When Irish whiskey is smoking

James Leavey is an important name in the media industry. As a freelance writer and journalist, his famous comical style has been found in the pages of over 100 publications, including the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express and the Sunday Express. He has also appeared on BBC Radio Four, BBC 2 and Channel 4.

He knows his stuff when it comes to whiskey, having contributed to Whisky Magazine and SquareMeal. James has also featured in several BBC documentaries on the subject of smoking, so he’s the ideal candidate to guest blog about pairing The Wild Geese Single Malt with the perfect cigar. Over to you James!

First, you have to remember The Wild Geese Single Malt is an award-winning, non-aged Irish whiskey. It has a slightly closed nose that is more than made up for by its smooth creamy full flavour and slightly peppery/gingery after-taste. There’s lots going on to keep your taste buds and nose occupied for a while.

When I first tried it, I was very pleasantly amazed. An Irish single malt of remarkable quality!

Jaysus! Thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

Like the best things in life such as a beautiful vivacious Irish colleen who has suddenly decided to Help The Aged Writer With a Shag (in your dreams, Mr Leavey), it creeps up on you.

If you feel able to accept that remarkably kind invitation to play hide the sausage, may I suggest you don’t go overpowering the lady or this fine Irish whiskey with a full-on Havana or non-Cuban cigar.

Gently does it is the name of the game.

Especially if you, like me, are swiftly heading towards 70 in a feckin’ hand-cart.

The most important thing is to smoke a premium hand-rolled cigar whose character will be enhanced by a flirtation with this fine Single Malt. So throw those cigarettes and cheap cheroots in the bin where they belong, why don’t you, along with that cheap bathtub hooch. You should have done that years ago.

Life’s too short to drink crap booze and puff on additive-ridden third-rate tobacco. Never pour high from a low bottle. Smoke less, smoke better.

Now, back to the basics: a full-bodied cigar would, in my opinion, overwhelm this Single Malt. Equally, you don’t want to smoke a light tube of premium tobacco which could not stand up to this drop of Irish heaven.

That said, a light Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2 – one of my favourite cigars – would cope well with that first date, if you didn’t push it. But then I’d smoke an Epi 2 with a cup of builder’s tea from Bewley’s.

Hmm…so what would work best with the The Wild Geese Single Malt, cigar-wise?

A Rafael Gonzales Lonsdale with its slightly honeyed after-taste would be an interesting pairing. As would a medium-bodied Romeo y Julieta, light to medium H. Upmann, Petit Punch (another medium Havana) or maybe a Punch Punch, Trinidad Reyes and light to medium El Rey del Mondo. And then there’s the La Gloria Cubana with its nicely-balanced nuances of taste and aroma.

The Single Malt would also go very well with many of the Dominican brands, especially Davidoff’s superb Avo Ulvezian, Zino Platinum, The Griffin’s, some of the Dunhill range, and the Arturo Fuente brand (especially the Grand Reserva No.2).

I could go on and on, drawing on fond memories of the lovely cigars I have tasted over the years, and the fact that I have a glass of the Single Malt from which I’m sipping while writing this.

The truth is, you need to talk to your favourite cigar supplier – the one who has the knowledge of what is currently smoking well (if in doubt, send smoke signals to C.Gars Ltd, The Decent Cigar Emporium in Dublin, or Davidoff of London, for their knowledge of fine cigars and drink is second to none).

You may question my gut feeling that The Wild Geese Single Malt would be best paired with an exceptional light, or light to medium cigar. But don’t take my word for it. See what happens when you inhale a full-bodied smoke such as a Bolivar or, one of my favourites, a Partagas Serie D No.4, after a sip of this Irish whiskey. You may like it.

If the worst comes to the worst, you’ve still got the rest of the bottle to finish. And you can smoke your favourite cigars whenever you wish – at home, anyway – with or without the partnering of a great whiskey.

Merry Christmas.

You can visit James Leavey’s blog here.

thewildgeesejamsleavey

 

The Wild Geese ® featured in the NationalStudent.com

The Wild Geese ® featured in the NationalStudent.com, see full article here

Winter has well and truly set in, and there’s nothing we look forward to more after a bone-chillingly cold day than getting home and relaxing in the warmth with thick socks and a few festive-smelling candles.

Throw a few winter spice cocktails into the mix, and we love December more than any other month of the year.

Luckily, the team at The Wild Geese, pioneers of exceptional rum and whiskey mixing, agree – and they’ve shared some of their top festive season cocktails recipes with us, and with you.

Here you go. Enjoy! (And remember to drink responsibly.)

Rum cocktails

Vintage Mai Tai

  • 50ml THE WILD GEESE® GOLDEN RUM 
  • 25ml lime juice
  • 25ml falernum
  • 2 drops of grapefruit bitters
  • cherry

Shake all the ingredients together with ice and empty in a tumbler and garnish with the cherry.

