The first dram of the Natterjack whiskey was kindly offered to me for free at Molly’s café for the sake of the review.
Earlier this year, we were at the release party in Kinsale for the Grace O’Malley whiskey, and on our way out we ran into this lovely lady and her partner.
She works at Molly’s café & wine bar, which is a lovely place in Clonakilty to relax and chat with friends while enjoying a glass of wine and local cheeses, or similar food. They also have good coffee and cakes, some whiskeys, gin, and more. Molly’s is also a nice venue for live music, despite it being quite small. On Fridays, they have live music of various genres, and it was one of the venues during the Clonakilty international guitar festival that took place last week. We went there to see a local band that played on Sunday afternoon. While entering, my eyes fell on a bottle of whiskey I hadn’t seen there before.
Gortinore distillers are planning (not sure if they’ve started building yet) a distillery in the Waterford area, in an old mill that in the past used to keep Flavahan’s porridge oats. You can read the history here.
Natterjack is their first whiskey release, a sourced blend from an unknown distillery, matured in bourbon casks and finished in virgin American oak.
The whiskey brand is named after a toad (!) – as they say, because this toad walks instead of jumps, as normal toads would do – it does things differently. The founder of this company is a guy who left a stable career in the UK, because he fell in love with whiskey and decided to start a whiskey distillery, together with an American master distiller. It’s always inspiring to hear about people who dare to do things like this!
The Natterjack whiskey
So what about the liquid?
This is a triple distilled blend, bottled at 40%. My first impression of it was sweet, nice flavour profile but maybe a bit too watery. But after a few more sips, it seemed like pure joy for my tastebuds. We actually decided to buy a bottle.
White pepper, orange peel, vanilla. Sawdust from light wood and a nice freshness that reminds me of a walk in the forest after a summer rain.
Very sweet and creamy. These days I can’t stand the overused term “smooth” in Irish whiskey descriptions, but – this one is smooth for real, creamy like custard. The sweet smooth mouthfeel disappears quickly and is replaced by a peppery attack at the back of the palate and a more dry mouthfeel. It has a nice medium-long spicy and sweet finish.
My palate sang with joy after this whiskey. Now I hope to hear news about their future distillery soon!