So Summer has gone and our yearly dose of vitamin D, medical sunshine, had to be administered in our own garden. The weather was, on the whole, wonderful and acted as a temper to the fact that plague and disease stalked the land. Oh how we long for the days when we could sit al fresco eating half price burgers n chips in the summer sun. It made up for not being able to get away for a fortnight in Spain and eating three quarter priced paella and drinking wine on the beach, in the pit of my stomach I think we will look back with fond memories of the summer at home.

One bit of joy that came to my house was a bottle of Red Earl Whiskey, finished in a trio of casks: Bourbon, Sherry and Rioja it was a sweet treat that really brought a smile to my face. The first thing you notice about the bottle is the cartoon drawing, on the label, of Red Hugh O’Donnell who has a slightly shifty look about him, like he is about to disappear round the back for some nefarious reason. The colour of the liquid is a very light red which is unusual for a Whiskey and when you crack the bottle open the nose comes and it is a joy, lovely light fragrant and sweet it is.  Sweet,  it is fresh and summery with a smile inducing quality.

The heavy, jam like, quality that sometimes comes from Sherry casks is lightened and freshened by the Rioja and given a new lease of life. Nice boiled sweet, think Blackpool rock, candy store taste on the tongue which many people will like.  This is a whiskey that could cross over to non-whiskey drinkers, would work wonderfully in cocktails and really drinkable. When you see this bottle on the shelves and Hugh giving you a little side eye don’t be afraid to pick him up and take him home with you, it gives something a little different. With all the depressing news around this year and the darkness I enjoyed this.

Nose- Strawberry, fresh red berries, fresh baked scone 2.5/3

Palate- Sweet berries continue, little nutty wood , baked Cherry pie 2/3

Finish – Honey, nuts and fresh ginger. Sweetshop hard candy 2/3

Value for money – 1/1

Total-  7.5/10

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