Tipperary Single Cask 103 – Rioja 11year Old Tasting Notes

April 27, 2022

Tipperary Single Cask 103 – Rioja 11year Old

Tipperary Boutique Distillery

Single Malt

57.35% ABV

Tasting note compiled by Mark McLaughlin.



The Tipperary Boutique Distillery was founded by Jennifer Nickerson alongside her husband, Liam Ahearn on their farm land in Grange, Co. Tipperary. Jennifer, born in Scotland, was formally an Associate Director with accountancy firm KPMG before decide to follow in her father’s footsteps taking a dive into the world of whiskey. Her father, Stuart Nickerson, sits on the board of the company and has been involved in numerous Scotch whisky ventures for over 40 years as an esteemed distillery manager and Managing Director.

This whiskey is from their initial independently bottled whiskey releases. Given we know this whiskey is a triple-distilled Single Malt distilled in November 2008 we can assume it came from the Bushmills distillery. It was interestingly initially matured in an ex-sherry butt for approximately 9 years before being finished in an ex-Faustino rioja cask for 2 years and bottled at natural Cask Strength. Sounds like a promising drop….


Rich deep amber, it’s too dark in this room to see if it has a red hue.


Nose (Aromas)

Deep and intense initially on the nose, the alcohol jumps a bit but relaxes after a few seconds. There’s a touch of mustiness to it, not in a bad way, kind of like very worn leather. I’m not getting much fruit character although there’s a slightly tart cherry note, with dried banana chips. It’s challenging.


Palate & Finish 

The palate is in another world altogether, bursting with juicy fruit notes and an abundance of European oak character, raisins, sultanas, brandy soaked apricots, it’s not unlike aged Armagnac at times. There’s treacle, dried vanilla, cinnamon, clove and orange oils all bursting across the palate which is then smacked with alcohol & dried spices throwing it off centre.



Challenging to say the least as the alcohol battles with the European oak elements on the palate, which I’m finding hard to get through to the rioja influence. I wonder was the rioja cask American oak, which they are in many wineries in Rioja, which perhaps couldn’t stand up to the sherry butt influence beforehand. All that being said, I’ll be tasting again with water next time and seeing can I decipher more, these distinctly sherry influenced malts are not easy to come by in Ireland.



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