Expect high winds and crashing waves when The Mother of All Storms finally hits Irish shores.
Pelican “Mother of All Storms” Barley Wine Cask Finish is the second release in Clonakilty Distillery’s collaboration series. Perhaps it was the resemblance in our respective Pacific and Atlantic Ocean locations that helped this partnership blend so well.
We sat down with Paul Corbett, Head Distiller at Clonakilty Distillery to learn more about this collaboration.
Q. Tell us a bit about the Pelican Brewing Company?
A. The Pelican Brewing Company are based in Pacific City, Oregon. Like ourselves they are located on the coast but it’s a different ocean….they’re on the Pacific, we’re on the Atlantic. They are a small brewery with big ambitions to create something unique and sensory.
Q. What beer was used in this particular collaboration?
A. Pelican’s “Mother of All Storms” Barely Wine which is a really big beer, usually 10 to 14 percent alcohol content. For me it’s a real showcase of malt or the flavours that you can get from malt. To get the ABV that high the brewer has to pack as much barely as possible for the yeast to ferment it all down, resulting in such a high point of alcohol. Because of this you should be getting lots of flavours from the malt like biscuit, bread, nut and just a little bit of spice.
Q. What led you to believe this beer would work well with Clonakilty whiskey?
A. Well I thought we’d try and get more of that biscuit breadiness, to compliment all the grain that’s already in the whiskey. These beers are brewed so big and there’s so much sugar going into the fermenter, that the yeast acts differently and produces more fruity esters. This means there should also be dark fruit notes along with those biscuity, bready, nutty flavours…….what I would describe as a Christmas cake or pudding. I thought that this would be really interesting to add to the whiskey.
Q. Why did you choose to bottle at 46% ABV?
A. So this the first time we’ve bottled at 46%. When I’m going to blend a whiskey I don’t have any ABV in mind, I take it out at cask strength, do a series of dilutions and pick whichever I fell has the best ratio of flavours.
At 46% I thought this particular whiskey best emphasized the Christmas cake & spicy fruit notes I was looking for, along with the bready malt.
Q. How long was the whiskey in the cask for?
A. With these barrels, it was just over three and half months. It didn’t need a huge amount of time in the barely wine as it’s really flavourful. At the end of the day I want these flavours to compliment but not overpower the whiskey……it’s really important to know the difference.
Q. What should people expect from this whiskey?
A. So straight away I get some clove, cut straw, nutmeg and warm spices on the nose. I also get that nuttiness coming through in the taste, it’s very creamy with a slight leather from the malt…… to be honest it really just reminds me of Christmas cake or pudding.
The finish has dried peels, fruits, spiciness from the oak and an almost vanilla creaminess from the wood.
About the Whiskey
On Sale: In store & available online Friday October 16th
Limited Release: 1,500 bottles in total, only 378 bottles kept for Ireland.
Best Enjoyed: With winds in excess of 60mph.
Nose: Warm spice, cut straw, clove, nutmeg, ground almond, vanilla
Palette: Almond, barley, raisins, sultanas and leather
Finish: Dried peels, mixed spice, straw and vanilla