It says something about a whiskey when it comes from a company like William Grant & Sons that wins Whiskey Distiller of the Year at Whisky Magazine's Icons of Whiskey Awards (2011). Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve has its own well-deserved accolades and took top honors as Best Irish Whisky (12 Years and Under) just a year later.
On the nose, Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve presents a complex bouquet of tantalizing aromas. Look for fruitcake, freshly roasted almonds, vanilla, caramel, and lovely cereal grain notes offset by just a touch of lemon.
Body and Palate
Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve has a medium body, which is entirely appropriate for its age. The first sip of this whiskey makes it clear that one is in for a special whiskey experience with its rich, complex flavor.
This whiskey has clearly been aged (at least partially) in Sherry casks. There is a rich nutty flavor and an undertone of dark fruit just evident beneath elegantly balanced wood notes, leather, lemon curd and caramel flavors.
There is a delicious grain component as well that is a perfect counterpoint to the spicy wood notes.
This is an elegant and harmonious whiskey.
On the finish, this whiskey offers a complex and rich palate of flavors that cascade into a light, elegant and citrus-sweet ending. Think of rich malt and cinnamon notes, before light, green apple flavors give way to lemon preserves. Elegant is too simple a word for such a deft finish.
Overall, Tullamore Dew 12 year Special Reserve is a great whiskey at a very affordable price point. It is a testament to the other fine whiskies under this label and a nice upgrade from the flagship Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey.
About Tullamore Dew 12 Year Special Reserve Irish Whiskey
- A triple-distilled blend of pot still and malt whiskeys that have been aged in bourbon and sherry casks for 12-15 years.
- Produced by Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey Distillery in Tullamore
- 40% alcohol/volume (80 proof)
- Retails for around $45/750ml bottle
- Visit Their Website
Originally Published: March 13, 2011
Edited by Colleen Graham
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.