Origin: Kinsale (Ireland)
Type: Blended Irish Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry, ex-Rioja
Added colouring: Yes
Owner: Kinsale Spirit
Average price: € 40.00
Official website: kinsalespirit.com
Founded in 2016, Kinsale Spirit is a small company in Kinsale, County Cork, which initially only produced gin but, thanks to the initiative of founders Ernest Cantillon, Tom O Riordan and Colin Ross, decided in 2020 to start bottling whiskey as well.
And as often happens, the inspiration comes from the rich Irish history and precisely from the Nine Years’ War, which took place in the 17th century, to which the (for now) three labels of their line are dedicated: Spanish Earl Single Malt Irish Whiskey (with the portrait of Juan del Aguila), Great Earl Single Grain Irish Whiskey (with the portrait of Hugh “The Great Earl” O Neill) and this Red Earl (with the portrait of Red Hugh O Donnell).
A blend of 90% grain and 10% malt (from the Great Northern Distillery), undisclosed ageing in ex-Bourbon and Sherry with at least six months ageing in Spanish wine, it was the first to reach the market and is the bridgehead of their production, given their plans to build a distillery in Cork.
The nose betrays a strongly grain soul, with intense, herbaceous notes of cereals and hay together with pear, a hint of vanilla, vinous impressions and lots of acetone. Acerbic.
The taste is light, the initial push of pepper with spicy touches (cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg) soon dissolves into a generic alcoholic tingle. Cereal, vanilla, nuts, pear, grapefruit, all quite fleeting that soon slides into a dry, bitterish pastiche, loaded with tannins.
The finish is quite short, dry, with wood and a hint of vanilla.
Too much, too young, a whisky practically in disarray, without identity or vigour, which doesn’t even have the virtue of incisive impressions for better or worse: it’s just bland and forgettable.