A far as I’m aware, Connemara is still the only peated Irish Whiskey currently in production.
Produced by the Kilbeggan Distilling Co with the spirit coming from the Cooley distillery, it’s an unusual expression which we picked up on a whim at Dublin Airport a few years ago.
This 12 year old expression is still produced as part of a range of 4 expression. The others are Connemara Original, 22 year old and the heavily peated Turf Mór, however all but the Original now seem quite difficult to get hold of
doesn’t appear to be produced any more, with the age statement being dropped (as is the fashion) to enable the producer more flexibility in how they create the whisky.
It would be useful to get a sample of the other expressions for comparison purposes, but for now here’s our notes on the 12 year old which is bottled at 40% ABV.
Light fragrant nose; not what I was expecting to be honest.
A bit of lemon icing, some floral honeysuckle, shoe polish and ginger ale.
There’s just a hint of some oily rubber and damp notes in the background as it opens up.
Initial taste matches the fresh nose, but then there immediately a more astringent note as the smoke kicks in.
Damp earthy wood which takes over, but then subsides as quicky revealing effervescent sugary lemon with some buttery notes.
Quite a thin mouthfeel, but this will be mostly due to the reduced ABV.
Relatively short finish, though the oiliness does leave it lingering for a little while and the flavours don’t collapse.
Lemon barley sugar followed by damp smoke and pine to finish.
This is a perfectly pleasant whiskey to drink, but at the same time it’s not memorable at all.
The nose is slightly out of balance with the palate, but the flavours are consistent and although the finish is a bit shorter than I’d have liked, it holds up well until the end.
Pick one up if you get the chance, but I wouldn’t go out of your way.
UPDATE: Article corrected after the comment by Whiskey Nut to reflect the current range of expressions.