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“Because you can't buy happiness... but you can buy whisky and that's pretty much the same thing”

Ireland whiskies, celebrating St. Patrick's day

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Cooley , Jameson , Tullamore Dew , Knappogue Castle , The Irishman , Midleton

Happy St. Patrick day!

What? Not today? Damn! Hell, anyway… like if we need an excuse to have a good whiskey!.
You know St. Patrick, the holy patron of Ireland, the one that drove the snakes out of the island, the one that brought Christianity on Ireland and …

Enough writing. Let’s drink. As an old Irish saying says, “God invented whiskey so the Irish wouldn’t rule the world!”

As my contribution to the Irish whiskey let’s do a whiskey walk around Ireland. And as Sjoerd has told me several times I better state it right here and now: I love Single Pot Still Irish whiskey ( I just can’t stand their cheap blends ).

The Whiskeys

In no particular order…

Well, no, really I tasted it from what I though it was lighter to stronger.

Old Bushmills Distillery

Heavily renewed after Diageo take-over in 2005, Bushmills tries to chanllenge the global leading position of Jameson in the sales list of Irish whiskey. They use unpeated malt for their whiskies and triple distillation. I love their 16 years old whiskey.

Bushmills Black Bush

“Very Irish with some notes of cocoa but nothing close to a sherried scotch... Time for a A'bunadh!”

83
Bushmills Black Bush
Black Bush Special Irish Whiskey is a rich, dark, 80-proof blend from the world's oldest licensed distillery, "Old Bushmills" distillery in County Antrim, Ireland.
It is comprised almost entirely of single malt whiskey, making it a choice selection of deluxe whiskey aficionados.

Malt whiskey that becomes Black Bush is aged up to eleven years in selection sherry-seasoned oak casks before being blended with a small portion of a special single grain whiskey to enhance the independant, non-conformist character of the malt. The malt used in the mash derives its clean taste from the deliberate absence of peat used in the malted barley drying process.

All of the Irish whiskey distilleries kiln-dry their malt in a heat-fired, not peat-fired, oven. This drying process lets the clean, clear taste of the malt and barley shine through. The combination is then returned to the cask for "marrying." As the whiskeys mellow together, the uniquely rounded bouquet, rich amber hue and distinctive taste of Black Bush is born.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (83): average. honey, citrus, floral, cocoa, malt.

Palate (84): light, smooth. honey, citrus, wood, cocoa, floral, vanilla.

Finish (82): average. honey, vanilla, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bushmills Black Bush with 83 points over 100.

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Bushmills 10 years old Single Malt

“The nose is a bit light on a whisky that is called Black but the rest makes a really nice whisky. You could find me drinking this stuff”

84
Bushmills Malt 10 year
A product of the world's oldest licensed distillery. Bushmills single malt Irish Whiskey is the original single malt whiskey from Ireland. With an intriguing aroma and well-balanced flavour, Bushmills Malt is a delightfully delicate malt and uncomplicated whiskey crafted from 100% malted barley. Its style is mellow and light, and a time tested drying process assures that the taste of the malt shines through.

All the malt used in the mash is dried in closed kilns devoid of peat, preventing it from absorbing the fire's smokiness while retaining the malt's distinctive, authentic character and exceptionally clean taste. Bushmills Malt has a sweet spicy aroma with overtones of Oloroso sherry, vanilla and honey.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (81): more than average. honey, citrus, floral, meat, pepper.

Palate (86): powerful. honey, citrus, floral, vanilla, pears, nuts.

Finish (85): average. honey, citrus, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bushmills Malt 10 year with 84 points over 100.

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Bushmills 16 years old

“Superb Irish whiskey! Deliciously floral”

90
Bushmills 16 Year Old / 3 Wood Irish Single Malt Whiskey
Matured in three different types of cask, each of which contributes extra nuances to what is destined to become a classic Irish malt. Perfect as an after-dinner dram.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, some floral, citrus, vanilla, custard. Powerfully Irish!

Palate (90): powerful, oily. floral, honey, vanilla, citrus, liquorice, anise, plums. Deliciously floral whisky.

Finish (90): longer than average. floral, citrus, anise, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bushmills 16 Year Old / 3 Wood Irish Single Malt Whiskey with 90 points over 100.

