Showing posts with label Single Malt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Single Malt. Show all posts

Cooley 13 Years Review

If You Concentrate Hard Enough This Logo Might Become a Bottle!

“Cool For (Peat) Cats”

Country: Ireland
Brand: Cooley (An Irish Representative in the The Soul of Scotland Series)
Type: Single Malt Whiskey
Age: 13 Years
ABV: 51.4 %
Sample Provided By Thomas from Germany. Many Thanks!

Colour: Light Golden

Nose: Right away there's Fresh Fruit like Melon and Apple but it is followed quite quickly by Smoke from a Dying Campfire, light Earthy Peat, Buttered Toast, light Vanilla, Raisins, Lemon Zest, Tangerine Mousse, lightly Charred Oak, Malt and Mineral tones. The Alcohol is not fully integrated and I think this Spirit could have done with a slightly lower ABV of around 47%. It's not an overwhelming Nose but it's not as Light as most of the other Irish Whiskies I have tasted so far. All in all it's quite pleasant and the Peat smells much more natural than the slightly artificial Peat I found in the NAS Connemara Peated Single Malt. 

Palate: Good Strong Delivery. Again I believe the ABV could be a tad lower. The Fresh Fruit from the Nose is gone. Instead I find some Red Forest Fruit Preserve accompanied by Smoke, Peat, Pepper, Licorice, Herbal Tea, slightly Bitter Almonds, Grapefruit Juice and Butter Biscuits.

Finish: Middle-Long, Spicy, Zesty and slightly Dry towards the end. I find Ashes, Smoke, Earthy Peat with a light Plastic feel to it, Lemon Zest, Grass, Licorice, Pepper, slightly Bitter Almonds and Cocoa Powder. 

I added a bit of water and the Nose becomes more Malty and Waxy with a bit of added Honey. The Vanilla gets stronger as well and the Alcohol is better in balance with the rest. I find some Pear Candies as well. The Palate does not change a whole lot although the Alcohol is less present of course. The Finish becomes a little Flat this way. But certainly a Whiskey where you can play with  Water, always adding only a few drops at the time.

Rating: 86.5

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: The Cooley Distillery was originally a Potato Alcohol Plant and was converted in 1987. It's located on the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth in Ireland. Since 2014 it's part of the Beam Suntory Group. Cooley' s main range include Kilbeggan, Greenore, Connemara and Tyrconnell. Unlike most Irish distilleries, Cooley only distills their Spirit twice instead of three times. Today's Single Malt is a very rare Single Cask Bottling that was distilled in June 1999 and bottled at Cask Strength in January 2013 by Independent Whisky bottler Anam Na H-Alba from the town of Oberhausen in Germany. It matured in an Ex-Bourbon Cask, is Uncoloured and Not Chill-Filtered. It sold at around 100 US Dollars. Only 240 bottles were commercialised and I don't think it's still for sale somewhere. By the way, for the first time I could not find an image of today's bottle. Well, there's always a first time for everything! 

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: This is quite different from your average Irish Whiskey. Certainly an interesting bottling by Anam Na H-Alba. The Nose calls attention with an initial burst of Fresh Fruit. Unfortunately that fades away rather quickly but it is followed by some decent but not overwhelming Smoke and Peat notes. I also liked the Tangerine Mousse Note although you might identify it as Orange as well. On the Palate the good strong Delivery called the attention. I missed some of the Fresh Fruit Notes from the Nose. The Peat and Smoke are still there and are accompanied by Herbal and lightly Bitter notes. Those slightly Bitter Notes are still there in the Finish and Ashes and Licorice become more noticeable. But I do not find any aggressive tones and it all remains within the comfort zone. This Cooley 13 accepts a bit of Water and it's interesting to notice the subtle differences with each added drops. It's a pity that this type of Irish Whiskey is not readily available because I'm quite sure that people who like softly peated Islay or old style lightly peated Speyside wouldn't mind drinking this type of lightly peated Cooley from time to time. Even more so if it would be a bit cheaper. Because around a 100 US Dollars is a bit of a stiff price for a 13 Years Old from Ireland. Even if it's the odd Single Cask!

Jan van den Ende                                                         November 12, 2014

Cooley's Pot Stills

Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof Review

"The  Sailors of Old Would Approve"

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 57,1 %
Sample Provided By Marlie from The Netherlands. Thanks a Lot!

Colour: Yellow Gold/Amber

Nose: Sweet Malt, light Sherry, light Sulphur, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Wet-Salted Leather, Cigarette Smoke, Old Cigar Box, Dusty Earth, light Rubber, Shell Fish, Charred Oak, Toast, Orange, Roasted Coffee, Vanilla, Toffee, Dried Herbs, Menthol, Straw, Lemon Peel, Sugared Ginger and Peanut Butter. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. 

Palate: The Alcohol is a bit Strong and the Spirit Young and Fiery. I find Sweet Malt, Cigarette Smoke, Ashes, Dried Herbs, Shell Fish, Orange or Mandarin, Lemon, Charred Oak, Licorice, Pepper, Salt, Nutmeg, Ginger, light Sherry, light Sulphur, light Rubber or Plastic and a hint of Brandy.

The Samples provided by Marlie!

Finish: Long, Spicy and Smoky with Sweet Malt, Cigarette Smoke, Ashes, Salt, Lemon, Mandarin or Grapefruit, Straw, Pepper, Ginger, Toffee, Licorice, Oak and hints of Rubber and Brandy. 

With a couple of drops of water the 100 Degrees Proof settles down a bit. Just add a couple of drops at the time until you're fine!

Rating: 86.5

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: The Bowmore Distillery was founded in 1779 by John Simpson. It's the oldest Islay distillery, located in Bowmore. Since 1994 it is completely owned by Morrison Bowmore Distilleries, part of the Japanese Suntory Group. The 100 Degrees Proof was launched in 2012 and originally produced for the Travel Retail Market. It's Non Chill-Filtered and bottled at Cask Strength but is surely artificially coloured. It sells at an average 60 US Dollars. The packaging tells us where this Bowmore got its name:

"Around the Time Bowmore was first distilled, the term "Proof Spirit" was born. Sailors of old would check that their Rum rations hadn't been watered down by mixing them with Gun Powder. If the Gun Powder still lit, this "proved" that it was a strong Alcohol or 100 Proof. If it didn't, then the Rum contained too much Water or less than 57% Alcohol. The Sailors used a hydrometer in this process. 100 Proof of Old equals an ABV of 57,1%"

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: A Young, Nervous but Interesting Bowmore. It's Rough, Fiery and Strong, just like the Sailors would have wanted their Rum to be. So it does do justice to its name in my opinion. But at the same time it lacks a bit of Balance. I would have liked to find a bit more Fruit, especially on the Palate and in the Finish. Still, at this price, it's good Value For Money and sufficiently interesting  as a Single Malt. I wouldn't consider this Bowmore as my Daily Dram but it's good enough to try it out if you get the chance!

Jan van den Ende                                                            August 16, 2014