Friday, September 21, 2012

Michael Collins - Blind Tasting

I'm trying to play catch up here so bear with me.  As a reminder, I hosted a blind tasting of Irish Whiskey and the Michael Collins was selected due to its age.  Coming in at 10 years, I figured this would provide additional complexity to the whiskey even though it's bottled at 80 proof.

This is a Single Malt offering from Cooley that is distilled twice instead of thrice as many Irish selections tend to be.  Why is the number important?  For those that are curious, the more you distill, the more flavor is stripped from the distillate.  The Michael Collins is also an interesting selection as it's slightly peated.  I noticed the peat and smoke just a touch with the fruit profile playing a more dominate role overall in the whiskey.

From the website, Michael Collins is described as such:

"Robust and complex, with a subtle peatiness, Michael Collins 10 Year Old Single Malt is double distilled for proper balance of purity and character, then matured in small bourbon seasoned casks for a minimum of ten years.  Michael Collins 10 Year Old Single Malt has a slightly sweet nose that is rich and complex with hints of ripe fruit, meadow flowers and peat. Clean and smooth, the dry-to-medium finish has a lingering light smokiness that is made to savor."

The tasting panel liked this selection for the most part as the bell curve was above average.  It ranked as follows:

95-100 Classic Whiskey 0
90-94 Excellent Whiskey 1
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 1

Some comments from the panel starting with my own:

"The nose was bready and sweet with a hint of smoke and peat. Very inviting. The entry had sweet start that exhibited traces of orange peel, vanilla biscuit with a subtle smokey peaty finish. Nice deviation from a normal Irish (e.g. Bushmills, Jamesons)"

"Nose shows light smoke, reserved fruit and scotch like nuances. I suspect a bit more age as the nose reveals increased complexity. Less sweetness on the nose and a bit more alcohol. The palate reveals good depth of flavor, fruity sweetness, hints of smoke and nice balance. This is a much more interesting whisky and it exhibits good complexity… once again it is very scotch like. Good finish with a lingering smokiness."

"Lots of honey and fruits in this one. Very enjoyable, and definitely my favorite so far. I think this could handle some extra proof and become something outstanding. Well picked....."

 "A nice start with white grape juice and some malt notes but it dulls pretty quickly, getting flat and watery.  The finish isn't much, slightly malty."

"Initially sweet and delicate, this one seems to deliver some heat mid-palate; a little bit of dryness with vanilla, some of those pear notes and a nice lingering finish that seems to dry out as it goes along"

 This whiskey runs about $40 which in my opinion, is a fair price for this offering.  Michael Collins 10 year is not overly complex but delivers enough flavor and interest to make this a regular resident in the bunker.  This label also comes in a blended version that is not age stated.

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