Friday, July 27, 2012

Connemara Peated - Blind Tasting

When selecting whiskies for the Irish tasting, I purposely picked a peated expression in order to have a selection that deviated from the more standard Irish profile.  The Connemara is a peat monster; at least to my palate.  This particular expression is double distilled (rather than triple distilled) and aged in oak casks and bottled at 80 proof.  This selection is from Cooley distillery and they offer a couple expressions of Connemara with this one being their base offering.

To be honest, I couldn't even finish this whiskey.  I was just too nasty for my palate since I'm not a lover of high peat content and this one was over the top for me.  The tasting panel was pretty split on this whiskey.  A little more than half liked it and the rest agreed with me.  Here are how the numbers stacked up:

95-100 Classic Whiskey  0
90-94 Excellent Whiskey  0
85-89 Very Good, Above Average Whiskey  5
80-84 Average Whiskey  2
75-79 Fair Whiskey  0
74 and Under - Pass on This Whiskey  4

If you like Scotch, particularly those from Islay, you may find this Irish agreeable.  Here are some comments from the tasters:

"An unpleasant nose dominated by rubber, with a little smoke and malt in the background. Bitter on the palate."

"Peat tea with honey, well balanced sweet and peaty elements. A nice flavor profile but a bit weak tasting.  The peat is lighter on the finish but still very present."

"Beautifully complex - drinks nicer and smoother than the nose would suggest (didn't much care for this nose on an Irish whiskey), finish that goes on and on - great legs on the glass - just enough warmth on the sip to add to the complexity of the entire greatly with the sweet woody taste."

"A nice medium mouthfeel, this is pleasantly different than what I was expecting; there’s a sweet smokiness that follows the nose with a pleasantly drying smokey finish that lasts a while."

Bottle comes packaged in 750ml and is priced around $40.  If you like Irish Whiskey and you like Peat....knock yourself out.

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