West Cork Blended Whiskey Review - West Cork 10 Years Review


“West Cork Story”

Whisky Review # 847

Country: Ireland
Brand: West Cork
Distilled at: Probably a mix of own-distilled and sourced Whiskey
Type: Blended Irish Whiskey
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Mix of First-Fill and Refill Ex-Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 22-34 (December 2019)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐Okay at around $ 20 (For mixing purposes only).
Buying Advice: 👎There are better and cheaper ways to get drunk.

Colour: Light Gold (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Light, Young, Thin and Hot. The Grain Alcohol dominates. It's close to Vodka but for some Sweet Artificial Fruit Aromas.

Main Aromas:

Buttered Toast, Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Toffee, Vanilla, Wheat Biscuits, Nuts and Nut Shells, Straw, Charred Refill-Oak, Paint-Thinner and Glue.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Dried Fruit like Apricot or Nectarine, Artificially Flavoured Candies (Pear, Green Apple, Cherry), Grass, Nail Remover, Fuel and Pepper.


Palate:

Young, Light, Thin, Bitter-Sweet and Hot. The Grain Alcohol is overwhelming.

Main Flavours:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Caramel, Wheat Biscuits, Nuts and Nutshells, Hay, Refill Oak, Artificially Flavoured Fruit Candies (Green Apple, Pear, Cherry), Char and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Toasted Malt, Butterscotch, Toffee, Grass, Apricot-filled Pastry, Nutmeg, Compost Pile, Grapefruit Juice, Lemon, Licorice and Menthol.

Finish:

Short/Middle-Long, Sugary Sweet, Hot, Young and Thin. The Alcohol bites a bit towards the end. I find Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Wheat Biscuits, Raisins, Fruit Candies with Artificial Fruit Aromas such as Pear, Cherry & Green Apple, Honey, Paint Thinner, Pepper, Wet Rocks, Refill Oak, Nutmeg, Cloves, Vodka, Gas Station, Nut Shells, Menthol and a little hint of White Chocolate.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water helps to kill the fierce Alcohol somewhat but you're basically left with a Flavoured Vodka. This is for mixing at best.

Rating: 70.5

Nose: 17.5 - Taste: 18 - Finish: 17.5  - Overall: 17.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average.

Conclusion:

West Cork Distillers was founded by John O'Connell, Dennis McCarthy and Ger McCarthy in 2004 in Union Hall. It moved to Skibbereen (County Cork) in 2013. It offers Malt and Grain (Wheat) Whiskey as well as Gin, Vodka and Liqueurs.

The West Cork Blended Whiskey contains 75% Grain Whiskey (Wheat) and 25% Malted Barley. This is slightly below your average Blend. You can notice that at once as the neutral Grain Alcohol dominates even more than usual in Blends. It is very difficult to say anything positive about this West Cork. It's too Young, too Harsh, too Hot and too Thin. It's not suitable for sipping and you will drown it over ice. That leaves mixing but it's so much more flavorful to get drunk on Bourbon and Coca Cola. I honestly can't recommend this Blended West Cork.

Cheers!

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Whisky Review # 848

Country: Ireland
Brand: West Cork
Distilled at: Undisclosed. Sourced.
Type: Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: Probably not
Price Range: US$ 35-45 (December 2019)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍Okay.
Buying Advice: 😐Not bad but a bit Plain and Thin on the Palate. 

Colour: Light Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

This is much more pleasant on the Nose. Soft, Sweet, Waxy, Grassy, Fruity and without the very irritating sharpness of the Grain Alcohol. Very Clean and Fresh without any off-notes.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Vanilla, Fresh Fruit like Apples, Pears, Bananas, Pineapples and Melons, Grass, Straw, Charred Oak, Nougat, Marzipan, Cinnamon and Mint.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Buttered Toast, Honey, Toffee, White Wine, Yeast, Plum Liqueur, Orange Peel, Lemon, Ginger and White Chocolate.


Palate:

It's a pity that Palate and Finish can't totally bring what the Nose promises. The Palate is Light, Clean and Fresh but misses the nice Fresh Fruit Aromas. The Fruit is still there but there's a more Artificial touch to it. A higher ABV would have been helpful here.

Main Flavours:

Toasted and Malted Barley, Vanilla, Artificial Flavoured Fruit Candies like Apple, Pear, Melon, Cherry and Banana, Tart Lemon, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Nougat and Aniseed.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Buttered Toast, Caramel, Honey, Plum Liqueur, Orange Peel, Caffe Latte, Bounty Candy Bars, Mint, Pepper and Ginger.

Finish:

Short, Light and on the Thin side. The standard ABV of 40% is simply too low to give this West Cork Malt sufficient body. A light Bitterness pops up towards the end on account of the (Re-fill) Oak. I find Toasted and Malted Barley, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Buttered Toast, Honey, Charred Oak, Artificially Flavoured Fruit Candies like Apple, Pear, Melon & Banana, Caffe Latte, Citrus Peel, Cinnamon, Ginger, Aniseed, Almonds and Nougat.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills this West Cork so please sip it neat.

Rating: 79.5

Nose: 21 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 20

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

The West Cork 10 Years is an honest Single Malt given its price-level. There's nothing special to it but there's nothing that will put you off as well. The Nose is actually quite pleasant but Palate and Finish are a bit on the Thin side because of the standard ABV. I would also have loved to see the Fresh Fruit in the Nose to continue as such on the Palate and in the Finish but it was not to be. Still, at around US$ 35 you can't go wrong with this 10 Year old. Please don't add Water though!

This was my first encounter with the West Cork Brand. The two expressions I tasted today were relatively cheap and therefore my expectations were quite limited. I was quietly surprised by the 10 Years as it presents a decent Price to Quality ratio. I did not like the Blend though. I wouldn't even consider it for mixing as there are better and cheaper options around.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                              December 19, 2019

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