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Clontarf Single Malt

Average score from 2 reviews and 2 ratings 86

Clontarf Single Malt

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Clontarf Single Malt

Clontarf is the name of the battle fought near Dublin in the year 1014 in which the forces of Irish King Brian Boru defeated the forces of his rebellious rival king Mael Morda Mac Murchada of Leinster, who was allied with the Vikings. King Boru was killed in the aftermath of the battle when some Viking stragglers came upon his tent. The victory for Boru's forces, however, resulted in the historical end of armed attempts by the Vikings at domination in Ireland. The number 1014 is formed in the glass of every bottle of Clontarf whiskey sold. In addition to the single malt, Clontarf also markets Clontarf Classic Blend and Clontarf Blended Reserve whiskeys. Clontarf Single Malt is distilled at the Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. This distillery has been in existence since 1743 and is claimed to be the oldest whisk(e)y distillery in the world. Contarf Single Malt is distilled 3 times, aged in bourbon barrels, and "mellowed through (filtration through) Atlantic Oak charcoal". There is no age statement on the bottle.

Nose: mown hay, barley-malt, with hints of citrus and honey, very lightly floral

Taste: Barley, barley, and more barley! The flavour of the barley here is quite bright, clean, and pleasant. There is a little honey and a hint of citrus on the palate as well

Finish: that barley just sits right there on your tongue for a long time

Balance: this is a very simple malt, id est: simply barley! There are also a few nice additional understated garnishing flavours around the edges. If you like the taste of malted barley, then you should really like this. Jim Murray rated this one 90.5/100 in his 2011 Whisky Bible


This Clontarf Single Malt (with no age stated) is listed in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible under Bushmills, where it is being distilled since 2003 (before that, it was produced at Cooley's).

It's pale straw color has a light greenish sheen to it. That didn't bode well. But how mistaken I was.

The body is a bit oily, but not much.

The nose is very sweet with oak, a little spice and a load of orange. Surprising, to say the least!

On the palate, it all stays very sweet, rich with caramel and spices (but not overly so, making this dram very 'drinkable').

The finish is long and soft, a little spicy but again very mildly so. A deep breath after a sip warms the throat very intensely.

Much of the mellow character of this dram is probably due to the charcoal filtration, which is somewhat extraordinary for Irish whiskey, but common in bourbon (e.g. Jack Daniel's).

I had heard nothing positive about this whiskey, even though Jim Murray gave it 90,5 in his 2010 bible. While that may be slightly overrated in my opinion, it's not far off the mark (but obviously, Jim's the expert and I'm the novice, nuff said!). I think this dram has been treated unfairly in recent past and should be re-instated (unless of course, my sources were simply even 'novicer' than I am).

Clontarf Single Malt is very good and at a price of about $30 definitely worth a try!

Pleasant surprise!

Very interesting. Where is this available, States?

States, UK, Belgium, you name it!

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