Cooley; Connemara / Greenore / Inishowen / Locke's / Millar's / Tyrconnell

 

Cooley distillery An independent Irish distillery located to the north-east of Dublin on the Cooley Peninsula in Riverstown, Co. Louth. Update: Cooley was sold to Beam Inc. in January 2012

Brands produced at this distillery include Connemara, Greenore (Single grain whiskey), Inishowen, Locke's, Millar's, Tyrconnell and also the standard Kilbeggan bottlings, although the "Kilbeggan Distillery Reserve" was produced at the reopened Kilbeggan distillery.

 
 

Photo reproduced with kind permission of "Whisky Lover" via Wikimedia Creative Commons License

   

 

 

Connemara

Peated single malt whiskey

General whisky characteristics: Gentle Irish peated whiskey

 

The Burren, Connemara. Photo by "Whisky Emporium Photography"

 

Connemara, Single Cask,  1992-2009, Bottle No. 165, 46% ABV

Cask 112

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass; Classic Malt

Colour: Nicely weathered oak

Nose: Sitting around a camp fire, drying wet hiking boots on an Atlantic beach on a misty autumn day.

Palate: Slightly medicinal peat with heavy sherry overtones. Very smooth.

Finish: Long, slightly sweet and very warming.

With 3 drops of water: Not much difference other than to release a little more wood and Atlantic.

Overall Impresison: This is a very different Connemara, perhaps due to the heavy sherry influence, but it makes for a very interesting combination which I like.

 

 
 

Connemara, Single Cask,  1992-2007, Bottle No. 52, 50.5%

Cask K92/34 4184

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

(The pictures left are of SC-112)

 
 

Nose: Gentle peat, true Irish smoothness, summer berries, a tiny hint of almond and some malt. I expected more peat in the nose, but this is much more sweet, fruity and complex than I imagined possible from a Connemara. But the smoothness of the nose still gives away its true origins.

Palate: Rich, smooth and really quite surprising. The peat is there, but so is that hard to define fruit. This one grows in stature over the first 35 seconds on the palate, then fades gradually with a lovely long finish of gentle peat and that fruit again. A second sip produces the same wonderful result with the finish appearing even longer.

With 4 drops of water in about 1cl: The nose is less sweet and a little more sharp. The taste is less intense, perhaps 2 drops would have sufficed here, but the finish is still long and not too much is lost.

Overall Impression: This is much more than I expected. More complex, more flavours, smoother and extremely round. This is most definitely Irish peated whiskey at its very best. I really do like this dram. That finish is gloriously complex and long, even repeating again and again.

 

 
 

Connemara, cask strength, 57.9% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Colour: Extremely pale with hardly any colour

Nose: Some peat and a quite acidic freshness. This really grabs the inside of the nose and lets it know there is some alcohol in the glass. But it isn't unpleasant, just really quite fresh.

Palate: Quite sweet, but not so rich, although it is also very smooth. The first sensation on the tongue is a hint of peat, but this soon expands to include a fresh, almost citrus experience which soon fades into a more floral one. The finish is also quite long, but not as rich or complex as the SC. With just a drop of water the citrus element disappears, leaving a very pleasant, but quite unidentifiable flavour which is still very pleasantly long.

Finish: Long

With 3 drops of water: The citrus element now disappears to leave a pleasant, long peaty experience.

Overall Impresison: I do tend to like Connemara and this is no exception.

 

 
 

Summary of the Connemara Head to Head; CS - SC (K92/34 4184)

This head to head shows just how wrong pre-conceptions can be. I expected very different results from both drams, although I really didn't have any idea as to which I would prefer. Both whiskeys are good, in fact very good. If I had only tried the Cask Strength I would probably have enthused poetically over the unexpected lightness of flavour and long finish. But there is no holding back of a great whiskey. The Single Cask is truly magnificent. Much richer and more complex than I thought possible from an Irish peated whiskey. It grows on the palate into a great and complex explosion of flavours and then sticks around for much longer than you would dare to hope for. I really like both drams, but I adore the SC.

