Getting the chance to try a new make or white dog spirit is always an interesting prospect. For the less well versed amongst you, these are both names for spirit that has just come off the still, with no ageing what so ever. This liquid is almost always completely clear and is also usually a high percentage ABV.
In the UK, for whisk(e)y to be called whisk(e)y, then it must fulfil four criteria:
- Must be distilled from water, malted barley and yeast.
- Must be distilled to an alcoholic strength of less than 94.8% by volume so that it retains the flavour of the raw materials used in its production,
- Must be matured in oak casks for no less than three years.
- Must not contain any added substance and bottles at above 40% alcohol by volume.
Before it has been barrel aged we refer to it as New Make. In America, there are other differing, yet similar criteria, however un-aged American spirit is referred to as White Dog Spirit.
Today’s post is a comparative review of a new make and a white dog.
Walsh Whiskey – New Make:
Price: Visit the distillery and ask nicely, they might let you try.
Appearance: Clear and glinting, like the water dripping from a melting glacier.
Aroma: Packed with fruity flavours, if you can focus long enough you can pick out blackberry, apple and pear, then make jam from the lot of them! Unlike some new make this doesn’t have a massive ethanol hit on the nose and was pretty gentle on the nasal passages!
Taste: This spirit doesn’t mess about. It booms on to the palate with a massive shot of peppery spice, which is almost overwhelming. There is a sweetness and fruit, but they hide in the background.
As soon as had tried a few sips neat, I added a small slosh of water in the hope of bringing the spice down. With water, this was a much more dynamic spirit. Present on the initial flavours were a malty, creaminess and a sweetness of toffee. Some of the fruit was still present, but not as vividly as in the nose. There still was spice, but it was much calmer with the water.
As with most new make that I have tried, the finish was very short lived and lack the dynamism that you would associate with an aged spirit.
Mouthfeel: With water this was sweet, creamy and very pleasant. Without it was a fiery blast of a dram.
Overall: For me New Make is all about potential. The real magic of Whiskey happens in the wood. This spirit comes from a really new distillery, who are a firm part of the current revolution happening in Ireland. I think that this dram points to a creamy, forest fruited spirit, that when combined with oak, will calm, widen and make great whiskey.
Real Dram Factor: 7.1
Source: Tweet Tasting Sample from @TweetTastings
More Information: WalshWhiskey.com
Buy Online: Not Available
Buffalo Trace – White Dog:
Price: £20-30 for a 37.5cl bottle
Appearance: Clear and glistening in the glass.
Aroma: Sweet and salty popcorn combined with marshmallows and milk bottle sweets.
Taste: Unlike the Walsh Whisky, this spirit tastes strongly alcoholic, but it is much calmer at the start. Intially this is very sweet, just like the nose, it is full of creamy toffee.
However, after not too long on the palate there is a developing fiery spice, like chilli which is numbing and hot in the mouth. Somewhere in the flavour journey, there are sherberty notes and oddly there is also a metallic quality, like copper coins.
Mouthfeel: Surprisingly, both mellow and fiery.
Overall: This White Dog is available as a ingredient for bartenders and the like, but it also makes an interesting dram for those interested in the Whiskey making process. We would suggest this as part of a comparative tasting like this, or as part of a vertical tasting with some of Buffalo Trace’s, because it acts as an interesting part of the flavour journey.
Real Dram Factor: 7.4
Source: Sample from a fellow Yorkshire man and Twitterer – Craig Watson
More Information: Buffalo Trace Website