Racking up several prestigious awards in recent months doesn’t hurt a spirit brand, especially when that brand has been around for years. Usually perched high atop the top shelf in my neighborhood liquor store with it’s uniquely shaped tapered-neck bottle, I had often admired it’s beauty, while hearing of its wonderful taste and aroma.
Some time ago, I was privileged to receive a sample of this spirit, which sat atop my own personal liquor cabinet until I had such an occasion to sample it. In the meantime, Michael Collins Irish Whiskey has undergone a bottle re-design, pictured left, and I hear rumors that a recipe change as well. Although I cannot confirm the latter, one thing about Michael Collins remains true–it still wows the pants off any discriminating whiskey drinker–at least this whiskey drinker anyway.
I started off with the blend first, because that’s the way I look at things. Popular opinion and marketing has really started emphasizing Single Malt and Single Barrel and other such terms to differentiate one spirit from another. If you are a student of whiskey or whiskey, you know that there are indeed differences between a blended whiskey and a single malt, single cask and cask-strength bottling. This does not even touch the finishing of whiskeys–whether they are finished in casks with sherry butts, etc.
Simply put, a blended whiskey is a whiskey that is a BLEND from various barrels of like age–not necessarily from the same distillery. This doesn’t mean it is cheap whiskey, bad whiskey, rot-gut, or whatever. It simply means BLENDED. In fact, if it weren’t for blended whiskeys the whiskey business would be out of business. Ireland is not immune to this, and thus, the distillery which produces Michael Collins probably survived many a lean year on it’s blends alone. It is touted as the only independent distillery in Ireland. Kudos!
Now for the whiskey….very easy on the nose, gentle aromas of vanilla and wood. By character, Irish whiskey usually is light in body and color. Michael Collins doesn’t differ here. In fact, I find it to the epitome of Irish Whiskey. Light in mouthfeel and flavor, highly mixable and very drinkable. My first taste was in a glass with a splash of cool water. Later, I did (Lord forgive me), have it with a large ball of ice in the center. The whiskey was gone before the ice barely had a chance to melt.
Bottom line, Michael Collins doesn’t disappoint. Looking forward to enjoying more Michael Collins Blended Irish Whiskey and Single Malt with friends. Learn more about Michael Collins Whiskey by visiting http://www.sidneyfrank.com/michael-collins.