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Cooley Distillery Whiskey Notes
By Jim ClarkeConnamara, Cooley Distillery on StarChefs

» Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey

The John Locke Distillery made Kilbeggan (Gaelic for “little church”) until they ceased production in the 1950’s. Cooley brought the brand back from the dead in 1994. Made from malted Irish barley and maize, it is aged in used sherry and bourbon casks at the old John Locke Distillery in the village of Kilbeggan. It is archetypically smooth, with light citrus notes, orange peel, pineapple, and a streak of vanilla over a base of sweet malt. The malt and oaky elements become more predominant in the mouth, and the latter elevates a dry finish.

» Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
The malted barley used in making this whiskey is dried over a peat fire, its smoke giving flavor characteristics that remind me of Islay Scotch. This is the only peated single malt Irish whiskey in the world, and makes for a unique balance between classic Irish smoothness and the flavors of smoke and peat. These aromas are primary on the nose, with some fruitiness, and in the mouth these come together with vanilla notes and honey. The peat takes over again alongside the honey on a muscular, long finish.

» Tyrconnell Single Malt Whiskey
Tyrconnell was an ancient Gaelic kingdom in the Northwest of Ireland after which Andrew A. Watt named his single malt whiskey. When in 1876 the Watt family entered a horse of the same name in a classic Irish derby and it won at 100 to 1 odds, they decided to celebrate with a commemorative Tyrconnell label, which the Cooley Distillery is using today. This whiskey shows aromas of baking spices, honey, and vanilla, met by lemon custard and tangerine as well as a rich maltiness in the mouth. Malt dominates the finish as the fruits recede.


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 Published: April 2004
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