Sangaree

  • 50ml THE WILD GEESE® PREMIUM RUM
  • 25ml Grand Marnier
  • 5ml maple syrup
  • 25ml port
  • grated nutmeg

Mix all the ingredients together with ice in a shaker and double strain in a pewter glass to maintain its coolness. Grate nutmeg on top to finish.

Cardamom Daiquiri

  • 50ml THE WILD GEESE® GOLDEN RUM
  • 10 cardamom seeds
  • 25ml lime juice
  • 25ml homemade cardamom syrup
  • cardamon seeds to garnish

Smash the seeds in the boston glass. Add all the ingredients and shake rigorously to chill the mix. Double strain in a small martini glass and garnish with three cardamom seeds.

Whiskey cocktails

Sazerac

  • 50ml THE WILD GEESE® SINGLE MALT IRISH WHISKEY
  • 25ml absinthe
  • 2 drops of one sugar cube
  • peychauds bitters
  • 10ml cognac
  • lemon peel

You will need two glasses: one glass with ice and the absinthe (or any pastis). The other one to prepare the actual drink.

In the second glass, add bitters and sugar cube then mix with a little water.

The idea is to melt the sugar as much as possible, so that you have a clear liquid blended with bitters. Add ice, stir then add the whiskey. Stir again, then add the cognac, stir.

With your first glass, discard the absinthe liquid and ice. Double strain the mixture from your second glass into it. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Plum Old – Fashioned

  • 50ml plum infused THE WILD GEESE® RARE IRISH WHISKEY
  • 10ml plum liqueur
  • 1 cube of sugar
  • 2 drops of plum bitters
  • orange zest

Infuse the whiskey with fresh plums and leave for 48 hours.

In a glass, add bitters, a sugar cube and a little water and stir well to melt the sugar as much as possible. Add the ice, stir again then add the plum whiskey. Stir again. Finish with the orange zest sprayed all over the mix and the rim of the glass.

Chilli and Chocolate Rusty Nail

  • 25ml THE WILD GEESE® CLASSIC BLEND WHISKEY
  • 1 fresh chilli (mildly hot)
  • 20ml chocolate liqueur
  • 2 drops of chocolate bitters
  • 25ml Drambuie
  • grated chocolate
  • orange jest
  • chilli

Mash the chilli in a rocks glass to release the flavours. Add the liqueur, bitters and mix.

Add the ice. Stir. Add the Drambuie and the whiskey and stir. Grate some dark chocolate and spray the orange zest and garnish with a slab of chocolate and a chilli on top.

http://thewildgeesecollection.com/

The Wild Geese supports The Ireland Fund

December 6th 2014: Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, John Fitzpatrick, presenting a bottle of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Limited Edition to businessman and former Irish international soccer star, Niall Quinn. The presentation took place at the Ireland Fund of Great Britain Winter Ball in London’s Landmark Hotel, where Niall was an honouree. Addressing the large crowd, MC for the Winter Ball, Sky News’s Dermot Murnaghan, thanked Chairman of The Wild Geese Company, André Levy, for generously supporting this year’s event.

December 6th 2014: Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, John Fitzpatrick, presenting a bottle of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Limited Edition to businessman and former Irish international soccer star, Niall Quinn. The presentation took place at the Ireland Fund of Great Britain Winter Ball in London’s Landmark Hotel, where Niall was an honouree. Addressing the large crowd, MC for the Winter Ball, Sky News’s Dermot Murnaghan, thanked Chairman of The Wild Geese Company, André Levy, for generously supporting this year’s event.

December 6th 2014: Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, John Fitzpatrick, presenting a bottle of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Limited Edition to businessman and former Irish international soccer star, Niall Quinn. The presentation took place at the Ireland Fund of Great Britain Winter Ball in London’s Landmark Hotel, where Niall was an honouree. Addressing the large crowd, MC for the Winter Ball, Sky News’s Dermot Murnaghan, thanked Chairman of The Wild Geese Company, André Levy, for generously supporting this year’s event.

Fly your loved ones home this Christmas

They are scattered to the four corners of the earth, the emigrants who have made the world their home. From London to Edinburgh, Perth to Sydney, New York to San Francisco, Toronto to Alaska – they have carved out new lives for themselves across the globe.

They are the Wild Geese of the 21st Century, and this week many of them will start planning the greatest journey of the year; the journey home to Ireland to share Christmas  with the family and the friends they left behind.

It’s a scene that will be repeated thousands of times over in the airports throughout the country as the countdown to Christmas intensifies.

The emotional reunion in the arrivals hall, the catching-up of local gossip, and finally the gathering around the fire to toast the homecoming.

This Christmas, the Sunday World and Ireland’s leading whiskey collection, The Wild Geese, is offering lucky readers the chance to toast their own homecoming.

Every week for the next four weeks, the Sunday World and The Wild Geese will fly a lucky emigrant and his or her partner home for Christmas to toast family and friends with a glass of The Wild Geese. That’s two people every week for the next four weeks. We’ll pay the flights and put up the drinks.

All the lucky winners have to do is show up at the airport.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

the wild geese

Sunday World - P 40 (2 11 14)

Sunday World - Front Page (2.11.14)