Friends! As you know I am a bit of a big fan of Connemara (Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey)! Some people even call me a Connemara Ambassador J So today, a big moment for me has come!
In October 2009, what is now known as Kilbeggan Distilling Co. (and back then as Cooley Distillery), released an 8yo Connemara for Sweden only. It had been matured in firstfill bourbon casks and was limited to 9000 bottles. The thing is that this bottling was actually released before their first ’Small Batch’ release (the Connemara sherry finish) consisting of 20.000 bottles worldwide, so this release for Sweden was a truly once-off small batch in the true sence of the concept. Now, back in those days I tried this expression a lot but I never did any tasting note of it, so I’m very happy to do that now!
My friend Magnus was very kind to sell me an unopened bottle of this beauty which I was planning to open in order to finally do a tasting note, but then, even more recently a new found friend, Mikael, sold me a sample, and that sample arrived in the mail-box TODAY! J Sooo, let’s try!
Aaah! Soo soft and creamy on the nose, mixed with a ”green” kind of mellow peat. Beneath that layer we have a mixture of different exotic fruits, mostly in focus though is freshly opened, almost overripe, passion fruit. On the fruity side the citric-winter-apple influences are most evident of all. Now this is precisely what I love so much about Connemara, the green almost forrest-y moss-y peat mixed with the fruity-ness… Absolutely beautiful… Now that I think about it the creamy thing in the first layer could also of course be explained as vanilla, or vanilla infused whipped cream or something dreamy like that J There is also a touch of marzipan or lightly roasted almondflakes, but this is very faint and quite far away. Okey, let’s have a taste!
Mmm, nice… not at all how I remebered the palate from when I tried it (but that was years ago so no wonder)… Now on the palate, all of that excotic stuff and the apples are not as evident. There’s rather more focus on the vanilla cream, a soft but highly present peaty-ness and then what I almost always find in different Connemaras, the cacao or almost milk chocolate. You can barely notice the 46% ABV, I mean you do feel it as more than 40 but I think of it as more like 43, for me meaning that there is balance here… Actually, a thing that I have never thougth about in Connemara comes to mind, there is a very very tiny slight Cognac-ness in there, at least in this 8yo, something from the fruityness in these bourbon casks and the vanilla. Or is it the forest/moss elements that make me think of Cognac? Sort of Grönstedts ’VSOP Monopol’ (the Blue one)? Well, I don’t know but I really do like it.