Connemara Original

Les Lacs du Connemara

2015-04-18 10.58.52A barren plain of rocks earmarked by the raging winds of the Atlantic, an eerie no-man’s-land of moors, bogs and shimmering blue lakes. How the hell did the East-Irish distiller Cooley think they could capture the essence of the land using nothing but Scottish peat? 

When trying Connemara (the 12yo) for the first time, in an Irish pub in the town of Roundstone (heartland of the Connemara), I feared it might have the same flaws of some of its Scottish Highland cousins that received the peated treatment.

But admittedly they managed to create an original whiskey that is in harmony with the landscape.

Let’s see if the entry level is just as good.

connemaraDescription: entry level whiskey of Cooley, peated at 10-20 ppm, bottled at 40% ABV.

Nose: a dusty nose of cardboard and coal smoke on the forefront. In the rear a dash of milk, the aroma of mandarin peel and a whiff of vanilla lingering about.

Mouth: little evidence of peat if you ask me. The palate mainly consists of concentrated orange juice spiced up with white pepper and ginger.

Finish: medium long with a lingering tingling of pepper.

The Verdict: you know what, I’m going to give this one a thumbs up. It’s not something that will satisfy the needs of a peat lover, but is an original dram. That being said, it suffers a bit from the low alcohol content, I would love to try this at cask strength.

Score: 78

Nose: 20

Taste: 20
Finish: 18 Balance: 20
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house