Miss Whisky

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(Source Miss Whisky)

“[Whisky] is a centuries old product but it’s almost new too, because every time a cask is aged, there’s something new and different that comes out of it.” – Sarah O’Donovan

“[Whisky] is a centuries old product but it’s almost new too, because every time a cask is aged, there’s something new and different that comes out of it.” – Sarah O’Donovan

Sarah O’Donovan is a bartender at the Pullman Hotel, near London’s King’s Cross. The bar features an impressive selection of whiskies, housed in a stunning glass case and it is Sarah who runs the whisky tasting events at the bar.

In this Whisky Women interview, Sarah – originally from County Clare in Ireland – discusses why she’s fallen in love with whisky, how she sees the industry changing and her plans for the future.

How did you first get into whisky?

My colleague had a great interest in whisky and he helped me to learn more. I have an innate interest in engineering and that gives me a great fascination with the construction and operation of distilleries. I love the fact you have this beautiful, soft product coming out of an engineering process. In my family, my aunt, my grandmother and her father before her have all been licence holders, they’ve all owned pubs so it’s close to my heart.

What were some of the first whiskies you tried that hooked you in?

My first taste of anything other than Jameson – because everyone drinks that in Ireland – was a Laphroaig 10 year old and it completely overwhelmed me. I left it alone for a month or so, asked more questions about whisky, learned more and realised they weren’t all going to be quite so intense as that.

Once I started seeing other finishes in whiskies – like the Glenmorangie Signet – that drew me in as it appealed more to my palate. I was surprised, then, to find I actually quite enjoyed Caol Ila 18. We also have quite a few interesting bottles from Edradour, like the Chardonnay cask matured, and I’ve really enjoyed that.

What has been a surprise to you about the whisky world?

There’s always something new to learn and I’m quite surprised at how accessible it has been to actually go about that learning. It’s so open and everyone who is involved is happy to talk to you about it if you show an interest.

From a female point of view, people can be surprised that you show an interest I find but once that initial five seconds are gone it’s an open market and you can really ask loads of questions.

What do you enjoy most about what you’re doing?

As I learn more and more about whisky, I just want to tell the world about it right now. I don’t have a fear of speaking to just about anyone who will listen so that’s what I’m doing. It’s not like I am the first person to discover whisky but I feel like it because it is so exciting. It’s a centuries old product but it’s almost new too, because every time a cask is aged, there’s something new and different that comes out of it.

What is one of your main goals?

The mental image you get of whisky is of wing-backed chairs and libraries – I’m trying to dispel that myth and make people aware there’s also more than just Scotch. It’s still incomprehensible for a lot of people that whisky comes from Japan so when you mention Tasmania or something, it’s quite a surprise.

I find that as long as you get someone who’s willing to speak to you then being able to tell them the stories behind the bottles and the stories of the industry can really hook them in, can make you hold someone’s attention. I like the story of Wild Geese, for instance. It’s an Irish blend and is named after the fact that when James I came to conquer Ireland, the noble family he conquered – the Sarsfields – fled to France. But they believed they’d return so they were named the wild geese. They didn’t come back in the end but the whisky is named in honour of every Irishman who’s had to leave his country.

It’s great to see you so passionate about the industry. How do you envision the industry moving forward?

Whisky companies are definitely moving forward and realising people are becoming more discerning, at ever younger ages. People might say something like, ‘Oh it’s an 18 year old so it must be better than the 12 year old.’ I try to explain it doesn’t mean that but the main point is the questions are being asked.

Also, I think as you see more young women and men coming into the industry and starting to drink it, the proliferation of whisky will spread more. There’s still a bit of a notion that ‘when you grow up you’ll enjoy it’ but actually that’s where things like blends and cocktails are coming in. And the more bars there are that are serving these, the better.

[Competition] Win 3 Bottles of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 14.23.20(Source http://www.bringabottle.co.uk)

Bring a Bottle is the UK’s newest free price comparison website for buying wines, beers and spirits. Just search for what you’re looking for to find the cheapest supplier of your favourite tipple and prepare to save yourself some money.Bring a Bottle works with leading online retailers: Waitrose, Asda, Tesco, Majestic Wines, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons plus online suppliers to hunt down the best deals for you.

The Wild Geese Collection have given Bring a Bottle 3 bottles from their range, Classic Blend, Rare Irish and a Limited Edition Whiskies to give away to one lucky winner.

