3) Strain out the spices
† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.