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Connemara is one of two Cooley-owned brands of single malt Irish whiskeys (the other being The Tyrconnell). Unlike The Tyrconnell—or most other Irish whiskeys, for that matter—Connemara is peated. This, however, is but the least of the features marking Connemara Cask Strength Peated Single Malt as a special dram.
The nose is utterly unique. Up front is a symphonic mélange of sweet coconut and fresh banana, taking the shape of a delectable, sticky glaze poured over hot cinnamon rolls. Only beneath all of this will you find just a hint of light, clean peat.
The palate is perfectly suggested by the nose, again with fresh banana and coconut, forming a sort of candy shell over pastry. There is also crème brulée and saltwater taffy. The peat gently, but more noticeably, circles about. There is the distinct flavour—and sensation—of a marshmallow opening on the finish, growing steadily over the exhale. It is a beautifully complex dram, and the sweet, banana-coconut-marshmallow-and-peat finish seems to linger for hours.
The body is slightly oily and light, yet rich and creamy. The legs descend thick and slow down the sides of the glass.
This is one of the first whiskies that I have ever truly loved. Having tasted it the night I brought it home, I went straight back to the store the following morning to purchase a second bottle. That first bottle is now but a distant memory, and I am well into the second one. This whiskey does not ask for your attention, but rather steals it. I, for one, am captivated.