Showing posts with label Macaloney's Peated Mac Na Braiche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Macaloney's Peated Mac Na Braiche. Show all posts

Macaloney's Kildara - Killeigh - Kirkinriola - An Loy - Peated Mac Na Braiche


“Macaloney’s Island Distillery Special # 1”


Introduction:

In early January 2023 I was contacted by Dr. Graeme Macaloney who founded the Macaloney's Island Distillery in Victoria, Canada asking me if I would review some of their Single Malt and Potstill Whiskies. I replied I would be delighted to do so but would give my honest opinion as always! Nowadays it's impossible to send alcoholic beverages by mail and/or courier to Brazil unless you are a licensed importer. So the samples were sent to Holland and I picked them up during my trip in November. In the meantime I received 5 more samples that I will review in a couple of months.

The Distillery is equipped with a 1 ton semilauter Mash Tun, 7 stainless steel wash-backs, a 5500 litre wash still and a 3600 litre spirit still. The first Single Malt was released in December 2020. Part of the Barley is malted on site and the complex also includes a craft beer brewery called TWA Dogs.

The Potstill whiskies are traditional Irish-Style triple distilled whiskies. Dr. Macaloney is a Scot of Irish Heritage who attended the Midleton Irish Whiskey Academy and learned traditional Irish methods a.o. with ex Master Distiller Brian Nation. Back in Canada he then learned to optimize the traditional whisky process following Dr. Jim Swan's methods. The resulting New Make Spirit won several global awards. I'm really curious so let's get it on!
  
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“Too Young To Be Married”


Whisky Review # 1005

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's An Loy - Batch # : Unknown - Formerly known as Glenloy
Type: Canadian Island Single Malt Whisky - Signature Expression
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: 1st Fill Bourbon casks (60%), Oloroso Sherry casks (15%), PX Sherry casks (10%) and Portuguese S.T.R. Red Wine barrels (15%). Married in the end.
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Average: US$ 70 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 A little stiff for such a Young Malt
Buying Advice: 😐 Not bad but it needs a longer maturation

Colour:

Terracotta {Mix of Brown and Orange} - Natural Colour

Nose:

This is a Young Spirit so please give it some time in the glass before Nosing to avoid the initial wafts of Alcohol. It's quite Fruity but the Sherry and Wine casks push it more in the direction of Dried Fruit and Dark Berries. It's mostly Sweet but not in an exagerated way. A bit of Salt and some Floral notes in the background as well. Not bad for such a Young Malt.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Yeast, Bread Dough, Salted Caramel, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Raisins, Sultanas and Dates, Dark Berries & Cherries, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Oak.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Demerara Sugar, Burnt Green Garden Waste, Pear drops, Red Wine, Grain Biscuits, Orange, Peach Marmelade, Toasted Pineapple, Nougat, Ginger and hints of Chili and Cardamom.

Dr. Graeme Macaloney
Palate:

Young, Bitter-Sweet and a little Hot. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. There's a distant ring of Rye Whisky to it as well.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Salted Butterscotch, X-Mas Cake, Dark Berries and Cherries, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Dates, Candied Seville-Orange, Cocoa Powder, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Creamy Vanilla, Toffee, Honey, Demerara Sugar, Red Wine/Grapes, Dried Herbs, Nectarine, Cloves, Cardamom and Menthol.

Finish:

On the Short side and quite Hot. The Youth of the Spirit is confirmed. It's mostly Bitter-Sweet with some Salty and Sour notes in the background. Quite Dry in the end. I find Toasted Grain, Salted Caramel, Seville-Orange, Dark Berries, Christmas Pudding, Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Cardamom, Licorice and Menthol. A hint of Varnish.


Drinking Advice:

Added Water does not improve this An Loy

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience
:


Okay/Good - Might benefit from a little Ice

Conclusion:

The Macaloney concept is really very interesting. It's all natural colour and they do not apply Chill-Filtration. They also experiment with lots of different casks to add additional Flavour and Colour to the Fruity New Make Spirit. The ABV of 46% is another plus and should be followed by the whole industry, at least for Single Malts. They also use local Barley from British Columbia. And the bottle and packaging are  very nice as well. As a result the An Loy presents a very agreeable Nose once you get rid of the initial waves of Alcohol. On the Palate and principally in the Finish there is no way to hide the Youth and the Alcohol though. It's always a matter of time to make a really good Sipping Whisky in my opinion and the An Loy did not get that time in the casks. Therefore, while certainly not bad, there is ample room for improvement!

