Ask your average liquor drinker “What does Scotch taste like?” and you likely will hear the word “smoky” used. Which is usually true, as most Scotch whiskies are made with peated barley.
And if you were to ask a drinker about Irish whiskey, you probably would be told it is “sorta sweet,” “fruity,” and “light-bodied.” Which also is the case frequently, although many of the Midleton Irish whiskeys are robustly flavored.
All of which is to say that drinkers tend to lump boozes into flavor categories. Then along comes Cooley Distillery with its Connemara Irish whiskeys and blows these categories to bits. If you blind-tasted any of the Connemara whiskeys, you probably would declare them “fine Islay whiskies.” Like Ardbeg, they are very lightly colored; and they offer smoke and even iodine notes.
Why are they so similar to Scotch? Well, because they are made with peated malted barley in copper pot stills just like single malt Scotch.
The standard Connemara (80 proof) tastes of smoke, iodine, and nuts (Rating ****). Connemara 12-year (80 proof) is even better, as a floral note joins the melody. (Rating ****1/2) Connemara also has come out in a cask strength version. We tasted a 116.4 proof version many moons ago, and found it eye-popping and a must-try for the malt maniac. Currently there is a 115.8 proof version selling.
To see if an online retailer can sell you a bottle of Connemara, click here, and then try here.
1 thought on “Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskeys”
the bottle was in very good coinitdon with a good fill level and no sign of tainting, so it really shouldn’t have changed much in the bottle. While the conventional wisdom is that bourbon does not age in the bottle, there are those who speak of “old bottle effect,” an aging that takes place in the bottle, but of course, there is no way to know for sure since we can’t really compare it to anything.