Ulster Whiskey Blog
The Quiet Man 8yo Single Malt
In the review of The Quiet Man blend, I talked about the comedy show ‘Only Fools and Horses’. Well this time it’s Father Ted and One Foot in the Grave. Hark back to the episode where Ted meets Victor Meldrew and says to him, “I don’t believe it!” Thinking he is being funny, Richard Wilson, who played Victor Meldrew, explodes and goes mental. Having heard the same quote over and over again, he has just had enough and lets rip. I think I know how he feels. “As in the film?” I have been asked umpteen times. “No, not the fucking film!” I’m sure Ciaran Mulgrew has had it over and over and over again. It must be wearisome. If I hear anyone else say, “Oh but come on, ya know what he means…” in that smug way that folk sometimes say things, I might just blow my top!
Well this expression of the Quiet Man, 8yo single malt is a different affair than its wee brother. (I’m not sure whether to say wee or big here since the blend was released first but this is more mature.) The blend is a good everyday whiskey, like I said – functional and good in company but not great at being a solo artist. Let’s say the blend is a bit like another Derry/ Londonderry* product, Nadine Coyle: good enough when she was in Girls Aloud but just not going to set the world ablaze on her own. This single malt is much better than that, a solo performer and a pretty good one at that. This dram is more your Emilie Sande, superb voice, solo artist but not diva-ish or high maintenance. It’s approachable, easy to take, open and friendly.
The most remarkable thing about this whiskey is the price difference between it and the blend. £5. Yip £5. The blend usually goes for about £25 and the single malt for around £30. What does a fiver get you these days? Well the answer to that, in this instance, is a whole new level of quality. A lot of the time value for money is never given its place in whiskey reviews: the whole thing is about the nose or the finish and not really the price – but sorry, that’s not good enough. If you are paying £100+ for a bottle, then it needs to be better than something a lot cheaper: it has to be, otherwise why pay the extra? So you can get a gooseberry note? Or a mango nose? That’s not enough to warrant that expense to the average buyer.
Here we have a good quality product, extremely good value for money, that sits beside its sibling on the shelf and might be dismissed because it isn’t expensive enough. This could easily have been pitched at a higher price – and sat, and sung, in the company it was in.
Nose: Red Apple, Fudge, Honey and Vanilla
Palate: Vanilla, More Vanilla, Toffee and Citrus.
Finish: Fairly light, spice and Vanilla custard.
Value for money: Excellent
*Derry/Londonderry is so unbelievably annoying that I will use one term or the other throughout the site and either offend everyone or, my preferred option, no one will give a damn.