Connemara draws inspiration from 18th-century techniques of drying malting barley over peat fires, a practice virtually extinct in Ireland by the turn of the 20th century. This Irish single malt is aged in ex-bourbon barrels and has won praise from those in the industry for their smoky, iodine lead whiskey.
Appearance: Light honey.
Nose: Smoked kippers and grassy, green apples.
Taste: Honey and sweet vanilla shortbread.
Finish: Floral notes give way to toasted oak and peat.
Overall: Smokey, floral whisky with bright, fresh fruit notes.
Don’t shy away from Connemara if peated scotch has never been your thing. The smokey aspect of Connemara is unique and nothing like the intensity of your Islay malts. The smoothness of Irish whiskey would make this an excellent choice for those wanting to ease their way into the world of peated whiskies.
If the person you’re buying for is a fan of the Connemara Original, you could also try Jura Superstition or Caol Ila 12.
Irish whiskey was once the most popular spirit in the world and has been massively on the rise in popularity in recent years. Ireland and Scotland both lay claim to being whisky’s original creator but it’s likely both nations developed a similar product at around the same time. The knowledge of distillation is commonly thought to have been brought to Ireland (and Scotland) by monks returning from the Mediterranean and the Middle East in around 1000AD.
ABOUT THE DISTILLERY
Cooley was converted from a potato alcohol plant in 1987 by John Teeling, father of the Jack and Stephen Teeling. Up until this point Irish Distillers had controlled all of the Irish whiskey output in Ireland. Not only historically significant, Cooley has been responsible for supplying much of the third party whiskey for new brands entering the burgeoning Irish Whiskey market. John Teeling began double, rather than triple distilling the whiskey at Cooley, providing a style more in line with Scottish malt production. Bought by Suntory Holdings in 2014, Cooley continues to have a big influence on the Irish whiskey sector, not least because Jack and Stephen have gone on to form Teeling Whiskey distillery in Dublin, John has also formed Great Northern Distillery in Dundalk.
ABOUT THE LIQUID
The only peated Irish whiskey on the market, Connemara 12 brings a bit more maturity to the range.
Water, Yeast, Peated Malt.