Tullamore DEW is an actual, ancient whiskey. I say that because, particularly in the United States, Prohibition really short-circuited both the legends and history of all the old whiskey brands. Some refer to legends from long ago featuring George Washington and Lincoln, both many of our modern legendary whiskies (Bulleit comes to mind) are just that – modern.
But back to Tullamore. I always envisioned the dew on the grassy fields of the Emerald Isle when I heard that name, and I’m sure that’s intended, but the DEW in Tullamore is actually names for the original manager of the distillery: Daniel E. Williams. The bottle bears his signature.
Irish whiskies are somewhat of a forgotten element of the spirits world, at least to common folks. They’re an essential element of the Irish Coffee cocktail, but outside of that, it’s usually not called for specifically in a drink. Irish, in my opinion is a real gem though. While I’ve openly struggled with adapting my palate to scotch. The bourbon-Irish transition is an easy one. Irish whiskey is usually distilled more times (traditionally three times vs scotch’s double distillation), and almost never uses peat or smoke in the process. This results in a cleaner, less earthy whiskey that’s more familiar to an American palate.
Tullamore DEW, specifically, has some nice rich caramel with finishes clean and dry. I’ve been enjoying it on the rocks with all nature of holiday-season desserts: pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and pumpkin ice cream. It pairs well with buttery, flaky desserts like this and is a good companion for a cigar, too (because of its cool sweetness).
Ultimately, you owe it to yourself to try an Irish whiskey that’s not Jameson. Not that Jameson is bad in any way, but it’s prolific and just like “big brands” usually do, it appeals to the masses, and isn’t particularly unique. Tullamore DEW is a great example of a historic, classic Irish whiskey and you should definitely have a sip if you get the chance.