This Peated malt whiskey comes from the Cooley distilleries, and if you know them well, they are the exception- distilling their wash not more than twice, fearing the 3rd distillation might restrict the spirit’s flavour profile. There are a few references indicating its contents range between four and eight years, but I can’t really say this might be the case as I wasn’t able to validate it.
The whisky isn’t as peaty as some of the Islay bohemaths but clocks fairly decent numbers at 13-15 ppm, more so than some highland greats. Considering its relatively young age there is certainly some caramel colouring and the lower ABV suggests chill filtration as well.
Eye : Pale gold
Nose : Vanilla and barley with an earthy, mildly briney hit that is soon greeted by scented floral notes, cantaloupe and green pepper.
Taste : The sweetness of vanilla is accompanied by moist leather, peat and oak with subtle hints of berries, melons and grapes. Quite warm on the palate with a tinge of spice.
Finish : Short; Mild warmth, the sweetness of tropical fruits and a hint of spice.
The Connemara is largely one dimensional with a very restrained depth. The palate however is a lovely melancholy of floral notes and melons with a whiff of smoke which ties it up nicely – thanks to the ex bourbon maturation. The whiskey isn’t overly sweet and the mild peat provides a good balance.
It does however lack punch, feeling watered down and too delicate. I would have preferred it to be bottled at higher proofs providing for those stronger flavours, and the lack of it didn’t really make me feel it stood out of the crowd.
Preference : Neat, with a few rocks tossed in, or as an ingredient in a not so aggresive cocktail.