Thomas Ryan of Toomevara Tipperary
This is the tradition that Thomas Ryan of Toomevara Tipperary, son and grandson of distillery managers and barley farmers, became part of in 1913, when he set up his whiskey finishing hall on Haddington Road, Dublin in 1913, his Ryan’s Malt a city favourite. The eponymous Jack Ryan was his son, and with him, the Ryans’ Finisher’s Touch was well established. Irish Whiskey went through hard times towards the end of the 20th century, but is now coming back into its own. Jack’s son and scion Eunan Ryan revived the family Whiskey finishing with Jack Ryan 12YO, to award-winning effect – Irish Whiskey Awards and San Francisco World Spirits Gold.
Other releases followed – JRW The Bourdega 15YO (Oloroso Sherry – San Francisco World Spirits Silver ), JRW The Centenary 15YO CS (Bourbon), JRW The Barracks 15YO CS.
At this point, Jack Ryan Whiskey had assembled an extensive and eclectic collection of casks, including some from small, quality European spirits producers. Then came The Generation Trilogy, celebrating 6 generations of Ryans in the Irish Whiskey pantheon; Toomevara 10YO (Château du Breuil Calvados – San Francisco World Spirits Double Gold), followed by Haddington 11YO (Old Guyanan Rum), and Finisher’s Touch 12YO (Justino’s Madeira).
All of the releases up to then were of the order of 3,000 to 20,000 bottles. Small-volume, high quality, Ryan-finished Single Malt remains the Jack Ryan Whiskey vision. The Ryan Cask Elite Finish series began with Finca Museum 12YO. This is a Single Cask 58% abv release.
The finisher’s learned touch is sure,
Weds precious malt to barrel pure.
Each match thus made, a watch is kept;
The finisher’s patient gaze adept.
The finisher senses when it’s time
To breach the oaken dark sublime,
Withdraw gold samples, deferential,
Taste and ponder, reverential.
The finisher’s symphonic task
Of harmonizing malt and cask,
Its final note – the special one
That perfect sample whispers “done!”
The finisher’s apprentice stores
The forebears’ secrets, art and lores,
Successor malts, by such and such
All charge and raise “to the finisher’s touch!”