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Cooley Distillery

The last of the truly independent Irish distilleries. It fall on the hands of Beam Global barely a year ago. I discovered that Irish can also do great whiskeys after tasting stuff from Cooley. I am particularly fond of Connemara.

Connemara Single Peated Malt Whiskey

“Very nice irish whiskey, soft fruity peat at its highest splendor”

87
Connemara
Connemara produce a peated Irish single malt, named for the area in Ireland.

Distilled at Cooley distillery in Cork, Ireland. The last of the independent irish distilleries before it was bought by Beam Global.

Connemara is a peated whisky, not in the style of Islay peat monsters but more like the Japanese Hakushu. Smoky and slightly peated with an awesome amount of fruits. It won't disappoint you.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (86): more than average. peat, fruits, floral, citrus, bananas. Peated but overall this irish whiskey smells very fruity.

Palate (87): powerful. peat, spices, coffee, fruity, banana. Lightly spiced peat.

Finish (87): longer than average. peat, honey, wood .

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Connemara with 87 points over 100.

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Kilbeggan

“Nice light irish whiskey with lots of floral notes.”

82
Kilbeggan
Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey first appeared as a John Locke's brand over 100 years ago and was sold successfully until Locke's distillery ceased production in the 1950's.

Locke's distillery is the oldest continuously licensed whiskey distillery in the world dating back to 1757.

This whiskey is now distilled by Cooley who recently released a version of this whiskey distilled at the Kilbeggan distillery.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (79): average. honey, vanilla, floral, mint, toffee.

Palate (85): light, smooth. honey, malt, wood, pears, spices, floral.

Finish (83): average. peat, floral, honey, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Kilbeggan with 82 points over 100.

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Tyrconnell

“The nose is very promising, but taste is quite dry and herbal. Nice, but not my kind of whiskey.”

84
Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey
The Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish whiskey is characterised by its elegant and balanced taste profile.

It retains the smooth, sweet taste normally associated with Irish whiskey but with its own distinctive character. The result is Tyrconnell's beautiful fresh, malty, fruity bouquet, smooth sweet taste and delicate dry finish.

One of the most celebrated Irish whiskeys ever produced winning a gold medal at the Great Taste Awards in 2009 , gold medal & best in class at the IWSC 2009.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (84): more than average. honey, vanilla, fruits, raisins, biscuits, cinnamon.

Palate (85): light, smooth. honey, floral, herbal, green pears, spices.

Finish (83): longer than average. floral, wood, honey.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey with 84 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Greenore 8 years old

“What smells like bourbon and tastes like irish whiskey? Right! Greenore and I love it.”

86
Greenore 8 year
Greenore Single Grain is a truly unique whiskey as it is the only expression of Irish Single Grain whiskey in the world.

Single Grain whiskeys are very rare as most grain whiskey is normally mixed with Malt whiskeys to make Blended whiskey. Grain whiskey is made from maize/corn and provides a lot of the smoothness people associate with Irish whiskey.

Think of this whiskey as the nose of a bourbon and the taste of irish whiskey. Right! Just delicious.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (86): more than average. corn, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, banana, wood. Nice grain whiskey. It is very bourbon-like.

Palate (87): light, smooth. honey, corn, vanilla, wood, floral, cinnamon, apples. Now the bourbon character dilutes into a nice Irish whiskey.

Finish (86): longer than average. honey, vanilla, corn, floral, banana.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Greenore 8 year with 86 points over 100.

Midleton Distillery

The giant of Irish whiskey and producer of either mean booze or truly expensive whiskeys… until they relaunched their Single Pot Still Whiskeys last year. Their renewed line of whiskies are wisely priced ( read it as it isn’t as mad priced as many Scotch releases nowadays ) and has a great quality.

Jameson

“Quite light whiskey, and it is a pity because the palate is, although light, quite interesting”

80
Jameson
Jameson is carefully distilled 3 times from the finest barley and crystal clear water and matured for long years in oak casks to produce an exceptionally smooth whiskey.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (79): average. honey, vanilla, citrus, cocoa. Quite light

Palate (82): smooth, powerful. honey, sherry, corn, vanilla, spices, pepper.