 

 
 

 

Connemara, Single Cask,  20 March 2001 - 25th March 2009, 59.2%

Cask K01/10 1196, for Limburg

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Munich whisky fair

Colour: Yellow gold

Nose: Very faint with light smoke.

Palate: Just like the nose; faint with light smoke.

Finish: medium to long and typically gently Irish.

Overall Impresison: Sadly I didn't have the opportunity to experiment with water this time, but this was a rather soft and gentle Connemara single cask, perhaps a littel too soft. It's good, but not a 'great'.

 

   
     

Connemara, Sherry Finish, 46% ABV

Small batch Ed.1

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich amber

Nose: Lots of gentle Irish peat, hints of sherry and even a little manure for good measure! I really can't say any more than this for the nose and it's not bad, it's just quite unique in my experience so far.

Palate: Peat and sherry in reasonable harmony, now here is a surprise!

Finish: Medium to long with gentle smoke and creamy sherry.

Overall Impresison: Very, very unusual. The nose threatens to be a little off-putting with that dose of manure, but it doesn't translate to the palate which turns out to be a quite harmonious cocktail of sherry and peat. Unusual, unique and I like it.

Connemara sherry finish small batch No.1 is a whiskey I have tried before and thoroughly enjoyed so let's see if it's still as good.

The nose does indeed still exude soft and gentle Irish peatiness with hints of sherry. There's also something a little farmy in the background which isn't as prominent as the 'manure' which I detected last time. If anything I'm detecting something akin to cherries here today.

The palate retains that excellent harmony which is not often found in sherry-finished peated whisk(e)y. It's very balanced and very good too.

The Finish is now long with hints of peat-smoke and a dark fruitiness

Overall Impression: Yes, I still love it.

My thanks to 'PJ' for the sample

 

   
   

Connemara, Turf Mór, 58.2% ABV

Peatiest ever Irish Whiskey at over 50ppm, small batch Ed.2

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

Dram-atics live review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Extremely pale yellow, light straw

Nose: Immediate peat with hints of a rubber dinghy moored to an Atlantic jetty. After a minute or two some delightfully aromatic Alpine cheese appears too.

Palate: Rich, creamy and very smooth with a massive burst of gentle, but intense Irish peat which grabs the front of the palate before spreading to the sides in mouth-watering fashion.

With 4 drops of water: The nose has a little more depth and the palate has increased in intensity as it gathers a little (white) pepper alongside the peat.

With 4 more drops of water: The nose has gathered much more of the Atlantic sea air to accompany the peat, whereas the palate just goes on and on with intense peaty depth and a hint of liquorice.

With a final 4 drops of water: This just gains yet more intensity on both nose and palate.

Finish: Very long, almost everlasting as water is added.

Overall Impresison: This claims to be the peatiest Irish whiskey ever released, I believe the claim, it's peaty, intense and yet with a typically Irish gentleness. This is a truly excellent whiskey, gimme more!

 

   
   

Connemara, Turf Mór, 58.2% ABV

"Small Batch" Edition 2

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow gold

Nose: Oh goodness, I'm reminded of my old junior school gym shoes; known as plimsoles and quite rubbery. Maybe even a hint of brand new Michelin. EVentually log-fire wood-smoke which accrues quite some fruitiness. A hint of aromatic Alpine cheese too?

Palate: Smooth, very smooth with peat and red berries and just a hint of that rubberiness and Alpine cheese.

Finish: Long smooth peat.

Overall Impression: Wonderful, I really like this whiskey.

 

   

 

 

Greenore

Single grain whiskey

General whisky characteristics: Smooth, floral, delicate & complex

 

Greenore; the only privately owned port in Ireland - Photo reproduced with kind permission of "Michael Parry" via Wikimedia Creative Commons License

 

Greenore, single grain, 6y, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow gold

Nose: I
nitially offers slightly spirity butterscotch which soon expands to include hints of apricot. With time in the glass this develops a lightly perfumed (or perhaps floral?) character with more fruitiness too.

