And here is yet another Cooley Whiskey with another brand name. I started with The Tyrconnell Single Malt which was acquired Cooley in 1988. Tyrconnell was mothballed already in 1925. The second Cooley Whiskey was Kilbeggan, a Blended Whiskey and here is the third one: Connemara. Connemara is the brand used by Cooley, for their peated double distilled Single Malt Whiskey. There is a fourth one and that is Greenore, a Single Grain Whiskey made from corn exclusively.
Cooley Distillery is located on the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth and it was converted in 1987 from an older potato alcohol plant into a two column still distillery by John Teeling. In 2012 Beam Inc. acquired Cooley for €71 million.However, Beam itself was taken over by Suntory Holdings in 2014 to form Beam Suntory.
Color: White wine
Nose: Lightly peated, and lightly woody. Elegant, as long as a Whisk(e)y can be called elegant. Very light and young otherwise. Soft citrus fruits, lemon sherbet. No barley or hay, but there is some lemongrass. Very clean and a little bit meaty. Dirty wood smoke, like from a fire that was not only from (wet) logs. A type of peaty Whiskey that needs a copious dinner to go with it. Nice and interesting.
Taste: Yeah, lemon sherbet again and light peat ánd smoke. Fatty and sweet and very tasty. Even though this is very high in Alcohol at 57.9% ABV, it is not extremely hot. Its creamy, with Madagascar Vanilla, not so much vanilla ice-cream, just chew on a tiny portion of the dried bean. The peat makes this Whiskey chewy and the some even trickles through into the taste. So its prickly but not hot. Excellent stuff full of upfront aroma’s.
Sure it’s young, and yes it may be overly complex. But it is well made and very tasty and dirt cheap to boot. I already had one of these before, when it was fairly new and came in a tall green glass bottle. It was more than ten years ago, and it was young and clean back then too but I still was very impressed by it. This time there seem to be more dirty food notes into the Connemara, which makes it less clean, but what remained is that I’m still impressed by this Whiskey. Definitely a contender for the Cask Strength Bang-for-your-buck award (If I would have one). I have to get me some of this again. I only hope now Jack Teeling sold Cooley the new owners continue to make this Connemara as excellent as it ever was.