The Dead Rabbit first sprung into the scene in 2013, bringing the quintessential Irish pub experience into the 21st century. From its beautiful comic book style menus to the amazing cocktails, The Dead Rabbit is nothing if not popular, having built a reputation for being one of the best bars in the world. Founders and owners Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry have continued to innovate over the years with its selection of spirits and cocktails, and it’s not much of a surprise that they’ve now partnered with The Dublin Liberties Distillery to launch The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey to commemorate the bar’s fifth anniversary.
This partnership sees Muldoon and McGarry working with Master Distiller Darryl McNally, an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in the Irish whiskey industry. From the selection of the grains to the careful blending and distilling, no effort is spared in their quest to create a high-quality dram.
The result of this endeavour, The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey, is a masterful five-year-old blend of Irish single malt and grain whiskeys, first aged in seasoned Bourbon casks from Kentucky before finishing off in small virgin American oak barrels. Imbibing it neat, the whiskey is light and aromatic with toasted oak notes and a hint of caramel on the nose, while the palate has a deep, rich mellow feel, finishing off with a long, soft hint of vanilla. A little ice does the trick of enhancing the caramel notes and brings out slight hints of chocolate, giving the spirit a refreshing mouthfeel that’s perfect for a warm summer evening.
To celebrate the upcoming arrival of The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey to our shores, Darryl McNally and distributor Gain Brands have worked alongside The Spiffy Dapper to give us a peek at the versatility of this finely crafted spirit in the form of two amazing cocktails, the Smooth Operator and Bunko Artist.
Shaken with a dash of Orange bitters, some lemon juice, passionfruit syrup, Creme de Peche and egg white, the Smooth Operator shows how the whiskey’s hints of chocolate and caramel blend perfectly with citrus to create an invigorating and crisp cocktail that’s easy down the hatch. The creaminess of the egg whites perfectly round off the drink, and the lingering notes of vanilla and nutmeg definitely adds depth and character to an otherwise light cocktail.
The Bunko Artist, however, takes the flavours in a completely opposite direction: cardamon bitters, dried apricot syrup, Cocchi Americano, and Calvados complements and intensifies the flavour of the whiskey. The spiciness of the cardamon brings out the whiskey’s woody notes, deeply enhancing the bittersweet smokiness imparted by the specially crafted small virgin American oak barrels. The end result is a cocktail that’s reminiscent of a herbal tisane – one that warms you up on the inside and comforts you for the days (or nights) ahead.
The cocktails are just two in a myriad of ways to enjoy The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey. Complex and multidimensional, it’s great on its own or as a component for a diverse spectrum of cocktails – and not to mention it’s the perfect nod to its namesake’s continued innovation and legacy as one of the best cocktail bars in existence.