About The Wild Geese Whiskey

The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Collection tells the story of ‘The Wild Geese’, brave soldiers who left Ireland in 1691. Wherever they travelled they showed great courage, a sense of adventure and commitment to freedom for everyone. The Wild Geese collection celebrates extraordinary individuals who share these traits.

The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Collection, made from stocks of superb quality aged Irish Whiskey, is produced using a special extended double distillation process and then aged in American Bourbon barrels giving the finished Whiskey a smooth and distinct taste.

The Wild Geese is truely a superior Whiskey and has been voted ‘Best Irish Whiskey’ three times.

The range is available to buy through Bring a Bottle.

[CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE COMPETITION]

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Whisky Cast feature a cocktail made with The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey

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(Source Whisky Cast)

With a certain international football tournament (the name of which is trademarked and heavily enforced), underway in Brazil, the folks at The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey have created a special cocktail featuring their Irish whiskey with a South American flair.

2 parts The Wild Geese Classic Blend WhiskeyGoldCupcocktail
1/2 part lime juice
1/2 part coconut cream
1/2 part sugar syrup
Basil leaves

Garnish:
1/2 part of blue curaçao
lemon
1 passion fruit shell

Blend a small handful of basil leaves, coconut cream and lime juice together until you have a liquid form. Pour into a cocktail shaker with sugar syrup and The Wild Geese Classic Blend Irish whiskey, then shake hard with ice. Serve in a rocks glass over crushed ice and add a passion fruit shell. Fill the shell with blue curaçao and garnish with the zest of a lemon. Add your nation’s flag to celebrate your team for the final, champion touch.

The Wild Geese Gold Cup Cocktail featured in The Mail Online

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(Source Mail Online)

So football madness has swept the nation; wall charts are tacked up in living rooms, office sweepstakes have been drawn (go Ghana!) and bunting is draped across pubs and HGVs.

All there is to do now is sit back with a cold drink and enjoy.

Whether you want something to sip during the game, a stiff one to help block out the score, or something fruity to transport your mind to the warm breeze of the Brazilian coast, our friends at online magazine About Time have a timely tipple for you.

1. THE CROWD PLEASER

What: A vibrant fruity punch with the refreshingly exotic flavours of Brazil; the closet thing to sipping a coconut on Copacabana Beach.

Ingredients (makes enough for a mini crowd):

● 150ml The Wild Geese Classic Blend Whiskey

● Handful of Basil

● 50ml Coconut Cream

● 50ml Lime Juice

● 50ml Sugar Syrup

What to do: Blend a handful of basil leaves with the coconut cream and lime juice. Pour into a punch bowl and stir in the sugar syrup, whiskey and plenty of ice.

To serve: Pour into glasses, add crushed ice, float the shell of the passion fruit shell on top and fill the shell with blue curacao. Finish off with lemon zest.

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The Wild Geese whiskey has teamed up with Shoreditch’s Nightjar to create a menu of bespoke summer cocktails.

(Source magnate)

Nightjar’s Marian Beke worked with the Irish whiskey makers to create an exclusive range perfect for cocktail season, including a twist on the classic swizzle cocktail, with a hint of spice.

Beke and Wild Geese have shared the recipes for these three summer coolers, alongside video tutorials, so you can try them at home.

IRISH APPLE

2 parts The Wild Geese Classic Blend Irish Whiskey

1 part apple and rhubarb juice

3 parts dry cider

1/2 part Kamms & Sons

Method: Mix the Classic Blend, dry cider and apple & rhubarb juice by ‘rolling’ them in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a highball glass and float a large ice ball on top. Add the Kamms & Sons to create a bittersweet taste and garnish with a crab apple and apple blossom. Drizzle fresh caramel over the garnish for the final touch.

SARSFIELD SWIZZLE

2 part The Wild Geese Classic Blend Irish Whiskey

1 part gin botanical syrup or 1/2 part gin & 1/2 sugar syrup

Dash of green tea bitters

Lemon balm

Top up with homemade lemongrass and chili beer

Method: Pour a full measure of The Wild Geese Classic Blend directly into the serving glass. Add gin syrup as a sweetener and a dash of green tea bitter. Add lemon balm leaves to compliment the citrus notes in the Classic Blend. Top up with lemongrass & chilli beer and ‘swizzle’ the ingredients to mix them. Serve with pinewood and sweet spice.

FREEDOM SOUR

2 part The Wild Geese Rare Irish Whiskey

1/2 part maple/ honey syrup

2 parts fresh squeezed ugly fruit juice

Few dashes of bitter

Matcha tea foam

Method: Shake and serve in martini glass, top it off with matcha tea foam.