Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Greenore 8 year single grain - blind tasting

This is the first in a series of posts I'll be doing on Irish Whiskey. My fellow enthusiasts primarily indulge in all things bourbon or rye. In an effort to broaden their whiskey tasting experience, I volunteered to host a virtual Irish tasting that encompasses 8 different selections. My picks span a broad range of Irish expressions (as much as I could with only 8 selections) in order to give the tasters a good experience.

All these tastings are conducted double blind. So there's no confusion, that means each participant receives 8 bottles simply labeled with a number; they know it's Irish but that's it.

The tasting panel spans drinkers who are hardcore bourbon and rye drinkers and those that dabble or delve into other whiskeys like Scotch or Irish.

Greenore comes from Cooley distillery and is the only single grain Irish Whiskey in production. BTI scored this one a 91-Exceptional. Additionally, this whiskey won a double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2008/2009 coupled with a best in class & gold medal at the 2009 IWSC. I chose this one due to the fact it was single grain and age stated.

Here's how the group rated this particular whiskey

95-100 Classic Whiskey 0
90-94 Excellent Whiskey 1
85-89 Very Good, Above Average Whiskey 1
80-84 Average Whiskey 4
75-79 Fair Whiskey 2
74 and Under - Pass on This Whiskey 1

Some comments from the panel:

"Very little flavor overall and would be a good drink for a non drinker. Taste like water."

"Does not really fit the profile I had of an Irish whiskey; I might had thought I was sampling a Canadian whiskey."

"Soft and creamy mouth feel but does not coat the palate. Tons of sweet fruit. Beautiful flavor that transitions very well front to back."

"This is my first go at Irish so I have no idea what this is but I wouldn't kick it off the bar."

"Clean and bright. Good flavor on entry that exhibits nut, fruit and a touch of citrus and honey"

The whiskey is available in most retail that carry a broad base of whiskies. Comes in 750ml bottle and runs about $45. For those that like bruiser pours, this one isn't it. If you can appreciate a finer more delicate dram, this one may please.


  1. Thanks for doing a blind tasting and posting tasting impressions of Greenore 8. I've been very curious. Cooley is doing interesting things these days with Connemara's peated offerings and Tyrconnel's secondary fill wood finished offerings. I haven't tried them - but am quite curious and have heard good things.

    I'm a fan of several Irish whiskeys (Midleton,Redbreast 12, Bushmills 16, Bushmills 1608, Jameson 18) - but find many too simple and sweet (Bushmills 10, Erin Go Bragh, regular Jamesons and Bushmills). I need some wood and some complication (that's true for my whiskey tastes in general). I suspect that Greenore 8 will be too sweet and simple for me - and that's very useful information. Don't stop trying Irish whiskeys though - there are lot out there including some with much more complex flavor profiles.

  2. Josh - thanks for the feedback. I agree that Cooley is doing some interesting things and look forward to new products as they are released. I've had the Connemara and it's too peaty for me. The Tyrconnel second fill are very good; I've had all three.

    I'm a fan of the same expressions you listed and would add Bushmills 21 year and Green Spot. I'll be picking up the Cask Redbreast this weekend in Boston while attending the Go Whiskey Weekened and look forward to tasting that. I'll post impressions after I return home.

    Stay tuned....more to come.