Finish (80): short. honey, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Jameson with 80 points over 100.

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Powers Gold Label

“Not as bad as I remembered... but heck! Where is the nose of this whiskey?”

77
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey Blended Irish Whiskey
The best-selling whiskey in the Republic of Ireland, Power's has a spicy potstill character and is aged between 5 and 6 years in Bourbon casks.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (72): average. alcohol, honey, citrus, vanilla.

Palate (80): light, smooth. honey, floral, citrus, mango, wood, toffee.

Finish (78): average. honey, floral, wood.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey Blended Irish Whiskey with 77 points over 100.

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Paddy

“Maybe my sample is spoiled maybe it is as mean as it appears. Quite light with lots of alcohol... much like flavoured vodka”

75
Paddy
Paddy Old Irish Whiskey has been produced since 1779 by the Cork Distillers Company, Paddy owes its name to a well known company salesman, Paddy Flaherty, who spread the reputation of this remarkable whiskey well beyond the coasts of Ireland. The triple distillation process of this particularly smooth whiskey uses only the finest barley and the purest water from Ireland's lush countryside. Long years spent maturing in Oak Casks gives Paddy its final incomparable flavour. Enjoy it straight, on the rocks or with a mixer.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (74): average. alcohol, floral, citrus, honey, pinneapples. Maybe spoiled miniature?

Palate (76): light, smooth. honey, floral, sherry, citrus, wood.

Finish (75): short. honey, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Paddy with 75 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy

“Great whiskey! Althought it is a NAS ( non age statement) instead of a 20 years old whisky like the old Midleton this Irish beauty exudes character and age on the glass”

91
Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy
70cl / 46% - A new release by Irish Distillers as part of the relaunched range of pot still whiskies. The Barry Crockett Legacy is named for the Midleton master distiller and combines bourbon cask matured whisky with some from a new american oak barrel. A great new entry into the Midleton line-up which has been showered with awards since it first appeared on the horizon.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. vanilla, corn, citrus, floral, spices, cinnamon, wood.

Palate (91): powerful, oily. corn, vanilla, citrus, floral, spices, pepper, cinnamon, fruits.

Finish (91): longer than average. corn, oranges, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy with 91 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Powers 12 years old Johns Lane release

“Greatly and possitively surprised. After tasting the original Powers Blended whiskey, this one is such a step forward that I wouldn't ever link both bottles to the same source. Amazing value whiskey”

90
Powers Gold Label 12 Year Old - Special Reserve
70cl / 40% - An aged version of this classic Irish blend made by the Midleton distillery (home of Jameson)."I love the pot still character of Powers, and the 12 year old expression is quite stunning." John Hansell, Malt Advocate Magazine.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. honey, nuts, oloroso, leather, citrus, floral, vanilla, banana.

Palate (91): powerful, oily. honey, corn, spices, nuts, leather, wood, vanilla. Really impressive whiskey.

Finish (89): average. wood, honey, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Powers Gold Label 12 Year Old - Special Reserve with 90 points over 100.

Redbreast 12 years old

“Although we have been told this whiskey has been aged in Oloroso casks, Redbreast has a bourbon-ish character with notes of nuttiness and white chocolate. Quite quite interesting”

89
Redbreast 12 year
Redbreast is a beautifully balanced pure pot still Irish Whiskey, with a warm, generous texture, rich, sweet flavours and a spicy kick. In the view of many connoisseurs, the finest Irish whiskey available.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. corn, vanilla, citrus, pears, nuts.

Palate (90): smooth, powerful. honey, corn, vanilla, spices, custard, nuts, white chocolate.

Finish (89): longer than average. honey, vanilla, white chocolate.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Redbreast 12 year with 89 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Green Spot

“Delicious! Lots of toffee on this not-so-green Spot. I remember this one as a perfect example of Irish whiskey but now that I am tasting again it is completely different”

89
Green Spot Single Pot Still
An impressive revamp in the packaging for historic single pot still Irish whiskey Green Spot, which is no longer only available in Dublin grocer Mitchell's and will surely benefit from the increased marketing muscle lavished on it by owners Irish distillers.

A cult whiskey.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. toffee, vanilla, citrus, spices, floral.

