Ulster Whiskey Blog


Science has brought many wonders to the world, not least keeping people alive and understanding the world. One thing that seems to have been sacrificed at the feet of it though is folklore and superstition.  As a kid my world was filled with tales of Ghosts and Spirits: Banshee’s, Poltergeists, Little men and a slew of other “Other worldly” things seemed to abound. Everyone I knew seemed to have seen something weird and spooky.  One guy I knew, and trusted 100% , swore that when he was a kid a lady walked into his bed room and brushed his hair. One of his greatest childhood memories he claimed, the hair that is because by the time I knew him he was bald as an egg.

Not one of them ,however, claimed to have ever saw a mermaid, they were something that was lacking in the repertoire of weird and wonderful.  The Irish version of the Mermaid, or Merman for that matter, was the Selkie, or Silkie who spent half their time as a seal the other in human form. Allegedly the human form of the Selkie was rather good looking and ordinary humans found them irresistible. According to Wikipedia the male Selkie sought out dissatisfied housewives and had their wicked way with them, Irish women of yesteryear must have found the smell of Haddock an aphrodisiac.

These old legends, spirits and sprites have pretty much disappeared these days. The world gets explained by science. What was once everyday assured, even though it was paranormal, is now pretty much extinct.  There is still interest in these things and thus we have a new blended Whiskey from Donegal named after the kelp Casanovas, The Silkie. There are plans for a new distillery to be built, Slieve League or as it is going to be called Sliabh Liag nd it will be the first distillery in best part of 200 years. First legal distillery that is, Ulster’s wildest county has always been well reputed for being a hub of illegal distilling. To fund this distillery the Silkie has a fair amount of pressure on it, so does it stand up?

Well I’ve been living a bottle of this for a while now. When I first opened the bottle a few months back  I thought “There is no way this is going to pay for anything” I thought it was rather harsh and weak tasting. Wasn’t good. Left it for a while and tried it again a few weeks later… improved. Few weeks later and it had improved again. It was mellowing and opening up, like a Killybegs fishwife to Aquaman. Am now down to the last third of the bottle and it has improved a lot but still not sure it would build you a distillery.

Nose – Fresh, clean, barley sugar sweet. Leafy, Granny smith.

Taste – Honeycomb, barley cereal, acid drop, boiled sweetie.

Finish – Surprisingly long with a pleasant ginger touch.

The Silkie is a tricky one because it shouldn’t be judged on first appearances but let it grow for a bit. It does improve and maybe given enough time it would be something really good but first impressions last and it has to taken into account.

Score: 6/10 initially

After a while: 7.5/10

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