Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey has an alcohol content of 42% ABV. The term ABV stands for Alcohol by Volume, which is a standard measure used to indicate the alcohol content in a given beverage. In the case of this particular whiskey, it means that 42% of the total volume of the liquid is pure alcohol.
The decision to bottle the whiskey at 42% ABV is a deliberate one, as it is believed to be the optimal strength to showcase the unique flavors and character of the spirit. This percentage strikes a balance between the smoothness and complexity of the whiskey, allowing the flavors to shine through without overpowering the palate.
The whiskey is initially aged in American bourbon barrels, which impart their own distinct flavors and characteristics to the spirit. These barrels are typically made from charred oak, which adds notes of vanilla, caramel, and spice to the whiskey. After this initial maturation period, the whiskey is transferred to Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks for a finishing period of six months.
The use of Sherry casks in the aging process adds another layer of complexity and depth to the whiskey. Sherry is a fortified wine that is made in Spain, and the casks used to age the whiskey have previously held this wine. The interaction between the whiskey and the Sherry casks results in flavors of dried fruits, nuts, and a slightly sweet, nutty richness.
To bring the whiskey down to its final bottling strength of 42% ABV, Wicklow mountain water is added. Wicklow is a region in Ireland known for its pristine water sources, and it is believed that this water contributes to the overall quality and smoothness of the whiskey.
In my personal experience, I have found that the alcohol content of a whiskey can greatly impact the overall drinking experience. Whiskeys with higher ABV percentages tend to have a stronger and more intense flavor profile, often requiring a bit of water or ice to help mellow out the alcohol and allow the other flavors to come through. On the other hand, whiskeys with lower ABV percentages may be smoother and more approachable, but they can sometimes lack the complexity and depth of their higher proof counterparts.
In the case of Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey, the 42% ABV strikes a nice balance. It allows the whiskey to showcase its unique flavors and characteristics, while still maintaining a smooth and enjoyable drinking experience. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, this whiskey offers a delightful combination of bourbon and Sherry influences, making it a versatile and enjoyable spirit for whiskey enthusiasts.