The Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish is a Limited Edition whisky sold only in Heinemann airport duty free shops in Germany, Austria, Norway, Hungary, and Slovakia. Speaking about the release in the duty free shops, William Grant & Sons Europe Regional Director Andre De Almeida said, “The combination of highly trained, consumer-focused staff and the attraction of outstanding visual display and a commitment to consumer interaction makes us very confident that Heinemann is the perfect partner in this case.”
Of course, the exclusive release makes this whisky a bit hard to get a hold of if you’re not located near one of Heinemann’s shops. The whisky runs around $50.00 a bottle. Brewed at Bushmills distillery, this particular version of the 12 Year Old spent six months maturing in sherry casks in the Tullamore Dew warehouse located in Clonmel. The 12 Year Old Special Reserve has won a number of awards, including two Gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2006, 2007, and 2008. I finally got my chance to try the 12 Year Old, and I was not disappointed.
The whisky is a rich amber gold in the bottle. When I open the cap, I am greeted with a delicious nutty aroma with hints of toasted wood, vanilla, and something that reminds me of pastry or cake. There is also just a trace of citrus, possibly lemon or orange. Spices come through as well, adding a pleasant edge to the rest of the notes.
On the first sip, I get toasted wood with almonds. Vanilla rounds out the flavor, along with that taste of cake and orange or lemon. There may be a couple of other fruity notes present as well, but it the whisky is so well blended that it is a challenge to distinguish them. Spices layered across the top add a little something extra. And of course the wood notes from the aging in the sherry cask come through beautifully. This is a very smooth whisky with a rich, lingering, elegant finish. Sweetness balances out the spices nicely, and the lemon note hangs on at the end, a satisfying concluding note to a beautiful symphony of flavors. The aroma of the whisky is a solid preview of the flavors.
I am sure that the Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish would be great mixed into other beverages, but it seems almost a shame to water it down in any way. It is a very delicious whisky, entirely deserving of the merits it has received, and I enjoy it very much on its own. If you get a chance to pick up one of these, go for it. Fifty bucks is not cheap, but the experience is well worth every penny. This is one to enjoy on special occasions and make last as long as you can—though that may be a challenge!
Color: Medium amber.
Nose: Almond, toasted wood, vanilla, cake, citrus, spice.
Taste: Almond, toasted wood, vanilla, cake, orange, lemon, spice. Sweet, smooth, lingering taste.