I recently wrote a review of the - surprisingly good - Clontarf Single Malt.
Tonight, I tasted the Reserve, which is a blend of 80% of the single mail and 20% grain whiskies.
The single malt is matured in American oak barrels and then charcoal filtered to create this smooth and very easy to drink dram.
However, while the single malt and this reserve are almost the same, there are very subtle differences.
Color and body are the same, but the nose is sharper, more spicy.
The same with the palate. There is definately some oak, accompanied by toffee, cocoa and spice. The spice does get to you in this one.
The finish again is long and harty, even longer than with the single malt. But also a lot more pepper in there.
At $20 for a bottle, it's still a bargain for a pretty well balanced blend.
(I do prefer the single malt, though)