Reviewing whiskey is something that I feel extremely privileged to be able to do. It helps us provide you with some context of the whiskey and it also helps you in social situations where someone might expect you to know about whiskey. So, here is our Tullamore Dew whiskey review.
Tullamore dew has about six whiskey products. The three main varieties are their traditional Irish whiskey, the twelve-year-old special reserve, and finally, the 14 and 18-year-old single malts.
All of these offer great value for money and can give you a premium whiskey drinking experience at a good price point.
In this article, we will be talking about the nose, palate, body, and finish of Tullamore Dew. We will do this for the traditional, the special reserve, and their two single malt variants.
Finally, we will talk about whether or not you should drink these whiskeys neat or on the rocks and whether or not you should add mixers to them.
Let’s get into it.
About Tullamore Dew
Tullamore dew is very popular because it has something for almost everybody. Its traditional Tullamore dew Irish whiskey can be found in almost all stores that sell alcohol across the world. The company has seen major success with this business model.
Tullamore dew first established its distillery all the way back in 1829 in a small town called Tullamore in Ireland. The D.E.W in the name actually stands for somebody’s initials.
This person is considered to be one of the best whiskey distillers in Ireland’s history. His name is Daniel Edmund Williams. He first began working in the whiskey business at the age of 15.
The company takes extreme pride in their product and that is part of the reason why they always triple distilled any of their whiskeys
Tullamore Dew specializes in blended Irish whiskey, however, they do have single malt whiskies that are aged between 14 and 18 years. They also do rum finished whiskey and cider cask finished whisky.
In this article, we are going to look at 4 of these. The whiskeys we will be reviewing are the:
- Traditional Irish Whiskey
- The 12 Year Old Special Reserve
- 14-Year-Old Single malt
- 18-Year-Old Single malt
I consider myself very lucky that I have been privileged enough to review these whiskeys. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get into it.
Tullamore DEW Traditional Irish Whiskey Review
The traditional Irish Tullamore Dew whiskey is something that delivers real value for what you pay. It is hard to tell that you are drinking a whiskey that doesn’t cost as much as others.
After my taste test, I concluded for myself how I would best prefer to drink this whiskey on a regular basis.
Drinking it neat was buttery smooth. However, on my second test, I drank it on the rocks. I can sit there for hours just sipping on this whiskey, it’s almost as if the rocks amplify its flavors while making it even smoother than it already is.
When first smelling this whiskey, I got a Fruity nose but after the second or third go at it, I started to get slight hints of vanilla and toffee.
I guess this is the important part of the review, what does the whiskey taste like? For a whiskey that does not cost an arm and a leg, I must say, I walked away feeling rather positive about my experience.
Here are a few of the flavors I got from the whiskey:
- Smoky charred wood undertones
The body of this whiskey was something that also took me aback. I did my taste test of the whiskey neat and then I did it on the rocks and both of those times I got a Smooth, almost buttery body.
Aa the whisky went down and the body and flavors lingered in my mouth, the citrus and vanilla started to linger away and I was left with the taste of alcohol with hints of fruit and spice.
Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve Review
This is Tullamore Dew’s mid-range whiskey and again, after my taste test, I was blown away.
It is important to note that I have had most of these whiskeys before but doing an actual taste test is different from sitting around with friends and having a few whiskeys.
During my taste test, I got a few wonderful flavors but also ones that conflicted with me, and finally, some flavors that indicate how the whiskey was made.
On the nose, this whiskey gave me a sort of berry and honey note. You need to give the whiskey a good swirl and take a few whiffs before truly getting those notes.
The Tullamore Dew special reserve is often cast in barrels that used to contain sherry and I think that contributes quite a lot to the flavors that I picked up.
I could definitely get slight hints of flavors that resemble a premium sherry, however, I don’t think this will be the case in all bottles but rather just in some batches.
- Fruit (Berries)
These combinations of flavors are so enjoyable. This is a whiskey that you can sit and drink with your friends and just sip it.
There’s no need to drink it fast and there is no need to put it on the rocks, although, I understand some people might prefer that.
The body of this whiskey was Light, smooth, and soft. This makes it a pleasure to drink.
This is where I get slightly intrigued, the finish is medium length however, it is at this point where the nuts and the fruit begin to almost combine and create a chocolaty flavor.
- Hints of chocolate
Tullamore Dew 14-Year-Old Single Malt Review
It is important to remember that Tullamore Dew does use a variety of barrels to age their whiskey.
As we have stated in a few articles, this plays a significant role in not only the quality but also the characteristics of the whiskey.
After my taste test, I had to do some research because I felt slightly conflicted. I couldn’t understand why the 12-year-old and single malts would give me hints of sherry.
It was at this point when I discovered that I was not the only one experiencing this. However, not everybody does.
It all boils down to how your batch was aged and while it doesn’t completely change the dynamic of the whiskey, it does play a role in some of the notes that you will pick up.
All of that being said, this is my favorite whiskey in the Tullamore Dew lineup so far.
Not only for its great characteristics but also due to its affordability, especially for a 14-year-old single malt whisky that has been triple distilled.
Again, before giving it the smell test, I was sure to clean my palate and then swirl the glass for a few seconds.
I was greeted with a beautiful sweet aroma. The nose of this whiskey has hints of vanilla, fruit, and toffee/caramel.
- Fruit (Green grapes)
When the whiskey first hits your palate, You get the immediate taste of green grapes. You then get a vanilla hint before the smoky undertones come in.
