Last week, we had the chance to taste some whiskey with John Quinn, Tullamore D.E.W.’s Global Brand Ambassador. Having worked in the industry for close to 40 years, he knows a thing or two about Irish whiskey. And he brought all that knowledge, plus the recently-released Tullamore D.E.W. Caribbean Rum Cask Finish, to town with him.
We tasted that Rum Cask Finish alongside the Tullamore D.E.W. Original, 12 Year Old Special Reserve, and 14-Year-Old Single Malt, which was a great way to see exactly how the rum barrel impacts the new expression. Especially as the new variant consists of the brand’s signature product, Tullamore D.E.W. Original, finished in barrels that previously held Demerara rum.
Turns out, Irish whiskey and Caribbean rum have a long and prosperous history. In the 16th and 17th centuries, more than 50,000 Irish immigrants settled in the West Indies, bringing a tradition of distilling with them. This complemented the local rum production, and together, the spirits businesses expanded globally. You can see this heritage reflected on the bottle’s packaging, which was inspired by antique Caribbean trade maps, passport stamps, and travel journals.
Tullamore D.E.W. Caribbean Rum Cask Finish is a fun one. It exhibits much of that same character you expect from the brand, like easygoing oak and fruit. But from there, you’ll find ripe banana notes, rich dates, and some warm spices. It finishes long, smooth, and a little sweet.
We only sampled the whiskey neat, but I’m already looking forward to mixing the Rum Cask Finish into an Old-Fashioned—perhaps with a dash of Banane du Brésil, the very good banana liqueur from Giffard.
Tullamore D.E.W. Caribbean Rum Cask Finish is bottled at 43% ABV, and is available now around the country for $26-29.