Palate (90): light, powerful. toffee, corn, vanilla, spices, fudge, citrus, floral.

Finish (88): average. toffee, citrus, corn.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Green Spot Single Pot Still with 89 points over 100.

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Yellow Spot

“Very nice Irish whiskey. Extremely sweet with all the lovely character Irish pot still whiskey has”

90
Yellow Spot
This Pure Pot Still Whiskey is the second entry into the 'Spot' range, aged for 12 years and made up in part from spirit matured in Malaga casks for a more sweet dram.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, floral, sweet frutis, raisins.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. honey, grass, sweet, raisins, cocoa, citrus.

Finish (90): longer than average. honey, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Yellow Spot with 90 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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The independent

They buy whiskey from Midleton and blend and bottle themselves.

Knappogue Castle 1994

“Nose is delightful and promising but the short finish really spoils what could be a great dram. Good whiskey nonetheless”

87
Knappogue Castle 1994
There’s a new Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey hitting the shelves. This one is a 1994 vintage and it’s limited to 1,000 individually numbered, hand-signed bottles.
TODO: Check if strength is 40% or 48%

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, floral, fruits, pears, pinneapples, spices. Quite nice nose. Light but delicious.

Palate (87): light, smooth. honey, citrus, floral, toffee, vanilla, spices.

Finish (86): average. citrus, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Knappogue Castle 1994 with 87 points over 100.

Tullamore Dew

“Not bad but a bit on the cheap side of the life... Do yourself a favor and get something that tastes less of alcohol”

80
Tullamore Dew Blend
Tullamore Dew is the original blend known the world over for its smooth and gentle flavour. This mild blended whiskey has spicy, lemony and malty notes with charred wood undertones giving a soft, buttery, rounded flavour that lingers in the mouth.

Tullamore Dew is also widely acclaimed by whiskey connoisseurs; in 2005, it won a much-prized trophy at the International Spirits Challenge, the highest accolade in the drinks industry. The trophy was one of only four awarded to over 700 drinks products entered by companies all over the world.
TODO: Check if size is 70cl or 100cl
TODO: Check if strength is 40% or 43%

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (78): average. honey, floral, citrus, alcohol, vanilla.

Palate (82): light, smooth. honey, citrus, sherry, pears, cinnamon.

Finish (81): average. citrus, honey, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Tullamore Dew Blend with 80 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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The Irishman

“Last time I tasted this whiskey I was quite impressed... now I just content to it”

85
The Irishman Single Malt
A great Single Malt Whiskey, matured over a decade a personally selected by Bernard Walsh. Each batch is limited in availability to 100 cases. Distilled from the finest Malt Barley and blessed by the Waters of 'St Columb's Rill'. The Irishman Single Malt is matured in Bourbon and Sherry Casks, Bourbon to mellow the whiskey and Sherry to add a hint of sweetness.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (83): average. honey, wood, citrus.

Palate (86): light, smooth. honey, citrus, floral, spices, vanilla, cream.

Finish (85): average. honey, citrus, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this The Irishman Single Malt with 85 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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The Wild Geese

“A nice blended whiskey with a very interesting touch of toffee and sherry. Quite enjoyable”

87
The Wild Geese Classic
50cl / 40%

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (86): average. honey, citrus, toffee, floral, vanilla.

Palate (88): light, smooth. honey, wood, fruits, citrus, sherry, spices, cinnamon. Not bad, not bad at all

Finish (87): longer than average. citrus, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this The Wild Geese Classic with 87 points over 100.

To know more

If you are interested in knowing more about Irish whiskey you can have a look to this brief ebook about Irish whiskey, either in Amazon. ( To celebrate St. Patrick day it is free from March, 12th to March, 17sup>th).

Miguel says…

If you are a casual drinker of Jameson or Powers, just take a minute, save a few bucks and spend them on a serious whiskey like Jameson 12 years old ( or 18 if you have the money!) or the Powers 12 years old. You will toast from that day as Irish do:

Health and a long life to you.
Land without rent to you.
A child every year to you.
And if you can’t go to heaven,
May you at least die in Ireland

I can’t quit writing without sharing this amazing photo of Chicago. That’s the proper way!

And this one of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland

Yep! I do love this stuff. I am back now to celebrations!
Slainté!



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