This Ireland 23yo 1991 from The Nectar of the Daily Drams is better known as the Maria label. It has a big reputation among whisky lovers but surprisingly few reviews are available.
Looking at the colour, it’s clear that we shouldn’t expect a bourbonny profile. It will be less typical, but maybe the sherry adds an extra layer?
Irish single malt 23 yo 1991 ‘Maria label’ (54,6%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams 2015)
Nose: you’d have a hard time recognizing this as an Irish malt because the sherry aromas have taken over. It’s a pretty perfect sherry nose nonetheless. Plenty of red fruit jams, golden raisins, apricots and hints of Jaffa cakes. Still some typical bananas and pears. Hints of Moscatel. Herbal honey. Some floral notes as well, maybe rose petals. Really nice.
Mouth: the typically Irish side is more prominent here (pink grapefruit, tangerines, a little kiwi) and on the same levels as the sherry notes (dried apricots, raisins, rummy notes, chocolate). Quite peppery too, with some drier notes (wood, ground coffee) towards the end.
Finish: long, spicy, with dried fruits and cocoa powder. A light smoky touch as well.
This Maria label is different indeed – it’s probably the most sherried Irish single malt in the recent wave of independently bottled Bushmills casks. Some will prefer the über-fruity bourbon / refill casks but this is an equal stunner, in my opinion. A truly spiritual dram. Sold out. The auction value seems to be around € 450 already. Many thanks, Kjetil.