Last Wednesday the very kind PR people for The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey invited me along to the Brighton launch event, for an evening of cheese and whisky tasting. Cheese and whisky? I hear you say… Yes, apparently it goes rather well together. The event was hosted at the Mucky Duck, a lovely cosy pub just off St James’s street in Brighton. And rather fittingly for the night, the following quote was displayed outside the pub:
Alcohol is a much-misunderstood vitamin
Not being a whisky drinker myself I brought Mr Brown along to lend his more discerning taste buds. Luckily for me, The Wild Geese team brought Dom… Dom (@) was our host for the night and he certainly knew his stuff about whisky… and cheese.
Here are 5 things I learnt from the evening:
1. There are two ways to spell it… whisky and whiskey… (The spelling whiskey is common in Ireland and the United States while whisky is used in every other whisky-producing country in the world.
2. The word whisky (or whiskey) means water in Gaelic and Irish Whiskey is known also as the water of life.
3. If you’re a beginner whisky-drinker you shouldn’t go too quickly on to the full-bodied, smokey stuff! Steer clear of Islay whisky and opt for a sweet, toffee whisky instead.
4. Again if you’re a beginner, get your taste buds used to a whisky cocktail. Whisky sours are a good place to start and whisky over ice, or a dash of water when the alcohol is over 40%. The addition of water lifts the spirit and oils and brings gentle notes to the top of the glass (obviously his words there not mine…)
5. Blended whisky is as the name suggests, a blend of whiskies and sometimes also neutral grain spirits, colouring, and flavourings. Usually, it’s a mix of more higher-quality straight or single malt whiskies with lighter spirits and water.
In terms of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey we tried, there were 3 different types:
- Classic Blend – this was the entry level whisky, very light and sweet (and my personal favourite). And also smooth with a touch of honey and citrus fruit. Paired with a Gubbeen Cheese.
- Rare Irish – this whisky has a rich malt taste with hints of citrus fruits and oak. There’s a subtle hint of honey on the higher notes and the finish is long and sustained. Comté was the cheese of choice to accompany.
- Pure Single Malt – this is your top notch stuff. It has a warmer body and is peppery and spicy with a malty oak and a sweetness. It also goes down well with Wensleydale and Yorkshire Cheese. It’s also apparently more popular with men.
So what did the expert (Mr Brown) think of the new additions to the market?
“The single malt is intense, with a distinct flavour – the cheese and whisky pairing is a great idea – I really enjoyed it and it works! These whiskies are a good introduction to the market and a challenge for other whisky brands. I’d certainly purchase this and take it to a friend’s house to drink.”
If you’d like to try The Wild Geese yourself, head over to The Wild Geese website and use the stockist locator to find your nearest store: . The whiskies aren’t currently sold nationally, so you’ll have to pop into a specialist whisky shop or Harrods to get your hands on it.
*Photography provided by The Wild Geese