Palate: This has a slightly watery mouth-feel (40% abv?) and also offers that slightly spirity butterscotch alongside a faintly perfumed leafiness..

Finish: Medium

Overall impression: I was impressed with the 8y but I feel this is still a little too young, give it a few more years.

My thanks to 'PJ' for the sample and bottle picture

 

 

Greenore, single grain, 8y, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

Glass: Spiegelau

Nose: Soft, gentle, slightly malty peaches. Wonderfully creamy nose.

Palate: Very smooth, very gentle. A lovely creamy nuttiness on the palate, but slightly watery and it fades quite quickly. Only to come back again in the back of the throat with a flavour of hazelnuts and malt. I find it quite amazing that the nose has a distinct fruitiness which I identify mainly as peaches, but the palate has no trace of this at all. The flavour is more one of nuts and marzipan, with a slight hint of cognac in a very smooth gentle way.

Overall impression: A very good, distinctly gentle Irish whiskey. I really like this!

 

 
   

Greenore, single grain, 10y, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Spiegelau

Nose: Malty peaches but perhaps a little more intense here in the 10y. There's also a hint of earthiness here which was not in the 8y. Very perfumed and floral after some minutes.

Palate:
Rounded, full-bodied, creamy and complete. The grain is there, the nuttiness is not so prevalent, but the finish is still akin to a good, smooth cognac with a slight wine flavour in the aftertaste, but this is very pleasant and really quite long.

Finish: Long with initial traces of red wine, but after 2-3 minutes turning back to grain.

Overall Impression: Very good.

 

 
 

Summary of the Greenore Head to Head; 8y - 10y

I like the 8y, I love the 10y. The 10y is much more full-bodied and rounded. It is a more complete drink with a richer flavour and much longer finish. I immediately identify the 8y as an Irish dram, whereas the 10y could be from any one of various countries. It even slightly reminds me of the Milford from New Zealand, as well as quite a few Scottish drams. As I write these notes I have just poured the remainder of the 10y into my glass and as it rests and acclimatises, I find it opening into a more perfumed-style of whisky. Some floral elements are beginning to appear and even the nose is acquiring a slight, light Speyside style. Not spicy, but florally complex and in some ways like my older MiltonDuff Glenlivet.

Wendy, many thanks for the opportunity to try this otherwise unavailable dram. I did like the 8y, but this 10y has a complexity and depths that the 8y completely falls short of. Now I really wantr to get my hands on any even older versions of Greenore to see what further ageing gives to this spirit.

 

 
   

Greenore, single grain, 15y, 43% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

Dram-atics live review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light yellow (9ct) gold

Nose: Butterscotch and light toffee, very light creamy toffee. After a minute or two the nose develops some incredible floral, almost perfumed notes which include a hint of vanilla, various herbs and growing lavendar amidst heather blossom.

Palate:
Deliciously smooth and quite intense with well-oaked vanilla, herbs and a touch of that lavendar.

Finish: Long, slightly sweet and very intense to the point of expanding across the palate.

Overall Impression: I loved the 8y & 10y but this 15y moves into another dimension of flavours. Delightful!

 

   
 

 

Greenore, single grain, 18y, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light yellow (9ct) gold

Nose: Initially a little butterscotch, but this soon dispersed to leave more oaty polish, a little tropical fruit and even hints of banana.  After some minutes I'm beginning to think the fruit includes a little apricot, maybe honey too.

Palate: Aromatic, fruity, perfumed biscuit. This gave the impression of fading quickly, but then immediately expanded on the palate into a tingling slight butterscotch explosion which is pretty long-lasting. There really is a quite perfumed polished character to this which, make no mistake, is a good attribute here. In fact, after a while I try this again and find some quite distinct "butterscotch flavoured ice cream"!

Finish: After initially trying to deceive me into thinking it would be short, this turns into a rather long finish.

Overall Impression: There are a lot of good things happening with this whiskey and there's a definite progression detectable from 8y to 10y, then to 15y and now to 18y.

