Whisky Review: Tullamore Dew

In this series of whisky reviews, I give my impressions of some widely available whiskies so that you can get some idea of new things you might want to try. Today, I’m reviewing Tullamore Dew’s green label Irish Whisky. As usual, I’ll start off with a bit of history on the product and the company. Following that, we’ll walk through my tasting procedure and notes. To wrap things up, I make some recommendations on how I’d choose to drink this Irish whisky, and end with some final thoughts on where it fits in a general whisky market.

Tullamore Dew, or, more accurately, DEW, is an acronym, standing for Daniel Edmund Williams, the founder of the distillery. Apparently, Mr. Williams began working in a distillery as a child, and ended up opening his own in 1892, in the then small town of Tullamore. Since then, Tullamore Dew has been producing some of the best-known whiskies from Ireland and has made a major name for itself in the American market.

There is a whole line of whiskies offered by the company, and this is the most affordable of those: the longer-aged whiskies get more complex in flavor, with a commensurate rise in price.

When I taste these whiskies, I drink them neat. That is to say, I pour a little in a glass, swirl the glass, give it a good smell, and then drink it. For some whiskies, like bourbons, adding a little ice wouldn’t matter too much since their flavors are fairly bold. In the case of an Irish whisky, the flavors can be a lot more delicate, meaning that adding ice could dilute the product enough to make it difficult for me to sort out tasting notes.

With Tullamore Dew, I get very little nose, or scent, at all. There is a slight burn from the alcohol, but the initial impression is of a delicate, light whisky on the nose. In terms of tasting, this whisky is smoother than most I’ve had, and comes with a delicate sweetness that is somewhere in the realm of butterscotch. Neat, this is an extremely pleasant whisky to drink and I think it has a place in my bar on a permanent basis.

As far as drinks go for Tullamore Dew, I think you’d be hard to beat drinking it neat, but there are some other ways to enjoy a delicate whisky. Adding a single ice cube to cool it down would also be appropriate, but I’d recommend making sure the water is neutral in flavor, or else the mineral qualities will likely overwhelm the flavors here.

I’d also consider making this into a Manhattan since the chilling is pretty quick. Tullamore Dew would let the vermouth shine and allow the bitters to express themselves, both of which would be welcome here.

This is an excellent, delicate whisky at an affordable price. If you’re introducing someone to whisky who doesn’t drink much except seltzers, this would be a great place to start. Its easy-to-drink nature also earns it a spot in my collection.
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Garrett is a writer and commentator based in the South. His areas of expertise lie in cooking, fashion, and the outdoors among others. He has been writing and educating professionally for years, and enjoys creating online discourses around positively masculine spaces.

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