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Tullamore Dew

Tullamore Dew was the first Irish whiskey I tried, at recommendations by a friend. It cost me $20 for a nicely made 750mL bottle that included 2 whiskey glasses.

As I can't think of any other way to drink whiskey, I put those glasses to use filling them about a finger's width high and sipping slowly. I quickly found that too little would tease me with the flavor and alcohol, while too much would start to muffle the flavor; but taking in between half a teaspoon to half a tablespoon in one sip let the flavor open up in my mouth as I swallowed. This is how I drink whiskey; I don't hammer it down, I don't mix it, I don't add ice or water. Opinions on all of these things vary; mine is to drink it neat or not at all, often while playing piano or reading a book.

The quality of Tullamore Dew is what you'd expect of a cheap, blended whiskey: It's obviously not a single-malt Irish aged 15 years in 200 liter Sherry barrels. Tullamore is blended with some sort of grain whiskey, so it's not the smoothest thing in the world and doesn't have the full complexity of an unblended pure pot still Irish whiskey.

Although it's not quite a high-end single malt, it's not quite on the level with other low-end brands like Jameson's and Bushmills. Compared to Jameson's Original, Tullamore Dew has noticeably more pronounced flavor and deeper complexity. It's definitely a good value at its price mark.

I'd recommend Tullamore Dew highly to anyone looking for something in the $20-$30 range, or anyone looking to try a good Irish whiskey. For the higher end drinkers, Tullamore Dew won't compete well with Red Breast, GreenSpot, or a single malt scotch; but if you're inclined to keep something "cheap" around, this may be your answer.
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