Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey Range review

let’s begin

Based in the historic town of Tullamore, in County Offaly, Tullamore Distillery first opened its doors in 1829.

It meandered along nicely for more than a century, but unfortunately ceased production in 1950.

There it remained, silent and waiting, hoping to one day be able to create fantastic drams again.

Fast forward several more decades to 2010 and enter William Grant & Sons.  The Scottish company renowned for their Whisky making know how decided to turn Tullamore into a working Distillery once more.

Today the distillery boasts a range of expressions as well as an impressive visitors centre.  They have shaken off the dust and reinvigorated themselves.

The first dram in their range is the Original, which has been triple distilled and matured in ex-Bourbon and sherry casks.

The nose is full of fruit, from zesty citrus to crisp green apples.  These give a refreshing tone to the dram with lots of sweet, juicy notes.

There is also a smooth vanilla undertone that combines well with the tang of lemons and limes.  These interact well on the nose and announce the Bourbon characteristics to come.

These make themselves well known on the palate, which is full of wooded vanilla notes and more fruit.

This expression is like a walk in an orchard, with the wood and sap mixing with the ripe fruit and hitting all the right notes.

The palate is sweet and creamy, with the triple distillation giving it a wonderfully smooth mouth feel.

This continues into the finish, which is medium in length but full-bodied and delectably creamy and soft.

Next in the range we have a particularly interesting 10 Year Old.  This dram has been matured in not one, not two, but four different casks including old Bourbon, port, madeira and oloroso sherry.

These give the Whisky great depth and an interesting combination of flavours.

The nose opens with dew covered grass and moist soil.  This is set up against a mellow fruitiness, with mangoes and pineapple giving off a tangy sweetness.

The dullness of the grass and the sharpness of the fruit clash to create an exciting combination.

There is also a hint of oak in the background, but with so many casks in use this is definitely something to be expected!  It is sweet and soft, with vanilla notes abounding.

The palate takes on the tropical notes with style, allowing them to take the lead.  They are joined with dried apricots and raisins that have a slight cinnamon warmth to them.

There are also apples and ears, which go nicely with the wood times and recall the orchard of the Original.

These mix well in the finish, with the grassy notes coming back and wrapping it all together.  The linger is long and full.

This leads us into Tullamore’s next expression, a 12 Year Old Special Reserve.

This is a blend of different Whiskies, aged between 12 and 15 years.  These have been matured in a combination of Bourbon and sherry casks, giving it a wonderful depth.

The nose is distinctly wooded in flavour, with a cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness to it.

These are warming flavours and are joined by sweet hazelnuts and pecans.  These give depth to the wooded notes and encourage them to develop further.

The spice grows into the palate and begins to stand out on its own.  The signature sherried cinnamon and nutmeg are there with a slight sweetness but definite heat to them.

Chocolate and raisins also appear on the palate and complement each other perfectly.  The creaminess of the chocolate is translated directly into the mouth feel of the dram.

There are more sweet nuts, with hazelnuts, pecans and pralines mixing well with both the chocolate and spice.

The finish is refined and full of flavour.  The chocolate and raisins takes over here and serve the long linger well.

After this they have introduced the 15 Year Old Trilogy.  This refers to Tullamore’s tradition of blending pot still, malt and grain Whiskies to create their final product. 

It is also matured in three different casks, Bourbon, oloroso sherry and Rum, giving it a distinctly spicy and sweet character.

The nose opens with this very character.  Cinnamon and nutmeg spices give a hearty warmth to the drama and are joined by oaky nuttiness.

Hazelnuts, pecans and peanuts give depth and refinement to the wood.  It has a slight vanilla hint that offers a soft sweetness to the warming spice.

There is a slight nod towards pineapple and other tropical fruits, these add a nice tang to the background of the nose.

The fruits and nuts come into their own on the palate, with lots more depth and flavour.

The sweetness of the fruits complements the dullness of the nuts and the two combine well.

These flavours play in the background of a warming spice that truly takes over this dram.  It is joined by a light vanilla and toffee flavour that gives a creamy mouth feel.

The finish is long and bursting with spices and sweet nuts.

Our penultimate expression in the Tullamore DEW range is the Old Bonded Warehouse release.  This dram was released to celebrate the opening of the new visitor centre, which is based in what used to be the old bonded warehaouse.

The nose is packed full of fruit.  From ripe green apples to tangy oranges and lemons, there is a lot going on.

There are refreshingly sweet notes mixed in with zesty citrus fruits to give a well-rounded flavour.

In the background there is also the slightest hint of malt.  This acts as a sounding board for the tangier notes to really make themselves heard against.

The malt develops in a subtle hint of dried fruits and nuts.  These tie in well with the malt and again, are a nice dull flavour for the stronger fruits to bounce off.

The palate takes these flavours and wraps them in an oak barrel.  The wood is strong, with a slight moist, earthy tone to it.

This is developed through a sweet vanilla note that has an edge of spiciness to it.  The dried fruits of the nose go well with this flavour they evoke a fruitcake filled with raisin, apricots, dates and figs.

This dram ends on a high, with a long linger filled with honey and wooded tones.  These are rounded off with a last hint of dried fruits and vanilla.

The last dram in the Tullamore Range is a marrying together of two of Ireland’s greatest feats, a small batch Cider and Whisky. 

In their Cider Cask Finish, Tullamore have combined these two things to create a full-bodied and complex dram.

The nose begins with a ripe, crisp apple flavour.  This is refreshing and juicy, just waiting to be pulled off the bough.

There is also a delicate maltiness in the background and through these you can see both the Whisky and Cider characteristics.

These are joined by dew covered grass and a hint of sweet pears.

On the palate the fruits abound, with apples, pears, white grapes and raisins.  These mix well with one another and create a sweet harmony.

They are joined by bigger notes of oak and vanilla, giving the sweetness more depth and distinction.

The wood of the barrel combines with the malt of the nose and these complement each other wonderfully.

The mouth feel is thick and creamy, with the vanilla giving it a smooth sweetness.

This sweetness lasts into the finish, where it lingers with a hint of fruitiness.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat!

Tags: DrinkWireScottish companyTullamoreTullamore DEW RangeTullamore DistilleryWilliam Grant & Sons


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

You might be interested in

More from the blog

Login / register