Archive for the ‘Cooley’ Category

Hyde No1 ‘Presidents Cask’ 10 year old 46%

Cooley bottled by Hibernia Distillers/ First Fill Bourbon finished in first fill Oloroso

Tasted: Sept 2015

A soft nose of herbal accented barley, honey, toffee, banana, malt and a touch of sherried dried fruit, however it’s the American oak which comes through quite strongly. Late hints of chocolate and spice.

The palate opens with the winey, dried fruit, followed by creamy vanilla and hints of malt, barley and apricot. It fills out well on the middle with some gentle bittering spices. Long, citric and slightly chocolaty finish with an almost salty twang and a very herbal after-taste.

Hyde No2 ‘Presidents Cask’ 10 year old Rum Cask Finish 46%

Tasted: Mar 2016

Nose: What on earth is going on here? It smells oily and petrolly just like Riesling?! Quite herbal and youthful with tart lime, apple and pear notes. Now. That’s an unusual nose!

Palate: Full and oily with sweet, lightly oxidised apple, pear and white fruit liberally coated in honey and infused with petrol. It tastes like a late harvested Alsatian Riesling. Amazingly well balanced and fresh.

Finish: A little short with lingering herbs, oat cakes and petrol.

Conclusion: I don’t think I’ve tasted a whisky quite like it. Has it been finished in an ex-Riesling cask that was still half full of wine? By the way, I love Riesling!

Hyde No3 ‘The Aras Cask’ 6 year old 46%

Irish Single Grain Bourbon Matured

Tasted: Apr 2016

Nose: Opens with plenty of toasty oak, vanilla and natural caramel, followed by sun dried grape, sultana and hints of red berries. A light herbal graininess adds freshness and with time hints of spice appear.

Palate: Quite heavy on the soft, butter toffee oak with a good combination of grainy dried fruit and winey red fruit. Some gentle, bitter spices on the middle but the refreshing, herbal graininess adds balance.

Finish: Good length. Intense and wonderfully vibrant. A little austere possibly with lingering grain and red fruits.

Conclusion: A vatted grain? It certainly exhibits youth and maturity and possibly wine finished? Either way it’s very enjoyable.

Hyde No4 ‘Presidents Cask’ NAS Rum Cask Finish 46%

Tasted: Dec 2016

A youthful but pleasantly barley’d nose. A thread of citrus balances the rum cask sweetness and with time a touch of apricot, grass, banana and spice appear.

The palate opens with an instant Caribbean sweetness, but the sharp citrus notes balance. Hints of barley, apricot and banana follow. Pleasantly full and subtly spiced on the middle. Long and extremely spicy with lingering sweet fruit and a touch of coffee.

Hyde No5 ‘The Aras Cask’ Burgundy Cask Finish 46%

Irish Single Grain

Tasted: Oct 2016

Nose: Very crisp and grainy with herbal spices and oily, vanilla coated dried fruit. Even the subtle smoke notes have a herbal demeanour.

Palate: Showing more of the oily dried fruit along with the herbal spiciness. A little simpler but still very herbal and very grainy with a touch of milky vanilla oak.

Finish: A bit oak aged vodka-like

Conclusion: Pleasantly intense, although it sort of runs out of steam towards the end.


Ian Macleod Magilligan Cooley Irish Whiskey 1991 (11 year old) 46%

Sherry Wood Finish/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2002/ Tasted: Apr 2004

A lovely, soft, creamy, sweetly fruited nose. Plenty of vanilla oil, soft, grassy notes and a slight touch of sherry. Smooth and complex on the palate. The vanilla oak gives way to a mouthful of delicately sherried fruit. Lovely length with a serious spicy character


Dewar Rattray Cooley 1992 (15 year old) 58.9%

Bourbon Cask 329/ Dist: Jan 1992 Btl: Sept 2007/ Tasted: Oct 2007

Right nose in glass. Hang on this is Laddie! No, definitely says Cooley on the bottle. This has real depth and no shortage of coastaly rich honied apple, apricot, soft creamy vanilla oak and gorgeous spices. The balance is sublime.

Soft and juicy on the palate. Again if I didn’t know better I would swear it was Laddie. This is so good, loads of oily coastal apricot and stewed apple fruit splashed with a sensuous spicy vanilla oak, sprinkled liberally with cinnamon!

A splash of water and my this is delicious. The oak is so creamy it’s untrue and the spices are just heavenly. Yes it’s expensive, but as they say on the telly ‘You are worth it!’

Dewar Rattray Cooley 1999 (10 year old) 59.3%

Bourbon Cask 881/ Dist: 1999 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: July 2009

Very perfumed aromas of Sauvignon blanc-esque white fruits, bubblegum, pink grapefruit, light spices and marc like rose petal notes. Over time it becomes increasingly candied and verges on sickliness.

The palate is soft and full of citrus and yellow fruits with earthy spice and a whole lot of alcohol. That candied sweetness is evident on the middle along with some rose petal marc. In a way that candied character reminds me of the sherry casked Penderyn. The finish has an icing sugar/ sherbert quality.

