Irish single malt 1990 (The Whisky Agency vs. Maltbarn)

Two more independent Irish single malts, and the first 1990 expressions as far as I know (certainly the first on this little blog).

The Whisky Agency bottling comes from the Art Nouveau Ladies series, which features a poster for cigarette papers in this case, a beautiful 1920s illustration by Manuel Orazi. The other one is from the latest batch of Maltbarn releases.



Irish single malt 1990 - The Whisky AgencyIrish single malt 27 yo 1990
(48,1%, The Whisky Agency ‘Art Nouveau Ladies’ 2017, barrel)

Nose: luscious fruits, ranging from gooseberries to tangerines, lime, pineapples and fresh banana. Also a warmer side of guava and tiny hints of vanilla ice cream. Hints of rapeseed oil.

Mouth: pretty stunning (again). Always a pleasure to find so much pineapple, bananas, coconut, mango and lychee in whisky. Simple pleasures. There’s a slight herbal edge which becomes rounder with a drop of water.

Finish: long, still tropically fruity but with a drier feel to it now, more coconut and an almost mineral finale.

We can’t stress this enough: the general appeal of Irish whiskey has become stronger, and this batch of wonderful casks helped to spark this hype. Excellent and very much in line with the 1989/1991 expressions of course. Around € 285.

Score: 91/100



Ireland 26 Years 1990 MaltbarnIrish single malt 26 yo 1990 (49,3%, Maltbarn 2017, bourbon barrel, 114 btl.)

Nose: at first it was really hard to distinguish them, but over time this one showed more creamy notes, a little coconut milk, hints of bananas flambéed and more candied fruits. Dried pineapple rings and papaya cubes. Hints of cake. I’ve tried many of these Irish malts but this one has a slight je-ne-sais-quoi.

Mouth: same ballpark, maybe a bit more liqueur-like / rummy (especially in the first few seconds) and less exuberantly tropical. More leafy notes and blossoms. The tangerines, lime, guava appear slower and slightly more muted. On the other hand, this also makes it more complex.

Finish: long and utterly fruity.

Again very, very high quality. Ultimately we’re choosing between überfruity simplicity and slightly creamier complexity. That said I find them much closer together than Whiskyfun, apparently. Both deserve a big, fat medal. Around € 320 but sold out.

Score: 92/100