Irish whiskey is the fastest growing category of spirits in the United States. In response to the phenomenal growth of their whiskey, distillers around Ireland have kicked out all the stops and are now bottling the very best of their craft. These new marques typically take the form of single cask whiskies, vintage-dated releases and rare, wood finished offerings. As alluring as these creative expressions are, they all share a common attribute, namely they are all barrel aged. Spirit enthusiasts and aficionados will be thrilled to learn the Irish category now includes the spirit that preceded them all.
"With the U.S. market accounting for approximately 36% of Irish whiskey sales, and artisanal spirits rapidly growing in popularity, we feel it is the perfect opportunity to introduce the U.S. consumer to a new Irish craft offering—Mad March Hare Irish Poitín," states John Ralph, Co-founder, Mad March Imports. "Our small batch, premium Poitín is an extremely smooth and approachable spirit with a singular character unlike any product on the market."
Poitín (pronounced "put-cheen") was decreed illegal in 1661. The decree notwithstanding, the production of Poitín was forced underground and centered in remote, rural farming areas of Ireland. The distillers took advantage of the windy, rainy weather to hide the rising smoke resulting from the heating of the stills.
Mad March Hare Poitín is as authentic as they come. It is made using locally sourced, malted barley and pure spring water. The spirit is distilled in small batches in traditional, copper pot stills. After distillation, the Poitín is gently filtered and rendered to bottling strength of 40% alcohol (80 proof).
Be prepared to be seriously impressed. Mad March Hare has a pristine, shimmery appearance, a medium-weight, velvety textured body and a glorious bouquet saturated with the aromas of citrus, cocoa, anise, baked apples and barley malt. The iconic brand's aromatic signature is downright irresistible. Its entry onto the palate is satiny smooth and devoid of any excessive heat. The finish is long and brimming with the flavors of citrus and spice. Blindfolded you'd swear Mad March Hare had been well matured in oak.
Its clarity presents a boon to contemporary mixology. For one thing, you can use Poitín in a cocktail and derive all of the characteristics of a whiskey aged in oak, but none of the limitations of color. However, do yourself a favor and sample this extraordinary spirit neat before adding a mixer or featuring it in a craft cocktail.
"Poitin plays a large role in the history of Irish spirits," adds Ralph. "We look forward to bringing this Irish tradition to life in the U.S. and allowing consumers to discover the quality and heritage of Mad March Hare."
Guaranteed you won't soon forget its name.