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Cooley Distillery Ireland Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Connemara 12yo

Review of the oldest version of the well-known Irish peated whiskey

Origin: Dublin (Ireland)
Type: Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Gradation: 40%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Chillfiltered: Yes
Additional coloring: Yes
Owner: Beam Suntory
Average price: € 80.00
Official website: www.connemarawhiskey.com
Vote: 76/100

Less well known than its counterpart without an age statement, this bottling is the second in the small fixed portfolio that Cooley has dedicated to this label, accompanied by the cask strength version.
Doubly distilled, unlike the usual triple distillation of Irish tradition, presented (unfortunately) at the minimum alcoholic strength and without precise indications on the casks used (which can be presumed to be ex-Bourbon), Connemara was the first peated whiskey from the green island, a version now realized by several other distilleries.

Tasting notes

The nose has a chemical smokiness, of burnt plastic, which may have its admirers but for me isn’t a very good start. The profile is very vegetal and herbaceous, with cucumbers, cut (and a little burnt) grass and boiled turnips, joined by less energetic notes of honey, lemon and almonds. Camphor. You cannot say it lacks originality.
Slim but not too much, in the mouth it re-proposes vegetable peat in a less artificial and more accepting guise, where toasted malt, fruit (cooked apple, pear, pineapple), cinnamon, vanilla, orange peel, lemon drop and almonds emerge. Sprinkle of black pepper and an impression of liquorice. On the length, the smoke becomes acrid and chemical again.
The finish isn’t very long, herbaceous and dry, of ash, apple, almonds, cinnamon, lemon.

It would be unfair to make comparisons with Islay peat, it’s a whiskey that shows its own personality even if with rather ‘industrial’ traits, with those slightly off-centre notes that disturb its balance, which in a whiskey with such low alcohol content is a serious sin. It has some curious aspects, and certainly has its admirers, but for me it’s on the one hand too thin, on the other hand too unbalanced to make me want another sip.

Reviews of Cooley whiskey in the blog:
Connemara Original

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