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Connemara Peated Single Malt

Being the only Irish & peated single malt whiskey around currently, Connamera Peated Single Malt is a superb whiskey from Cooley distillery with a fantastic taste consisting of light honey flavours and a clean smoked flavour with hints of spices and vanilla. It’s inspired by the 18th century process of drying barley over peat and holds the same flavour as it did back then. They still use patent and pot stills in this distillery, allowing for the reinvigoration of their older brands while also allowing for the experimentation required to come up with new brands such as this Connemara Peated Single Malt. Since 2012 it has won 20+ medals and is very popular. Their original bottle is more peaty with light hints of apple crumble, honey, and all the above. Their 12 year bottle has more vibrant flavours than the original consisting of crème brulee, floral tones, and a deeper spicy flavour. It has won numerous medals, but most notably a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Fair. Finally, their Cask Strength bottle is promised to capture “the true essence of Connemara Peated Single Malt”. It’s undiluted, isn’t chill filtered or coloured and is truly a purer form of the peated single malt whiskey.

Greenore Single Grain Whiskey

Another relatively new whiskey from Cooley Distillery, Greenore Single Grain is a unique tasting & award winning whiskey with just the basic ingredients. Usually a whiskey of its type should be mixed with a stronger tasting malt whiskey but in this particular case Cooley managed to make a grain whiskey that was so good you don’t have to do that! They have both an 8 year bottle and a 15 year bottle, the younger being lighter with a beautiful touch of bourbon. The older bottle is softer & has more of a spicy flavour.

Locke’s Irish Whiskey

Originally distilled in Kilbeggan Distillery which is now a museum, Locke’s Irish Whiskey has been made in Cooley Distillery since Cooley purchased their distillery many years ago. Cooley Distillery then brought back Locke’s 8 Year Single Malt Whiskey in 2000, which is double distilled in their pot stills. This bright gold whiskey is less peaty, with a soft & woody flavour with hints of citrus, vanilla, crispy oak, and caramel. It not only won the gold medal but also Best in Class in the 2009 International Wine and Spirits Awards. Locke’s also have a few more bottles such as Locke’s Single Malt, Locke’s 8 Year Old Overprinted Label, and Locke’s 8 Year Old Crock, all with slightly different flavours and label designs.

Kilbeggan Single Grain

Coming from the oldest licensed distillery of it’s type in the entirety of Ireland, Kilbeggan Distilling Company founded in 1757 is truly a power to be reckoned with. Their branded Single Grain Whiskey has replaced both their 8 year-old single grain and the Greenore 8 year-old whiskeys. It’s a bourbon-like yet light aromatic whiskey with subtle hints of spices and cinnamon. It’s definitely an easy going whiskey but has light flavours of citrus, pear drops, and apparently even bubble gum! It won Best Irish Single Grain in 2018 and is pale yellow in colour. There is also Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey and Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye which have their fair share of awards too! In fact, their Irish Whiskey has won 7 medals since 2010 including a gold medal in 2012.

Tyrconnell Single Malt

Born in the Watt Distillery in the late 1700’s, Tyrconnel Single Malt is another whiskey from the Kilbeggan Distilling Company which was actually inspired by an incredible horse who won at the National Produce Stakes horse race in 1876. A.A. Watt, the local distiller at the time wanted to create a limited edition small batch whiskey bearing the name of that same champion horse. It shortly became bestselling and Watt’s most popular whiskey. The whiskey is 100% malted barley and as-per-usual with anything under Kilbeggan Brewing Co’s umbrella; it’s distilled in their traditional copper pot stills. This whiskey has won 6 medals since 2009. In 2009 it not only won the IWSC Gold Medal & Best in Class, but also the NYSA Best in Class and the Great Taste Gold Medal.

Clontarf Single Malt

Brewed in Bushmills distillery and probably the only whiskey on this list not somewhere under Kilbeggan Brewing Company, Clontarf 1014 Single Malt is triple distilled in County Antrim and gently aged in bourbon casks. It has an extremely malty flavour to begin with, followed by a rich & textured combination of vanilla, toasted oak, honey, fruits, spices, and some boggy/grassiness to top it all off. It’s a prime example of doing more with less, as its flavour is deceptively complex yet at first seems very minimal. It did very well in Wine Enthusiast in 2005, getting an 85-89 rating, and around the same time recieved a gold medal at the SFWSC. In 2008 Clontarf’s Irish Whiskey got a rating of 90 from the Beverage Tasting Institute and also received a “Best Buy” award, described as a “spot on Irish blend with a lot of character”. Clontarf’s trinity collection includes their Irish Whiskey and a reserve which is a blend of single malt and grain whiskey, however in America only the reserve is available whereas all three are available in Europe.

Teeling Irish Whiskey

History

The Teeling Whiskey company was set up back in 2012. They opened the Teeling Whiskey Distiller in 2015, the first one in Dublin in over 125 years. The Teelings also previously had a distillery all the way back in 1782.

Flavours

Teeling Single Malt Irish Whiskey:

Teeling Single Malt has a red-brown colour with aromas of melon, figs, toffee and lemon. The taste is a combination of dry fruits, citrus, vanilla, spice and cloves. It has a long, sweet finish with dry tannins.

Glendalough Distillery

History

A passionate group of friends from Dublin and Willow decided to form their own whiskey distillery, after discussing the recent decline in the number of Irish distilleries.

Flavours

Glendalough 7 Year Old Single Malt:

A delicious aroma of toffee apples, dark chocolate, and vanilla ice cream. The taste is smooth with flavours of orange, cocoa, toffee, and fruit with a long spicy finish.

Glendalough 13 Year Single Malt:

Beautifully scented with honeycomb, vanilla, apricot, and citrus. The taste is smooth with flavours like vanilla, fudge, rock candy, peach, and marmalade. It also has cinnamon and eastern spices.

Bushmills Distillery

History

Bushmills was founded in 1608, by Sir Thomas Philips after he was granted the license to distill whiskey in Ireland by King James I. The actual company was not officially established until 1784. In 1885, the old Bush mills distillery was completely ruined by a fire. It was rebuilt promptly, however. In 2008 the Bank of Ireland but the distillery of their bank notes to mark 400 years of the distillery being open.

Flavours

Bushmills 10 Year Single Malt:

The aroma is spicy and fruity to the nose. The taste fills the mouth with chocolate and honey until it comes to a silky smooth finish

Bushmills 21 Year Single Malt:

Aged for at least 19 years in bourbon seasoned casks. For the last two years it is aged in Madeira casks. The final whiskey consists of flavours of dry fruits and toasted raisins.

West Cork Distillery

History

West Cork Distilleries was founded in 2003. The  initial founders were Dennis McCarthy, Ger McCarthy and John O’Connell.

Flavours

West Cork 10 year old single malt Irish whiskey:

The whiskey has a sweet, floral aroma with a strong malt scent. The taste consists of citrus and cracked pepper flavours.