Review: Connemara Peated

Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey. It’s a mouthful, but it sounded very appealing to me. I like Irish Whiskey, but I L-O-V-E peated single malts. This is also a very affordable dram – something you don’t often see in peated malts – and thus I found myself eager to find out what kind of flavour for value it has on offer. Let’s find out!

Tasting Notes: Connemara Original

Stats:

ABV: 40% (80 proof)

Age: NAS

Distillery: Cooley Distillery

Owned by: Beam Suntory

Category: Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Awards: IWSC Gold Outstanding (2019), IWSC Gold (2013), IWSC Silver Outstanding (2014), WWA Gold (2014), San Francisco World Spirits Competition Gold (2013). The Irish Whiskey Masters Gold (2014)

Chill-filtered: Yes

Natural Colour: No

Setting:

It has been a long day full of ups and downs, but after finding my motivation back I decided to jump right in and do these tasting notes. My mindset is positive, I’m relaxed and enjoying this dram while listening to some John Butler. I enjoyed it neat, in a Túath Irish Whiskey Glass.

Nose:

The peat is very present on the nose. Moss and wood intermingle nicely and there’s plenty of heather present here as well. To my surprise I find some weed in there as well, but perhaps that’s more a triggered memory of what I used to do with my friends in high school on the heathlands near school. Anyway, I diverge… I also find honey on the slightest hint of raisins on the nose.

Palate:

Mild and sweeter than I would have expected from the nose. There’s honey a plenty and, so much so that it almost overshadows the smoke. There are notes of malt and crunchy breakfast cereal as well. The smoke becomes more present as you let the dram spread through your mouth, but it’s more a whisper of smoke that gently drifts by. Like going outside in the fall and smelling that someone nearby lit their fireplace. All that sounds great, but it’s held back by its ABV. The flavours are good, but they’re diluted and come off as watery at times.

Finish:

The finish is quite short, especially for a peated dram. But it is very interesting. The peat suddenly comes roaring and flavours like pepper, oak, and apples pop up like fireworks. And then they’re gone and just the tiniest bit of honey lingers, with an ever so slight bitterness on the sides of the tongue.

Verdict:

For the price you absolutely can’t go wrong with this one. Even in today’s market it can be easily had under 25 euro, and it offers quite a bit for that in turn. I would easily recommend this to anyone on a tight budget, looking to explore peated whiskies for the first time. I do have to knock some points of for the ABV though, especially the palate is just too watery for my liking. The way it is it only hints at a great whisky, and because of that I find it only decent in its own right. As you may have noticed I didn’t even go through the trouble of diluting this one with a few drops of water. I have tried it in the past and I remember one thing clearly… don’t!

Rating:

76/100

Value:

A

Click here to learn more about how I come up with my tasting notes and how I determine rating and value.

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