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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

April 17, 2015


Another little bag of Irish

Well, just three of them but we won’t have ‘regular’ ones today.

Dunville's 'VR' (46%, OB, Echlinville Distillery, malt whiskey, PX cask, +/-2015) Two stars Pretty much like what’s happening in the US with sourced whiskies launched as pseudo-own distillates under ‘legendary old brands’, this is sourced Irish whiskey, most probably finished in PX. Now that doesn’t mean it can’t be good. Colour: pale gold. Nose: it’s okay, its okay, just rather light. Whiffs of copper, nuts, ripe bananas, and apple juice. A little more cardboard and almondy soap coming through after a few minutes, but I still find the whole rather okay. Mouth: more body than expected, some peppery oak, touches of tinned fruits (pears and pineapples, then a slightly gritty, gingery side. A little rough, the juice must have been relatively young. Finish: quite long, with some bitter tea and apple peelings. These almondy notes again in the aftertaste. Comments: I don’t find it extraordinarily Irish. The whole’s rather, well, okay. SGP:351 - 75 points.

Cooley 23 yo 1992/2015 (55%, Cadenhead, Irish)

Cooley 23 yo 1992/2015 (55%, Cadenhead, Irish) Five stars A brand new Cooley by Cadenhead. Please note that I’ve used the picture of an earlier (very good – WF 90) bottling. Probably a barrel as well. Colour: pale gold. Nose: well, how many times have I already told that story about a friend who was pouring young peated Cooley to punters on the parking place of a famous Islay distillery starting with an A, around twelve years ago, and managed to let everyone believe it was young whisky from that very Islay distillery? Indeed, you could think this is a slightly lighter and marginally fruitier A***. Especially love this smoky earthiness, these whiffs of lit cigars, the touches of garam masala and the horse saddle notes. With water: more fruits and more rooty notes. A little more barley as well. Mouth (neat): one of the fruitiest ueberpeaters I’ve tried. Shouldn’t work but it does. Smoky pineapples (not hand-grenades) and peppery litchis, then rather various oranges, especially bitter ones. And blood oranges. Really an unusual style, and this baby still roars like a tiger after 23 years. With water: perfect. Peat and fruits work in tandem, almost like… let’s see, say John Coltrane and Duke Ellington? (S., you’re afraid of nothing.) Finish: long, and rather more on fruits rather than peat this time. Strawberry yoghurt. A rather exceptional signature, as fresh as a baby’s… err, mouth. Comments: I absolutely love this style. Balance is deliciously perfect – what a tango! SGP:556 - 91 points.

Nah go climb over such a thing… Unless, unless, this…

Limerick 23 yo 1991/2015 ‘Slaney Malt’ (58.1%, Adelphi, Irish single malt, cask #8265, 202 bottles)

Limerick 23 yo 1991/2015 ‘Slaney Malt’ (58.1%, Adelphi, Irish single malt, cask #8265, 202 bottles) Five stars The label states ‘Slaney Malt’. Colour: gold. Nose: more fruity than fruits. Or one of the fruitiest malts ever. Guavas, papayas, bananas, mangos and all that. But not only that, there’s a fair amount of sweet and soft tea that support that extravagant fruitiness, and it never becomes cloying or simply ‘too much’. I don’t know if that rings a bell to you, but in Switzerland, they have some sweets named ‘Sugus’ that just smell like this. Well, you need at least twenty unwrapped Sugus to match this. Ah, childhood memories… With water: meadow flowers, nectar, and tinned fruits. All of them. Mouth (neat): extreme fruits, but with elegance. Would make a Lochside 1966, a Clynelish 1972 or a Benriach 1976 taste bitter and grassy in comparison. Well, quite. More citrusy than on the nose, with mainly tangerines and pink grapefruits. Oh and Sugus. And you don’t even notice that it sings at 58% vol., which may be a little dangerous. With water: less dangerous – and just as great. Finish: rather long, very fresh, very fruity. Spring in Provence. Comments: very ‘cool**’. It’s absolutely fab to be able to taste both the thesis and the antithesis from the very same distillery. Great work Adelphi and Cadenhead. SGP:751 - 91 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Irish I've tasted so far

Pete McPeat and Jack Washback







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