Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:
Nose: An elegant waft of leather and aniseed blowing through a floral woodland, dense with the aroma of chlorophyl and wood-sap. There are many sweet delights to be found in and amongst the trees, notably vanilla pods, figs, honey-roast peanuts and if you look closely enough, even orange ice-lollies. An Irish Alice in Bourbon-land. 2.0
Taste: As we lie down to rest in the woods, and take a moment to savour what we find beneath the vegetation, we can really indulge in the luscious figs that are there in abundance, and even find some marzipan, raisins and shortbread to enjoy them with, all mixing together on the palate in a beautiful sweet-oat muesli. What a spot for such a delightful picnic. 2.0
Finish: Standing back up we get a fresh reminder of the oak from the trees, and there are some new delicate spices in the air, notably cinnamon and ginger, both wrapped warmly in a blanket of sweet butter and liquorice. 2.0
Balance: A new addition to the Greenore smoothie range, following the 8 year old Pencil and Caramel Smoothie (connosr.com/reviews/greenore/…), this Leather and Fig smoothie shows where extra ageing can improve a spritely young whiskey, rather than flatten it as is the case with a fellow Irish dram the Bushmills 16, with respect to the Bushmills 10. The difference in my opinion comes down to respective alcoholic strengths. Here, the extra ageing indeed gives the flavour more depth and a greater sense of marriage as one would expect, however the added 3% ABV from 40% to 43% allows the whiskey to still sing with the same vigour and vitality, despite its more mature years. It is of course a delicate balancing act and one which has been achieved here with sumptuous results by the ever impressive Cooley distillery. A world-class single grain whiskey. 2.5
I found the Greenore 15 yo to be excellent whisky, smooth, rich, and flavourful, and, to my taste, much much better than the Greenore 8 yo.
If you like the 15, give the 18 a go if you can. The best so far.