- Smokey undertones
- Fruit (Grapes)
When the flavors start to fade, you will be left with sweet hints of chocolate and eventually, a charred oak smokiness.
Tullamore Dew 18-Year-Old Single Malt
Here is the thing, we are talking about an 18-year-old single malt whisky that is aged in oak barrels that are of great quality.
We are talking about all of this at a price point that is extremely low compared to other 18-year-old single malt whiskies.
So, please do excuse me if I seem rather enthusiastic about this product. It is something that I recommend everyone must try, I understand most of us cannot drink premium whisky every day or every time we drink whiskey.
However, what if we could get that premium experience at a lower price point?
Allow me to introduce the Tullamore Dew 18-year-old single malt.
When you first swirl this whiskey in a tumbler and then take your first smell, you will be greeted with beautiful charred Oak smoky undertones.
As you take your second and third whiff of this whiskey, you will be greeted by rich baked fruits, vanilla, and even a small hint of spice.
Again, I can only describe these flavors as being beautiful. Actually, you can also add elegance to that. Nut, malt, and toasted grains with hints of chocolate make for a whiskey that should be consumed over time.
- Toasted grain
The finish of this whiskey is what is truly spectacular. Again, you get that chocolate with a little bit of vanilla and even caramel.
These flavours will linger in your mouth for a while and can last as long as until you take your next sip. I would say this is a long finish.
Tullamore Dew Whiskey Review Table
|Traditional Irish||Fruity, Vanilla, Toffee||Spice, citrus, smokey u/tones||Buttery smooth||Medium length, Fruit, spice||On the Rocks|
|12YO S/reserve||Berries, honey||Honey, berries, Nuts, spice||Soft, smooth||Medium length, chocolate||Neat|
|14YO S/malt||Vanilla, grapes||Vanilla, fruit, caramel, smokey undertones||Smooth, soft, smokey||Sweet, hints of chocolate, medium||neat|
|18YO S/malt||Smoky oak, vanilla, baked fruits||Vanilla, Malt, Nuts, Fruits||Soft, smooth||Long, Chocolate, caramel.||Neat|
Is Tullamore Dew Better Neat Or On The Rocks?
The way you drink your Tullamore Dew is completely up to you and not everybody is the same.
However, I can give my recommendations and these recommendations have kind of solidified themselves as experienced recommendations, especially after doing a taste test.
The traditional Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey is best enjoyed on the rocks. I don’t recommend overdoing it with the amount of ice used.
Instead, I would recommend using maybe three average-sized blocks of ice or one ball of ice.
In terms of the 12-year-old special reserve and the two single malt whiskeys we discussed in this article, I highly recommend that you drink them neat.
These whiskeys are very smooth and the minute you put too much ice with them, you start to water them down.
When it comes to single malt whiskies, I generally always recommend drinking them neat.
Is Tullamore Dew Good With Mixers
Tullamore Dew. especially the traditional Irish whiskey does go great with mixers. With that said, the mixers you choose to go with, depend on where you are and your personal taste. Again, I can give you my recommendations
- Club soda: I’ve decided to go with the club soda first. This is because when you mix it with Tullamore Dew, you aren’t really altering the flavors drastically.
- Sprite: This is another great mixer to use not only for Tullamore Dew whiskey but any other whiskey that you want to mix. I recommended looking for a lemon-flavored sprite.
- Coca Cola: A double whiskey and Coca-Cola is something that is so popular it barely needs any introduction.
- Ginger ale: Ginger has got some incredible properties. It can genuinely enhance the flavors of a whiskey so, why not try a whiskey and ginger ale.
- Dive in and learn What To Mix With Whiskey: 13 Best Whiskey Mixers here.
What I Like About Tullamore DEW
There is so much that I can say in terms of what I like about Tullamore Dew whiskey. In fact, there is so much that I’m going to have to break this down into sections.
Drinking a whiskey that has a long and interesting history such as this one, it actually adds to the overall experience of drinking whiskey. Obviously, this is only true if you know the history of the company.
Tullamore Dew offers quality that is almost unrivaled at the price point. This is true for the traditional Irish whiskey all the way up to the 18-year-old single malts.
The price to Quality ratio is something that a lot of companies struggle to get right and I feel that Tullamore Dew has gone out of its way to give us the best quality whiskeys that they can at each price point.
From the moment you set eyes on the whiskey, its beautiful light gold to dark gold colors truly grab your attention.
Then when it is served in front of you, especially in a beautiful tumbler glass with a few blocks of ice, it makes for a really photogenic and aesthetically pleasing drink.
The pleasure continues as you take your first sip. Almost all of these whiskeys that we tasted in the Tullamore Dew lineup had similar aromas, flavors, bodies, and finishes.
That kind of consistency is hard to maintain but they do it just right.
In the special reserve, you get hints of chocolaty goodness that I can only assume comes from the barrels that the whiskey is aged in. Because the whiskey is triple distilled, this makes it smooth and buttery.
After this review, I have a new respect for Tullamore Dew and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
What I Don’t Like About Tullamore DEW
Everything I have said about Tullamore dew, I say with its price point in mind.
What that means is while there is nothing specific that I don’t like about them, it will never be my first choice in terms of what whiskey I order.
With that being said, you will have to search high and low to find a whiskey review or taster who doesn’t like Tullamore Dew for what it offers.
Tullamore Dew has received a spot in my list of great whiskeys. It is not often that a whiskey ticks most if not all of the boxes.
However, when it can tick most of the boxes at a good price, that is when you can say this whiskey is truly great.