 

   
   

Greenore, single grain, 18y, 46% ABV

One of 4000 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow

Nose: Vanilla with hints of popcorn and slowly expanding to include very floral oak. In fact lots of flora (primroses?) then light butterscotch and creamy toffee.

Palate: Everything the nose promised and then more with oodles of flora and butterscotch.

Finish: Very long and concentrated right on the front of the palate.

Overall Impression: A truly excellent single grain whiskey.

 

   
 

 

Greenore, single grain, 19y, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: 21ct yellow gold

Nose:
Lots of fresh woodiness which turns more fruity as time passes. Yes, after some minutes this really does have a fruity woodiness, with the fruitiness being quite exotic. I'm thinking apricot, mango, papaya and Galia or Cantaloupe melon.

Palate:
This continues nicely from the nose with plenty of initial tingle and lightly peppery melon and papaya. Mmmm, melon served with just a little black pepper? This is big and bold, certainly not shy with lots of presence.

Finish: Long and exotically fruity

Overall impression: Yet another very different Greenore with lots of bold fruitiness alongise some fresh-woodiness, but somehow I can't help feeling there's just a little something missing? Maybe tha ttypical gentle grain-iness? But it's still very enjoyable and good whiskey.

My thanks to 'PJ' for the sample and bottle picture

 

   

 

 

Inishowen

Irish whiskey

General whisky characteristics: Light, fragrant, slightly peated

 

 
   

Inishowen, Blended, peated Irish whiskey, NAS, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

Dram-atics live review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow

Nose: Lightly fragrant with just a hint of Irish peat and smoke alongside an Atlantic beach.

Palate:
Smooth with an initially creamy mouth-feel, followed shortly afterwards by a slightly liquorice flavoured light peatiness.

Finish: Medium

Overall Impression: A slightly unusual whiskey, ligth and fragrant with only a suggestion of peat.

 

   

 

 

Locke's

Single malt whiskey

General whisky characteristics: Aromatic, lightly perfumed, smooth and typically Irish.

 
   

Photo reproduced with kind permission of "Whisky Lover" via Wikimedia Creative Commons License

 

 

Locke's, Single malt Irish whiskey, 8y, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

"Dram-atics" live review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light (yellow) gold

Nose: Slightly sweet, lightly perfumed liquorice. This also has the faintest hint of fresh rubber and slightly dusty roast beef.


Palate:
Initially smooth and creamy mouth-feel before aromatic malt, light butterscotch and a little aged oak spread pleasantly across the palate.

Finish: Medium to long and light with a little black pepper which fades quite soon.

Overall Impression: What an intriguing nose this has. The palate is smooth and typically Irish, but that nose is excellent. I like this whiskey, it's a good anytime one!

 

 

 

 

Tyrconnell

General whisky characteristics: Aro

Tyrconnell was previously owned by the Watt distillery dating back to 1762 and in 1876 the Watt family entered a chestnut colt named "The Tyrconnell" into the Irish classic race "The National Produce Stakes". Amazingly it won at 100-1 odds and inspired a commemorative "Tyrconnell" label showing the horse which remains in use even today.

 

 

The Tyrconnell, Single malt Irish whiskey, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

"Dram-atics" live review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light (yellow) gold

Nose: Malt, very slightly pungent or bitter. A brief reminder of my first school many years ago with a certain wax polish used on the old wooden floor of the school hall. A touch of melon too?

Palate: The first flavour I get on the palate is that melon, but this soon expands to include creamy malt. There's also very light toffee, but very faintly too as this isn't as rich (or as pungent) as the nose suggested. Slightly dry, bitter fruit?

Finish: Quite long with a slightly bitter, but still creamy, light toffee.

Overall Impression: Slightly dry and bitter although still creamy with a light toffee presence. A good bedtime whiskey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2009-2014 by Keith Wood - All rights reserved - Whisky-Emporium / Whisky-Emporium is not responsible for external website content