A drop of water really mutes the spirit and unfortunately there’s no escaping that overt candy-ness. Personally I feel that it lacks the grassy/ citrus depth to balance out the sweetness.

Dewar Rattray Cooley 2000 (10 year old) 46% – Sample at 58.8%

Bourbon Cask 3240/ Dist: 2000 Btl: Aug 2011/ Tasted: Aug 2011

A soft citrus infused nose. Slightly floral and grassy with plenty of subservient vanilla oak. Superb depth of soft fruit with the oak giving it a lovely sheen and a late spice note.

The palate is very much like the nose with the soft grassy, citrus fruit supported by the oak. Slightly floral when the alcohol passes, and finishing with the grass and herbal notes.

With water (an approximation of what it will be like at 46%) the nose becomes even softer. Very elegant now with juicy apricot and citrus fruit again supported by the oak. The palate is very expressive now, quite full bodied with a slight oily sheen to the apricot and citrus. Lovely lemony length with hints of barley and spice in the finish. Extremely good.


Cadenheads Cooley Tasting Notes

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Cooley, Irish Whiskey

Cadenheads Peated Cooley 13 year old 60.2%

Bourbon/ Tasted: May 2009

Intense, youthful, briny and rubbery aromas with hints of bog myrtle and fish. Very heavily peated. It could almost be a young Laphraoig. The palate is dry and completely overwhelmed by the peat and alcohol. With water the nose becomes even younger with cereal, shortcake biscuit notes coming to the fore. That sense of immaturity is echoed on the palate. Yes there is a bit of rich apricot fruit and some oils but it’s a one trick peat-pony and the alcohol is still far too overpowering.

Clontarf Single Malt 40%

Tasted Mar 2007

A lovely clean nose of sweet cereal, tangy citrus fruit, a touch of oak and a slight hint of coal smoke, earth and light toffee. Dry and refreshing on the palate, subtle, light bodied with cereal, vanilla, malt, toffee and citrus fruit. A lovely delicate, warm, spicy middle with a tangy length with the citrus fruit and light spice returning. Created by Jim Murray when he was a consultant blender.

Connemara No Age Statement 40%              

Tasted: Oct 2005

Sweetly peated with slightly floral notes (violet?) and charred wood. Pleasantly fruity on the palate with a hint of dried fruit and orange peel along with a nice fresh peatiness. A bit short on the finish, probably belaying its age.

Connemara No Age Statement 40%

Tasted: Sept 2011

A soft and quite meaty nose, redolent of smoked bacon – Hmm, a good breakfast malt! It still has it’s trademark crisp citrus character and the gentle sooty peat becomes quite enveloping, however there is a good depth of malty fruit beneath.

Full and rounded in the mouth. Again delicately peated with no shortage of slightly oily soot. Like the nose there is plenty of supporting malt. Excellent length with a spicy, kippery finish, exiting with a delicious mouth-coating oiliness.

Connemara No Age Statement 40%

Score: 8.7

Nose: Deep and fruity with creamy apricot, banana, pear and lovely soft, supple spice. Broad and rounded with what feels like a touch of Madeira oak and a crisp, herbal grainy note beneath. (3.6)

Palate: Soft and oily, opening with lots of oak – toffee, toasted caramel and butter, followed by pineapple, banana and white fruit. Late hints of smoke and spice. (3.5)

Finish: Good crumbly, sweet spice finish with the oak lingering. (1.6)

Conclusion: Quite broad and juicy with no shortage of oak. Madeira finished? (No! – tasted blind)

Connemara Cask Strength 57.9%

Tasted: Oct 2009

An intense and heavier peated nose than I remember. Fresh and oily, it reminds me a bit of Caol Ila with that herbal, loamy, pure peat intensity. Quiet phenolic with a touch of tar and a medicinal note. Some vanilla oak arrives with time as does a perfumed white fruit note.

Quite oily on the palate, with the soft, herbal-peat building. It has a lovely purity of peat flavours and an intense coffee burst on the middle. The piquant alcohol bites, and finishes with a continuation of the leafy/ herbal theme. A definite wake-up dram.

A drop of water brings out some lightly perfumed tangerine on the nose and maybe a suggestion of rubber and kippers. However there is no stifling the high-toned phenolic character. On the palate it has mellowed it and softened the impact. The peat has given way to more of the vanilla oak, which is lovely and sweet as well as some hickory and bacon notes. The light peat now drifts in towards the end. So in conclusion, drink neat for the full impact, add water if you would prefer it more subtle but lingering!

Connemara Cask Strength 57.9%

Tasted: Feb 2012

Crisp, floral and grassy nose with citrus and crushed barley. Wonderfully fragrant with hints of menthol and background oak. Quite phenolic with herbal peat and manure along with a lovely bracing freshness. Water makes the peat more noticeable along with tarry, rubbery nuances.

