Price – 750 ml – $43.99 – (www.shoppersvineyard.com)
Method – 50 ml in a Glencairn
Rating – 90-100 – standard rating scale for wine and spirits
Before we get into the review of this really great whiskey, I’d like to take a small side route. As of yesterday, when I posted the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked review, I realized that I am 1 week from the 6-month milestone for WWT, so I figured I’d celebrate it with Whiskey Week. One whiskey per day, for 7 days. Sounds like fun, so lets get down to brass tacks here.
This is one of the whiskeys that I bought for St. Paddy’s day, and never got around to reviewing, and I’ll also say that the 15 year version of this whiskey was the choice of G-Lo from the Booze Dancing crew, so this ones for you G-Lo! It also ended up being one of my favorite Irish bottles in my burgeoning collection in the end.
On the nose this whiskey is a bit sharp. Light notes of corn and maybe even a bit hoppy on the nose at first. Its hard to get much above the alcohol on the nose with Irish whiskeys for me though to be honest (not the best sense of smell).
The palate for this dram is super clean and crisp. Almost reminds me of drinking sprite its so thin, but in a refreshing way. It doesn’t bowl you over, but neither does it overwhelm. I find its a great whiskey when I’m not really in a whiskey mood (as odd as that sounds. There is the bite and spice on the tongue I’ve come to love and expect from Irish Whiskey, but it doesn’t get bitter like so many others tend to. Again its all clean corn and light woods, almost piney. It also has a bit of oil, not much but its there, and definite hits of grain in the finish. The one thing i would say really sets this whiskey apart from a lot of other Irish I have tried recently (respectfully not referring to Redbreast, Jameson Gold, or Midleton’s) is that the finish is really long. Again its all clean corn and light woods, almost piney, and the grains really jump to the forefront at the very end, bringing back that slight hoppy flavor from the nose for a beautiful finish.
I will say that on the rocks this whiskey really takes hold of that refreshing quality and makes it a great warm weather drink. It honestly almost feels as though it should be carbonated. With the extra water and the cooled down liquor, a new note that I didn’t notice before comes out and makes it really delicious, a very light note of honey. Almost like eating a honeycomb that’s been soaked in whiskey (that sounds even more delicious).
Given that the flavors of this whiskey are fairly understated, if not overrated, I give it an 90. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, but in order to knock my socks off, there would be a little more depth. Maybe I should try some of the older expressions (the 15 sounds gorgeous).
Cooley, the distiller of this and other fine Irish whiskeys, (Connemara, Kilbeggan, and Tyrconnel) and who also just got bought out by Beam, has an awesome and very informative website for this and their other whiskeys. My favorite part of the site is the flavor map they have of all their whiskeys, making it easy to choose the flavors you like.
Official Site: http://www.cooleywhiskey.com