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“The Future Starts Now”


Whisky Review # 1006

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's Peated Mac Na Braiche - Distilled from Grains
Type: Canadian Island Peated Single Malt Spirit - 54PPM
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Re-charred Portuguese Red Wine barrels
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Average: US$ 75 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Not cheap for a Young Whisky but borderline okay
Buying Advice: 😐 If you're a fan of young Islay Malt you can give this a try!

Colour:

Golden Sunshine with shades of Orange and Red (Natural Colour)

Nose:

It's not a Peat Monster but Part and Smoke weave a pleasant spell around the other Aromas. It does remind me a bit of young Kilchoman when that Islay distillery was just starting. The Alcohol is noticeable so be sure to nose around the brim of the glass. The Nose is medium sweet and presents Floral, Herbal, Green & Spicy notes. Quite agreeable for such a Young Whisky. The Red Wine casks do not overpower the Spirit and that's a good thing.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Burnt Buttered Toast, Burnt Herbs, Grass and Heather, Campfire Smoke, Coastal Peat, Soot, Ashes, Salted Beef on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon and added Herbs (Thyme, Coriander), Caramel, Red Wine, Charred Oak & Nutmeg.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Dark Syrup, Honey, Smoked Paprika, Cooked Vegetables (Jura), Leather, Tobacco, Slivovitz, X-mas Cake, Cooked Apples, Pepper, Ginger and Cinnamon.

Mike Nicolson Former Diageo Master Distiller
Palate:

Young, a little Harsh and a bit Thin. Quite Dry. Mainly Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour Wine notes. Not bad but under-matured.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Yeast, Burnt Compost, Campfire Smoke, Coastal Peat, Ashes, Soot, Charred Oak, Meat and Pineapple on the Grill, Lemon Peel, Red Wine, Cinnamon & Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Syrup, Wheat Biscuits, slightly Burnt Almonds, Artificially flavoured Candy (Red Berries), Leather, Tobacco, X-Mas Cake, Nectarine, Ginger, Nutmeg & Cloves.

Finish:

Short/Middle-Long, Young and a bit Harsh. The weakest part of this Mac Na Braiche. It's mostly Bitter-Sweet and quite Dry. I find Toasted Grain, slightly Dirty Factory Smoke, Coastal Peat, Ashes, Soot, Burnt Pine Wood, Burnt Toast, Dark Honey, Nuts and Nutshells, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger & Cloves. Smoked Beef returns after a while.


Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills some of the Heat and that's a good thing. It is starting to get too Thin for me this way but beginning fans can carefully add some Water. Don't overdo it though!

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 7

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience
:


Good considering its inherent Youth. Might be a bit Harsh for some consumers.

Conclusion:

The Mac Na Braiche (Gaelic for Son of Malt) can't officially be called a Whisky as it matured for less than 3 years. Hence the name Single Malt Spirit. It was made with Canadian Grain that was dried with Peat on the premises.

I'm pleasantly surprised by this Mac Na Braiche. It's a very young Spirit of course and it might be a bit too harsh for some but it's well-crafted. The 54 PPM seems just about right and the Wine casks do not dominate. I'm just imagining this Whisky after a maturation of 10 Years in Ex-Bourbon casks before being finished for 2 years or so in these Red Wine casks. Who knows what Macaloney's future might bring us! I'm looking forward to it!

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Brown Sugar”


Whisky Review # 1007

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's Kildara - Batch #: Unknown
Type: Canadian Island Triple Distilled Potstill Whisky - Signature Selection
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon casks (45%), Olorosos Sherry casks (40%), Virgin American Oak (10%) and PX Sherry casks (5%)
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 75-100 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay at around US$ 75
Buying Advice: 😐 Certainly interesting! Try a sample first though.

Colour:

Chestnut with shades of Orange and Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please be sure to give the Kildara sufficient time in the glass to avoid the initial wafts of Varnish and New Oak. The influence of the Sherry casks is clear with lots of Dried Fruit, Dark Berries, Nuts and Spices. It's a Young Whisky and the Alcohol is not fully integrated. Nevertheless it smells relatively well-matured. On the Nose the Kildara is mainly Sweet but there is a hint of Salt in the background.

