The recent accolades from the Global Spirits Masters (GSM) for an exceptional Irish whiskey have stirred up excitement in the spirits world. The spotlight is on The Donn Single Malt Whiskey, a creation of The Craft Irish Whiskey Company, which has been named the top bottling of Irish Whiskey by this esteemed panel of master sommeliers, masters of wine, senior buyers, and acclaimed mixologists.
Known for its eye-catching design and premium pricing, The Craft Irish Whiskey Company is no stranger to the spotlight. It previously made waves with its $2 million luxury set in 2021 and garnered the title for World’s Best Irish Whiskey at the 2022 Worlds Whiskies Awards with its Devil’s Keep release. Despite these flashy elements and a price tag of £12,400 for Devil’s Keep, The Donn marks a shift as the company's most accessible offering yet, priced around $220.
A Journey of Maturation
The Donn is a testament to innovative whiskey-making. It undergoes a complex aging process, beginning with four years in ex-bourbon barrels, followed by a stint in Tawny Port casks. It then returns to heavily toasted ex-bourbon barrels, before concluding its maturation in an assortment of PX barrels, ranging from 64 to 225 liters. This laborious process for a whiskey under 7 years old, bottled at 46.15% ABV, is a dance of different woods and flavors, intertwining to create a unique profile.
Rich, Complex, and Luxurious
Bryan Rodriguez-Curtis of Harvey Nichols, chair of the GSM panel, highlights The Donn's “rich nose with rye-like dusty character,” noting its “beautiful deep amber color, and Port-like red fruit notes on the nose.” The Donn's palate doesn't fall short of these visual and olfactory allurements, offering “pure luxury,” commanding attention with its “indulgence, complexity, full-bodied texture, and wonderful, complex flavors.” What stands out uniquely in this whiskey is its silky, nutty mouthfeel – a rarity in whiskies of this age.
A Bottle Evoking Legends
Apart from its rich taste profile, The Donn also impresses with its presentation. The geometric bottle design evokes the shape of Tech Duinn, the mythical house of the Irish god Donn, who lends his name to this exquisite whiskey. Topped with a stopper made of copper and obsidian, the bottle is not just a container but a piece of art, echoing the legends and heritage of Ireland.
Availability and Market Expansion
Initially, 4,477 bottles make up the inaugural release, available in select European markets. The Craft Irish Whiskey Company's website teases further details, hinting at an upcoming expansion into the U.S. market. This move will make The Donn more widely available, offering whiskey enthusiasts across the pond a taste of this Irish masterpiece.
The Donn’s Position in the Whiskey World
The Donn’s acclaim and unique approach in production demonstrate the dynamic and innovative spirit driving modern Irish whiskey makers. It’s a bridge between the traditional craft and contemporary luxury, showing that premium whiskey doesn't always have to age for decades to achieve depth and complexity. Its moderate pricing, in comparison to its siblings, indicates The Craft Irish Whiskey Company’s strategy to reach a broader audience while maintaining the allure of exclusivity and luxury.
The Craft Irish Whiskey Company Distillery, with its blend of extravagant design, intricate production processes, and award-winning flavors, continues to redefine expectations in the whiskey world. The Donn, in particular, stands out as a symbol of this blend, offering an experience that’s not just about savoring a fine whiskey but also about embracing a piece of Irish mythology and the art of whiskey making. For enthusiasts and collectors alike, uncorking a bottle of The Donn is not just enjoying a drink; it's an indulgence in a rich tapestry of flavors, stories, and craftsmanship that define the essence of luxury Irish whiskey.