Origin: Kinsale (Ireland)
Type: Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Imperial Stout and ex-Rum
Added colouring: Yes
Owner: Kinsale Spirit
Average price: € 47.00
Official website: kinsalespirit.com
We return after some time to the small Kinsale-based company and the third-party bottlings under their Nine Year’s War-inspired labels.
After Red Hugh O Donnell, this time we find the big face of Juan del Aguila representing this triple-distilled single malt, produced by the Great Northern Distillery, harking back to the figure of this Spaniard who fought alongside O Donnell and Hugh ‘The Great Earl’ O Neill (also with a dedicated bottling) during the Battle of Kinsale.
At that time he was residing in Cork, at Portney’s Lane, hence the idea of triple ageing: after the initial four years in ex-bourbon casks, the distillate was divided into two different types of casks, ex-Imperial Stout and ex-rum (precisely casks that contained ten-year-old Appleton), for at least three months before being bottled.
On the nose, notes of nuts (almond, walnut, macadamia) and milk chocolate intertwine, which are soon overwhelmed by a cascade of predominantly tropical fruit: peach, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, coconut. A sugary sweetness that is accompanied by hints of muscovado and gradually more pronounced vegetable veins. The influence of the stout soon seems to fade, and if you want to look for beer-like impressions, it seems more like an IPA.
On the palate, it starts with a spiciness of black pepper and ginger, with a good consistency that rediscovers the chocolate (and coffee) nuances with greater conviction, at the expense of the fruit that sacrifices itself on the altar of the vegetal notes that definitely take on body, leaving some room for honey and custard. Along the length, a bitter veil spreads over the flavours, with sour and lemony accents.
The finish is quite long and acidulous, with touches of chocolate and coffee, nuts, spices and wood.
The beginning is not bad, both on the nose and in the mouth, but at length it breaks down and loses coherence, with a deadly combo between the youthfulness of the distillate and the influence of the ex-rum casks that are probably very full. A pity, because there would be no lack of interesting points.