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Vanilla, Butter Biscuits, X-mas Cake, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Figs, Plums and Raisins, Mixed Nuts & Nutella, Candied Orange, Caffe Latte, Chocolate, Cinnamon and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Molasses, Demerara Sugar, Straw, Dark Red Berries, Peach/Nectarine Jam, Leather, Tobacco, Varnish, New Oak, Floral notes, Papaya Cream, Ginger and Cardamom. A hint of Raw Meat somewhere in the background.

Dr. Jim Swan - Whisky Maturation Expert - Passed away in 2017
Palate:

A little Thin but still Creamy. Mostly Sweet with a few Salty and Bitter accents. The Palate basically follows the Nose as the Sherry casks remain the main influence.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley Sugar, Salted Caramel, X-Mas Cake, Demerara Sugar, Dough, Yeast, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Sultanas and Plums, Dark Red Berries and Cherries, Mixed Nuts, Dark Chocolate, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Dark Honey, Vanilla, Nectarine, Citrus Peel, Fortified Wine, Strong Espresso, Leather, Ginger, Aniseed, Menthol and Licorice.

Finish:

It's almost a pity this Kildara had to have a Finish. Because while the Nose and the Palate at least give the impression of a reasonably well-matured Whisky, the Finish can't hide the Youth of this Kildara anymore. It's slightly Harsh with loads of Grain, Menthol and Licorice. The Finish is Short/Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet & Medium Dry. I find Toasted Grains (Barley and Rye), Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Plums and Sultanas, Mixed Nuts, Citrus Peel, Oak, Strong Bitter Tea, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Ginger, Menthol and Licorice. A bit of Dark Honey perhaps.

Drinking Advice:

This Kildara does not improve with added Water.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience
:


Good with the exception of the Finish.

Conclusion:

The Kildara is made with a combo of malted and un-malted Canadian Barley. The mix of casks is very interesting but in practice the Sherry casks are the dominating ones although that's not a bad thing per se. We know that it's a Young Whisky but this only becomes very clear in the Finish. Nose and Palate have a mature feel to is that is remarkable. The Virgin Oak is a bit distracting I must say as it provides this Varnish & Nail-Polish Remover note we know so very well from many West-European whiskies. But all in all well-made, though craving for additional cask time.

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 “Kiss and Say Goodbye”


Whisky Review # 1008

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's Killeigh
Type: Canadian Island Triple Distilled Potstill Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon casks (70%), Moscatel - European Oak (20%), Virgin American Oak (10%)
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80-100 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: πŸ‘Ž Too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: πŸ‘Ž Look for alternatives like the Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or

Colour:

Golden with shades of Orange and Red (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Killeigh some time in the glass before Nosing to avoid the initial wafts of Virgin Oak. This smells much more Grainy than the Kildara and the Alcohol is more present. Avoid Nosing in the middle of the glass. The Nose is Fruity but a bit light and without much depth. Not bad but nothing special.

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Breakfast Cereals with Raisins Dried Strawberries & a touch of Honey, Vanilla, Dough, Banana, Chocolate Bars with Dried Fruits and Nuts, Candied Druit like Oranges and Papaya, Floral tones, (Virgin) Oak, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Buttered Toast, Syrup, Caffe Latte, Mango Cream, Slivovitz, Sweet White Wine, Pear drops, Tobacco and Ginger.

Macaloney Stills
Palate:

A little Thin and Harsh. The Alcohol is not well-integrated. This is a Young Whisky beyond any doubt. Certainly Fruity!

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Barley Sugar, Vanilla, Yoghurt with a Tropical Fruit flavor (Banana, Red Apple, Peach, Mango, Coconut), (Virgin) Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Syrup, Wax, Dried Herbs, Slivovitz, Mandarin, Orange, Leather, Sweet White Wine, Floral notes, Salted Nuts, Cocoa Powder and Ginger.

Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour and Salty notes as well towards the Medium-Dry/Dry end. A bit of Heat as well. I find Toasted Grains, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Plums & Raisins, Slivovitz, Salted Nuts, Dried Herbs, Dusty Road, Charred Oak, Orange-Flavored Milk Chocolate, slightly Sour White Wine, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cinnamon.


Drinking Advice:

You can add a few drops of Water to diminish the Heat but Nose and Palate do not significantly improve with added Water. The Finish becomes quite Short this way.

Rating: 6.5 (******1/2)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 6.5 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience
:


Okay

Conclusion:

My least favorite Macaloney so far. In this case the mix of casks can't hide the Youth of the Spirit despite the fact that the Moscatel casks add Fruity Sweetness. I can easily live without the Virgin Oak as well. The Killeigh is not really bad but does not convince me. Certainly too expensive for what it offers.

