The following statement might come across as shocking to some of you, but peated whiskey doesn’t have to claw your very face off as you force it down your ravaged gullet. For the rest of you, it might also come off as shocking that there exists out there in the world people that prefer their peated whisky to have this horrifying effect.
Friends, peat lovers love their peated whisky for one thing and one thing only, and it’s not the nice citrus peel notes, to give you a hint. But eventually, further along in the evolution of the peat lover’s appreciation for good whiskey is when they encounter a dram that uses peat as a supplemental flavor rather than the dominant one. When this is done well, beautiful things happen. Peat smoke can be just one flavor among others, co-existing in ideal balance. Our bottling today makes one such attempt at this balance.
Connemara Single Malt is a peated Irish malt produced by Cooley Distillery, now Kilbeggan Distillery (it will take me sometime to adjust to the name change). As explained in our review of the 12 year old version, the peating level is a modest 13-14 ppm. Our selection clocks in at 40% ABV and is double distilled before aging in ex-bourbon casks, no finishing. On to it….
Nose- Youthful grain, burning tire rubber in a mechanics garage. Pear and tangerine with time.
Taste- Sweet with some previously mentioned pear/tangerine. Peat is underneath. Lovely taste.
Finish- Burned toast and char. Sour fruit and fading.
Comment- The peat here is indeed offering a mild kiss goodnight rather than a bat to the face, but overall, the resulting balance isn’t quite knocking our socks off. The taste was the highlight but we may have to pass on picking this up on the way home.
SWC Rating – 76/100
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.
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This was the first peated Whiskey I tried, years ago. I really enjoyed it, but was just getting started on my whiskey journey. I’d be curious to see if I still like it today after much more experience. If I buy again I’ll share my thoughts.