Origin: Wicklow (Ireland)
Type: Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and virgin Irish oak
Added coloring: N/A
Owner: Glendalough Distillery
Average price: € 55.00
Official website: www.glendaloughdistillery.com
We return after a long time to Glendalough, an innovative distillery founded in 2011 at the height of the Irish whiskey renaissance.
Here I am dealing with one of the island’s classic styles of distillate that had been lost over the years, recovered thanks to the many craft businesses like this one that have decided to combine tradition and innovation.
While the distillate’s production profile is classic (malted and unmalted barley, one part and two parts respectively), the ageing process is not: three years of maturation in ex-Bourbon casks is followed by around a year of finishing in virgin Irish oak casks.
The local wood is sustainably harvested from the centuries-old forests surrounding the distillery, while the whiskey originally comes from another distillery (rumored to be West Cork).
On the nose, the perception of freshly cut wood is remarkable, almost overwhelming, and takes time to make way for herbaceous and balsamic tones on which pear, peach, banana, vanilla and almonds are grafted. There’s a strong presence of cereals, with hints of cloves. Young, with impressions of Autumn forest.
In the mouth it’s richer and more balanced, oily, while maintaining a firm presence of wood and spices (cinnamon. cloves, ginger). Yellow fruit, vanilla, sugar icing, tea leaves, cereals, always with a herbaceous and humid background.
Quite long and herbaceous finish of spices, dried fruits, tea leaves, vanilla.
The influence of unmalted barley blends with virgin oak to produce a whiskey with a particularly marked herbaceous soul, which may not meet everyone’s taste. Personally I find it an interesting and successful experiment, perhaps not a monster of complexity but pleasantly “different” and original.