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“Dark Spirit”


Whisky Review # 1009

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's Kirkinriola
Type: Canadian Island Triple Distilled Potstill Whisky - Single Cask Series
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: European Oak Portuguese S.T.R. Red Wine barrel
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80-120 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Quite expensive for such a young Whisky
Buying Advice: 😐 Not quite my favorite profile but if you like Red Wine-influenced Whisky you should give it a try!

Colour:

Chestnut with shades of Orange and Red (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please be sure to give this Kirkinriola enough time in the glass before Nosing to be able to avoid the initial strong wafts of Alcohol. For the same reason don't Nose in the middle of the glass. The Nose is mainly Sweet with some Sour and Meaty notes for much needed balance. Lots of Fruit, both Dried and Fresh. The Oak influence is clear as well.

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Vanilla, Molasses, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots and Plums, Mixed Nuts, Citrus Peel, Passion Fruit, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Licorice.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Buttered Toast, Toffee, Caramel, Honey, Marzipan, Dark Red Berries, Cherries and Currants, X-Mas Cake, Dusty Track, slightly Sour Red Wine, Gooseberry, Grapefruit, Pear Drops, Tobacco, Cloves, Menthol and Cardamom. A hint of Raw Meat.

Macaloney Cask
Palate:

Young and a little on the Thin side. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. It basically follows the Nose but in a less dense way. The Palate is Bitter-Sweet with some Sour and Salty notes for balance.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Treacle, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apples and Apricots, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Orange Peel, Passion Fruit, Mixed Nuts and Nougat, Cocoa Powder, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Gooseberry, Grapefruit, slightly Sour Red Wine, Tobacco, Leather, Licorice,    Dried Herbs, Aniseed, Cloves and Cardamom.

Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. A little Lighter than expected. Certainly Dry towards the end. I find Toasted Grains, Salted Caramel, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Cocoa Powder, X-Mas Cake, Dried Herbs, Strong Black Tea, slightly Sour Red Wine, Nuts and Nutshells, Tobacco, Gooseberry, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom, Aniseed, Licorice, Menthol and lots of Charred Oak. A hint of Iron and Minerals.


Drinking Advice:

Added Water does not improve this Kirkinriola

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience
:


Okay/Good

Conclusion:

This Kirkinriola matured in an STR Red Wine cask. STR stands for Shaved, Toasted and Re-Charred. This method was elaborated by Dr. Jim Swan and aims to increase the intensity of the Wood in the whisky. It certainly did the trick here and you might wonder if it went a bit too far as the Oak really controls the Spirit. Not a bad Malt by all means but not just my preferred style.

Final Thoughts:

It was really great to have the opportunity to nose and taste five Canadian Island Whiskies made by Macaloney's. Let's start on the positive side. The packaging and Bottles are really very nice. I also adore the idea of the gift sets to get acquainted with the distillery. All Whiskies are Non Chill-Filtered and present natural colour and good ABV. They also nose and taste better than the average Canadian Whiskies I have reviewed thus far. It's a pity that I didn't have the chance yet to taste the New Make Spirit on its own to be able to better judge the influence of the maturation process on the Spirit.

We now come to the maturation and it's pretty clear that all efforts have been made to create maximal Aroma, Flavour and Colour in as little time as possible. Time is money of course and new distilleries always tend to have cashflow problems as it usually takes a lot of time for fully matured whiskies to repay the huge investment and loan costs. Macaloney's has also used Crowd-Funding to address this problem. I must admit that the innovative cask selection certainly went a long way to suggest that you're dealing with a fully matured whisky. This is mainly the case though with the Colour & the Nose. On the Palate and, especially, in the Finish it becomes quite clear that we are dealing with very Young Whiskies. That's not a problem of course as many people might like this profile. But I still prefer traditionally matured Malt. It's like comparing a rebellious teenager to a mature grown up man. This leads me to the second issue, the price. Quite steep for young Whisky!

Despite this I would like to congratulate the whole team for their efforts and wish them all the success in the future. I will review a second batch in a few months and hope to also be able to taste a 12-15 year old Macaloney in the future.
   
Please note that all full bottles can be ordered on-line at Macaloney's. They can be shipped from the distillery in Canada or from partner warehouses in the USA & UK.

Cheers!

Jan. πŸ₯ƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                       January 18, 2024