Cooley: Tyrconnell (Irish Single Malt Whiskey: No Age Statement: 40% ABV)

Visual: Light grain with an apple juice lilt.

Viscosity: Lots of thin fast streaks.

Nose: A mix of lighter notes and cream. A touch of alcohol fire, but very light. Apples, pears and grain fields.

Body: Apple. Cream. Smooth. There is awareness of alcohol but it doesn’t burn. A sugared crumble dessert dusting.

Finish: Vanilla and toffee. Maybe toffee apple since there is apple elements as well. Gingerbread. Chocolate malt drinks. Raisins.

Conclusion:  This is a very light and easy going whiskey. From the aroma on you can feel that the alcohol has been muted. It is present, but that whiskey burn is never really present even if you take your time savouring the spirit. Because of this I didn’t add water to this one.  The delicate texture of the body felt like it would be dashed by the introduction of even a small amount of water.

The texture is delicate, and borders on being considered thin initially. This actually isn’t as harmful as you would imagine as the flavours it plays with are light and fruity.  A heavier whiskey would run roughshod over these delicate flavours.  My fellow taster noted a slight peppery touch that I had not. A bit of examination suggest that this may be a subtle intrusion of the alcohol into the apple sweetness. This extra touch gives a light edge to demarcate the boundaries of the flavours.

It is a whiskey that takes a while to open up. Maybe it is me being accustomed to the heavier styles but it took until the latter half of the whiskey before the flavour built up enough to notice the subtle extra touches like gingerbread. This helped round it out, again without becoming overbearing.

The style here is more careful that even the lowland Scottish whisky style. I make the comparison as I am more accustomed to the Scottish range, but from my experience with Irish whiskey this is light and smooth by their standards as well. It is very easy to get into but builds up nicely giving a few extra layers over time, especially in the finish.

I wouldn’t call it a favourite yet, the early thinner texture is not bad, but not quite to my preferences. However it is a very delicate and yet enjoyable drink. One to open the night with, or to open up the concept of whiskey to people who would be put off by a harsher introduction.  Aside from that fun digression from the heavier styles. Not bad at all.

Background: According to the ever reliable Wikipedia, most Tyrconnell casks are bottled at 15 years of age. By the way that bit about Wiki being reliable was sarcasm. It can be hard to get that across in print. Drunk at the tasting rooms, I decided to go with this one as I have been aware that I have not really been showing much attention to the added e form of whiskey and so thought I would remedy that. Apparently (i.e. Wiki  again told me this) this whiskey was named after a racehorse – since there is a picture of a horse on the bottle, who knows, that may even be true.