Michelin-starred chef helps create Senses Irish whiskey collection

Michelin-starred chef helps create Senses Irish whiskey collection

The Senses collection of five 23-year-old Irish single malts aims to demonstrate the five tastes in new ways, through the use of finishing casks

News | 05 Jun 2024

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A new single malt whiskey release created by Egan's Irish Whiskey and Michelin-starred chef Damien Grey is aiming to realise new conceptions of flavour in the whisky space.


The Senses Irish whiskey collection is designed to express the five tastes — bitter, sour, salt, sweet, and umami — through five premium Irish single malts, all aged for 23 years. There are just 200 Senses sets available globally.


Senses is a collaboration between Rupert Egan, head bonder at Egan's Irish Whiskey, and two-Michelin-star chef Grey, founder of celebrated Dublin restaurant Liath. The duo have previously worked together on whisky blends for Grey to use in his cooking.


To create Senses, Grey and Egan worked with a number of fine wine and spirits producers to sourcing finishing casks to introduce the desired taste characteristics to each of the five whiskies. For example, for Goirt (Salt), they wanted to source casks that had been used to age a spirit by the sea and settled on Grand Champagne Cognac casks from Godet, while for Searbh (Bitter), they aged an imperial stout in a recharred oak cask, bottled the beer, then filled the cask with whisky.

The Senses collector's case

Egan says: “After visiting Damien’s restaurant several times and witnessing the green shoots of him experimenting with whisky as an ingredient, I felt acquainted enough to suggest that he might consider swapping household whisky brands for something completely bespoke. And so, for about a year afterwards, I could be found trotting in and out of Liath Restaurant, clinking with different distillates, ages, cask types, blends, finishes and serving strengths. What I didn’t realise at the time was that I was being covertly interviewed by Damien for this project.”


Grey said: “For me, the only path was to do something that had never been done before. Whisky hasn’t been approached in the way we’ve done it. It’s been extremely challenging, the flavour profiles go much deeper, and there have been more ways to fail, which sounds off-putting but for me was an exciting concept because it was more challenging to create and produce something truly exceptional.”


Priced at €5,950 (£5,060), each Senses collector’s case holds the five 700ml bottles of Irish single malt whiskey, a sample box featuring five 40ml tasting phials, and a series of cards chronicling the three-year whiskey development journey.


Owners will also get a complementary table for two at Liath as Grey’s guests to experience a seasonal tasting menu, plus membership to the restaurant's concierge booking service. 

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