After a record-smashing first year, industry maverick The Craft Irish Whiskey Co is back with its fourth ultra-premium whiskey release – The Taoscán. Celebrated with a preview of the new Bonded by Spirit film, which tracks the lifespan of both the brand and the Irish whiskey industry, and a private tasting, the release is the latest step in The Craft Irish Whiskey Co’s bid to bring Irish whiskey back to the world stage.
The Craft Irish Whiskey Co shot straight into the history books with its first release in November 2020, when The Devil’s Keep broke the record for the world’s most expensive inaugural whiskey release, selling at auction for $60,000.
Not satisfied with one world record, the team, led by founder Jay Bradley, set its sights on creating the world’s most expensive whiskey ever. This accolade was awarded when it sold the first of the jaw-dropping Emerald Isle Collection sets (complete with Fabergé egg and exclusive watch) for $2m earlier this year – with all profits going to a charity close to Bradley’s heart.
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And now it has the records under its belt, it seems The Craft Irish Whiskey Co is intent on making premium whiskey from the Emerald Isle more accessible. At £600 ($826), The Taoscán is already set to be far more affordable than its predecessors, including the most recent release – The Brollach – which hit the market for $6,512. At the preview for his newest whiskey, Bradley even hinted that a bottle around the $100 might be on the cards for the near future.
However, don’t let the comparatively wallet-friendly price tag fool you into thinking that The Craft Irish Whiskey Co has taken any less care or effort in creating The Taoscán. The whiskey has been triple-casked, spending its first 11½ years in ex-bourbon casks and a further one and a half years in sherry oloroso casks.
It is the third casking, however, where The Craft Irish Whiskey Co has really pushed the boat out and flexed its muscles as an industry innovator. Unlike Scotch, Irish whiskey is not limited to strictly oak barrels, allowing Bradley and his team to experiment with different woods. At this stage, the whiskey is split, with half dispersed into tawny port casks and the other half into chestnut casks for a further two years, before being blended back together, making The Taoscán the world’s first port and chestnut whiskey.
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And, as with all Craft Irish Whiskey Co releases, small barrels have been used for the maturation process, allowing for a more complex and intense interaction between whiskey and wood. The result is a smooth and sweet whiskey, with notes of banana and candied walnut on the nose, followed up quickly by rye spice and vanilla, which lead into a medium to long finish of toasted chestnut.
Just like The Craft Irish Whiskey Co’s previous releases, the presentation of The Taoscán has been just as carefully thought out as the whiskey itself. To showcase the impressively rich hues of the whiskey and make it quickly distinguishable among other top-shelf spirits, the bottle has a 360-degree open design, making its contents visible from all angles.
While the whiskey has primarily been designed for high-end bars, of the 4,000 bottles available in the first release, 2,000 special collectors’ editions have been set aside for private buyers, which feature a locked five-sided display lid with leather handle and copper fittings. Each of these editions has a customized copper label to mark its authenticity.
“Whiskey is my absolute passion in life and I am honored to have had the opportunity to share my journey in Bonded by Spirit and to now offer our ultra-premium products to a wider audience with the release of The Taoscán,” Bradley commented.
The Taoscán will be available November 2021, from £600 ($826).