G’day guys. Malt Liquor Mitch. Here with a unique Irish whiskey to use to revamp the look of this site with. Originally this post was supposed to be Paddy’s, but that would have been if this had gone smoothly.
So here has been a little hangup I’ve rarely addressed with my site – When people do these whiskey/wine/spirits blogs, they all have a regular place they take their photos of these. I have never had one of those. So instead I went to places to photograph these bottles I felt was a fitting backdrop to the bottle. A stretch of sandy coastline or the mangroves down in the Great Sandy Strait for say, a rum or a tequila, or an Irish whiskey or anything with a tropical or nautical theme. A bright green natural or garden setting for a bottle of fine wine, a brandy or a Scotch. Something outdoorsy or rural, for a more rugged American whiskey. And so on. But having to think up new and more eye catching and fitting settings to take these photos without them becoming repetitive and unappealing soon became a challenge. Something that was a hold up when I wished I could simply focus on the written word and not need to worry about other matters. Especially in the hot summers, when going out into the boiling hot sun to take photographs was about as appealing an idea as taking a nice long bath in petrol and then having a very clumsy smoke. But after a while I got a great idea to take these photos more professionally indoors with a photography backdrop. So after a while, I felt the moment was right to introduce photos taken in my new photography tent. Thanks to Amazon, there’s now a lot of these photography tent studios available in varying sizes and applications. I use the phrase tent fairly literally, since mine, at roughly a meter square is large enough for people of shorter height or children to fit inside of. Were it not for the absence of zips in the interior and somewhere for tent pegs to go through a smaller individual could take it camping should he or she sleep like a cat, curled up into a ball. Especially since the interior appears to be lined with that shiny, silvery material soldiers used to reflect their own body heat back inside them to fight extreme cold or to evade heat signal detection in the field. So if you’re another blogger or photographer who’s considering buying one of these, here were my experiences assembling it. When I first received it, it came in a large black webbed cotton bag, you know the sort. And inside held three backdrops of white, black and brown (more about those later), some steel tubes, plastic connectors, two L.E.D. light panels, their electric leads, a white sheet, and the body of the photography tent itself. It was at this point, I had no difficulty calling it a tent, because it sure was as awkward to assemble as one. Combined with the upright and bent over back fatigue of working in an engine bay. There was much grunting and groaning and swearing under my breath. The manufacturer might have had the courtesy of having somebody whose first language was English run an eye over their instructions, as the ones translated from Mandarin were very clearly not checked by anybody who spoke English. As they were unhelpful and misleading, and generally made no sense. But eventually, I had it fully assembled…only to realize I had it assembled upside down. So an hour and some painkillers later, I had it set up for the first time and took a practice photo with my phone of the Tequila Blu bottle. So when I set it up for the second time for what was to be it’s premiere post, I knew what not to do assembling the tent to photograph this bottle. The only hurdle this time, was that white backdrop had developed some stubborn, irremovable ripples. Despite some determined attempts, shifting it, pinning it in place with bulldog clips, weighing it down, even going to the liberty of going and buying a garment steamer in an effort to literally iron out the creases, I failed to remove them. Even the best results left it stubbornly and untreatably looking like a matte white sheet of corrugated iron. I was angry at it to so the least, that after all of my efforts the equipment provided was so feckless I had to replace it right off the bat. Eventually I was saved by discovering the existence of crease free photography paper. Some heavy, canvas paper. Unfortunately none of the rolls provided fit the dimensions exactly of the photography tent, so there was some improvisations to be done. Fortunately however, the tent eventually fulfilled it’s promise of a featureless white backdrop…once of course, Photoshop had it’s fun. I hate computers, in case you didn’t already know, you do know. I hate them. The computer’s game this week was to see how many swears I could recite and how high it could get my blood pressure before it allowed me to correct the photos I had taken. But once I danced with the devil that was Adobe Photoshop, at the expense of a few beers and some strange burning sensation in my chest that those who did not want God to end their suffering would call concerning, the photos were finally finished. I was worried these first successful photos were a fluke because this bottle was black on a white backdrop and I had the shutter speed slowed right down. So I went and took a few photos for some future posts in addition (as well as I was going to be away on a three day course to try and learn a trade to start my own business for one week). So it was done. The photos were taken, the deed was done. I did it. I don’t want to see that tent or Photoshop again for a fortnight. Now I can finally focus on the written word like I said (Once I had in fact, finished the photos. In the case of this bottle I found myself forever returning to edit out tiny blemishes in the photo). Because I have definitely earnt a drink by now
So, if you’re still here after that tale of my latest photography misadventure; This week’s bottle is Slane Triple Casked Irish Whiskey. Now on this site, we’ve had our fair share of labels thinking outside the box with some innovatively aged and seasoned whiskies. With all manner of preowned and seasoned barrels, infusing the taste attributions of the liquors of parties past. Double oaked whiskies, with barrels from wineries and distilleries, bourbons, Scotches, sherrys, brandies. With all these possibilities and combinations, you would have imagined that there couldn’t be any more methods of aging left untried. But I’ve found something new. Another Irish label, one that incorporates not just two, but a total of three barrels in the aging process of it’s malt. The label, takes it’s name from the town, or the castle or the distillery that share the grounds, all are as above. The Irish village of Slane, that sits aside the River Boyne, upon a rich history, both medieval and whiskey. It is said that in the town of Slane, that many whiskey distilleries capitalized upon the wealth of pure river water to brew malt. But like so many other great labels in Ireland, Jameson, Teeling, Prohibition killed them off. This label, Slane, claims to be the very revitalization of these creations from that town. The whiskey, it’s hook being it’s triple casked method, give away little else in the form of written word – So I guess that will be my job. The aging process it brags so much of, the first barrel, a charred new barrel. Similar if not completely identical to that used by Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The second, seasoned barrels. Specified as Tennessee whiskey barrels…and bourbon barrels. How or why this does not amount to four barrels being the total used I do not understand. And the third, a Spanish Oloroso sherry barrel. So I’m eager for a taste.
The bottle, a gloss black with nothing showing of the liquor inside, guards it’s secrets until the breakage of the seal. Upon opening the cap, the nose is dark and secretive in the confines of the bottle. Freed up in the open air of a tumbler glass and further lubricated by an ice sphere, the malt releases a raspy, but fresh and somewhat sweet nose. A strand of spice snuck into the traditional nose of an Irish whiskey. The taste – An exceptional sweetness progressing into a spicy, oakiness. Hints of honey. Tiny instances of aniseed. With aftertastes of oak
In summary: Another branch of unique flavor in the field of Irish whiskeys. The addition of three separate methods of oaking lends this whiskey a certain uniqueness that is difficult to find elsewhere. A definite trier. Cheers