We at The Amazing Blog were lucky enough to be guests of Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), at their Spirit of Sharing event at the Irish Consulate earlier this year. Bord Bia brought together 20 Irish drinks companies to introduce them to the UK market, and we have picked an initial few here of our favourites that we discovered (we'll be featuring a few more later in the summer for you to read about). It is no secret that Ireland is renowned for its quality alcoholic drinks - from Cider to Whiskey to Irish Cream, and Bord Bia presented some drinks that are truly authentic in quality, history and flavour.
For all you who want lower alcohol content without compromising on taste then do we have the perfect drink for you; Finnbarra's Tobairín. This cider is crisp and light, ideal for a mid-day drink with lunch in the hot sunshine. Despite being just 1.5%abv the cider’s complexity and character doesn't suffer in any way. Light in colour, the drink has a distinguished ‘nose’ and a smoothness which is in part due to the naturally cultured champagne yeast included in the recipe.
The apples in the cider are meticulously selected and are grown elsewhere in Ireland as the distillery is located by the sea which is not good for the growth of apples. This careful selection process helps the cider remain crisp and pristine. Everything about this drink has been carefully selected, including the name. Tobar means “well” (as in wishing well) and “ín” means small or light, coming together as Tobairín.
So, if you are looking for a low alcohol, refreshing and almost champagne-like tasting beverage, then this is the one for you.
As Finnbarra is currently looking for a distributor if you would like more information on pricing or to find your local stockist you can contact them at email@example.com
Another cider from Finnbarra has made it onto our list, and it’s Stonewell Tawny. If you enjoy a more opulent and rich cider, you should look no further than this delightfully dark drink. This viscous cider possesses a blend of complex bittersweet flavours that is deliciously moreish. The cider is created by chaptalizing the blends of Michelin and Dabinett apple juice while it ferments. Once the fermentation is complete, and the alcohol content reaches 15% Stonewell arrest the fermentation. This leaves residual sugars which encourage the developments of the cider's highly complex flavours to flourish during the minimum 12-month ageing process.
The Tawny cider is produced in incredibly small quantities, around 3000 litres a year. Each bottle is sealed with food grade beeswax and an individual label identifying the bottle number. This is a still cider and perfect for a leisurely picnic in the sun, as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to cheese or desserts. This cider reminded us a little of Calvados.
As Finnbarra/Stonewell is currently looking for a distributor, should you want more information on pricing information, or to find your local stockist you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, when one thinks about Irish alcohol, Irish Cream is always one of the first to come to mind, and for us, Feeney’s Irish Cream is a really good example. Feeney’s know that to create the freshest and richest tasting Irish Cream you need to look after and nurture the cows being milked. It is this belief that has given their products the high-quality taste and has helped them win award after award; including a 2015 Platinum Sip Award and a 2015 Great Taste Award.
The cream produced by these pampered cows is then combined with a fine three-year-old barrel aged Irish whiskey. All of this careful selection leads to a scrumptious product where every sip tastes sweet, creamy and indulgent. This is delicious on its own, but our favourite way to enjoy Feeney's is to pour some over a bowl of vanilla ice cream!
Trust us, you cannot go wrong with this drink and you can purchase it here from Tesco for £15.50
For those of you looking for a delicious, traditional and aged whiskey then we recommend you try Hyde. Made in County Cork on the wild Atlantic Southwest Coast of Ireland, Hyde is producing some beautiful smooth Irish Whiskeys using traditional old age craft techniques. The family have been involved in the drinks business for over 12 generations since 1640, so you know that when they say they use traditional methods, you know that they truly do.
Originally distilled in a traditional copper pot still, Hyde Irish Whiskey is double matured. We particularly love the Sherry Finish, which is a single malt aged in flame-charred, first fill, 200l oak bourbon barrel (giving a sweet vanilla flavour), before being transferred to a vintage Oloroso sherry cask for the final ten months. The sherry casks add a nutty, spice and dried fruit flavour to the last dram. The barrels and casks chosen are significant; as they put it, it’s all about the wood! Named after Ireland's first President, Douglas Hyde, the whiskey has an exceptional quality befitting its presidential namesake. Made in small, handcrafted and limited batches each sip of Hyde whiskey is filled with character.
You can purchase a bottle for yourself here for £50.88
And Finally, but by no means least, for all of you honey whiskey fans out there is The Dubliner’s Honeycomb Whiskey. The Dubliner Whiskey and Honeycomb is a delicious blend of welcoming Irish Whiskey and honeycomb and caramel flavours, which have a smooth and easy finish. The Dubliner’s value the importance of the ingredients that are in their whiskeys, as such they use only the best ingredients in their products. As they say, “only the best goes in, no exceptions, no substitutions.”
This whiskey was created by John Drennan and is one to savour and share. We guarantee you will want more, as the warm whiskey tones blended with the soft sweet honeycomb and caramel are incredibly potent!
You can purchase a bottle to share with friends here for £19.95
All of these brands are wonderfully authentic and have created some truly delicious and refreshing products for you to enjoy. We guarantee that all of them will help bring an added sparkle and Irish flavour to your next summer event! So what are you waiting for, purchase yourself and your friends a bottle or two now.