The palate opens with lightly oiled, earthy/ dusty toffee and gentle, building peat. Quite Sauvignon Blanc-esque with grassy fruit and building oils and a touch of smoked meat. With water it becomes softer with more emphasis on the Sauvignon like fruit and the oak is more assertive. A lovely, tarry finish with a serious herbal aftertaste

Connemara ‘Sherry Finish’ 46%

Tasted: Feb 2011

A gentle and sooty nose. Lightly phenolic with some edgy floral (violet?) tinged peat. Lovely depth of fruit, which combined with the sherry gives it a subtle breadth. Superb complexity , now some creosote and farmyardy notes appear and with some more time the aromas become quite meaty, akin to barbequed sausages! Some people say that peat and sherry do not work together, but the sweet/savoury/peat balance on this nose is superb.

On the palate the juicy grape is up first. Very polished and poised with the dry smoke and sooty peat building along with the violety sweetness. The mid palate is extremely sooty with a light almost medicinal peat character, but the dry smoke continues unabated. The sherry cask returns in all its mouth watering glory on the finish. An excellent journey and an excellent sherry finish!

Connemara ‘Turf Mor’ 58.2%

Bourbon/ Tasted: May 2011

An intensly fresh and briny nose. Seriously phenolic and youthful but with a good balancing malty-sweetness. Slightly gristy with hints of fleshy green banana and some high toned ‘off the still’ soapy notes which emphasise the youthfulness of the spirit. With time some charred wood aromas come through as does a slight perfumed heather/ lavender note.

The palate is sooty and sweet (as opposed to sooty and sweep!). The soot verily coats the tongue in a sugared-peat veneer. Incidentally the peat does have a kind of turf like quality! The alcohol explodes on the middle dragging the peat dust with it, but it’s not one dimensional as there is an underpinning of fleshy, slightly under ripe fruit, dark chocolate and tannins with some light syrup coming through on the finish.

Water emphasises the youthfulness of the spirit and accentuates the soapyness. It has become a tad less complex as the dry peat aromas become more prominent. The palate is less sweet now and drier and with the reduction in the abv it just lacks that mind blowing hit in the same way that watering down the George T Stagg does. If I was being picky I’d say that it could have done with matbe a touch more mature spirit included in the vatting to offset that youthful-soapyiness but if you like your peated malts young and a bit raw, like the Ardbeg very young then you will love this ……… and I do!

Lockes 8 year old 40%

Tasted: Oct 2005

Quite oily aromas of rich toffee fruit, salt and vanilla oak. Slightly floral with hints of orange fruit. A reasonable intensity of soft fruit, vanilla oak and honey leading into a slightly smoky middle. Simple, but balanced with a slightly spirity finish.

The Tyrconnell 40%

Tasted: Sept 2011

It’s been a long time since I’ve tasted this, and unfortunately those tasting notes have been lost in the mists of time, so time to taste it again!

A robust and oily nose with a slight perfumed note. Plenty of honey with some assertive sooty peat and earth. The palate is soft and gentle, veering a shade towards homogeny and less assertive than the nose would suggest. There are some lovely honeyed moments and a big, spicy finish, but I’m not going wild about it.

The Tyrconnel 40%

Re-Tasted Mar 2013

I think something is amiss with this nose! Aromas of gun flint, light linseed, murkey barley and some fusty oak. Yep it’s that pleasant! And I hate to say it but there’s even a note of perfumed fly spray.

The palate is light, musty and cardboardy. Maybe there is a touch of honey and spice but it’s lost in the murk! Quite vapid and nasty to be honest.

Tyrconnell 10 year old Sherry Finish 46%

Tasted: Feb 2012

The nose is full and sweetly peated with a touch of burnt wood. Plenty of succulent orange/ tangerine, thick malt and barley give it a beautiful depth and richness. With time a hint of brittle honey and sherry cask appears.

A soft, caramelised start. Gently tarry with liquorice and malt notes are followed by a touch of sherry wood and very gentle peat. A reasonably fresh finish with the gentle peat lingering and a touch of burnt wood in the aftertaste. Conclusion: A pleasant nose and palate, but it does trail off a bit.

Tyrconnell 10 year old Sherry Finish 46%

Re-Tasted: Feb 2013

Nose: Young and perfumed with hints of lemon boiled sweets and rose petal marc. There is a suggestion of sherry, which has a slight sulphur blemish and spice.

Palate: Soft, sherried, slightly sulphurous but quite juicy with hints of spice and boiled sweets.

Finish: Med length, very sweet, with a return of the rose petal marc.

Conclusion: Quite Lowland-esque but loses points for the sulphur blemish.

Tyrconnell 18 year old Single Cask 46%

Tasted: Feb 2012

The nose is full of edgy, fleshy apricot, citrus and white liquorice. Underneath there  is some honeyed breakfast cereal, barley and oak. Lightly oiled and with time it becomes quite perfumed with a honeysuckle note quite prevalent. Intriguing and complex.

The palate is soft and full of fleshy white fruit, apricot and green banana. Lightly honeyed with hints of sweet oak. Long with the caramel oak notes lingering and a lovely juicy aftertaste. Conclusion: A lovely, well rounded malt.