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Connemara Peated

Les Lacs du Connemara

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@PandemoniumReview by @Pandemonium

1st Mar 2016


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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A barren plain of rocks earmarked by the raging winds of the Atlantic, an eerie no-man’s-land of moors, bogs and shimmering blue lakes. How the hell did the East-Irish distiller Cooley think they could capture the essence of the land using nothing but Scottish peat? When trying Connemara (the 12yo) for the first time, in an Irish pub in the town of Roundstone (heartland of the Connemara), I feared it might have the same flaws of some of its Scottish Highland cousins that received the peated treatment. But admittedly they managed to create an original whiskey that is in harmony with the landscape. Let’s see if the entry level is just as good.

Description: entry level whiskey of Cooley, peated at 10-20 ppm, bottled at 40% ABV

Nose: a dusty nose of cardboard and coal smoke on the forefront. In the rear a dash of milk, the aroma of mandarin peel and a whiff of vanilla lingering about.

Mouth: little evidence of peat if you ask me. The palate mainly consists of concentrated orange juice spiced up with white pepper and ginger.

Finish: medium long with a lingering tingling of pepper.

Verdict: you know what, I’m going to give this one a thumbs up. It’s not something that will satisfy the needs of a peat lover, but is an original dram. That being said, it suffers a bit from the low alcohol content, I would love to see this at cask strength

Related Connemara reviews


Victor commented

Pleasant, mild, lightly peated, low-intensity of flavours. Check.

You've got it covered, @Pandemonium.

6 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

It turns out... Connemara peated does come in a cask strength version.

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Nozinan, yes, it does, and I would prefer to drink the Connemara Cask Strength 10 out of 10 times, given the choice.

6 years ago 0

Ol_Jas commented

Yep, Connemara Cask Strength is pretty solid. I've got a big sample under my bar that I saved from my last full bottle. I'll be opening it back up in a couple weeks to do some side-by-sides with the bottle of Connemara Turf Mor that I'll finally be opening from my stash on St. Pat's.

Anywho, Pandemonium, it's fun seeing a review of this—it doesn't seem to get much attention. Why did you ask the rhetorical question, "How the hell did the East-Irish distiller Cooley think they could capture the essence of the land using nothing but Scottish peat?" Aside from the disappointing fact that they use Scottish (instead of Irish) peat, what's the concern? That Cooley's in the wrong part of the country to be making something called "Connemara"?

6 years ago 0

Pandemonium commented

@Victor and @Nozinan Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to check it out.

@OlJas I do find it a bit unusual to make a geographical connection that has nothing to do with your whiskies. Most people assume that it was made by a distillery from the region and even if they do know it was produced by Cooley they believe it was made from the Connemara peat bogs. I believe you would find it equally wrong if Auchentoshan would call its product Skye whisky without a clear explanation.

6 years ago 0

Frost commented

Good review, I've tried this one, and didn't mind it. @Victor's summary reflects my feelings.

At first I was annoyed that there peat was sourced from ex-Islay casks. Then I decided this was pretty immature of me to hold against this expression. After all, no one complains about ex-Bourbon or Sherry casks being American and Spanish respectively.

6 years ago 0

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