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Inishowen Peated

Average score from 2 reviews and 3 ratings 74

Inishowen Peated

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Inishowen Peated

Nose: light, mellow, slightly fruity, earthy. The peat plays peek-a-boo: there one second, gone the next.

Taste: very thin, insubstantial body. Fruity sweetness is headed off by a massive bitter surge. I get the impression that the whiskies employed here are quite young and raw. With the addition of ice it becomes more balanced, but still not much in the way of peat.

Finish: crisp, somewhat bitter, with just the faintest hint of peat.

Balance: yikes. I was expecting something a little better than this. It is not that the whiskey tastes bad; it's that whatever good flavours it has are drowned out by untamed bitterness. Not sure where it comes from but you could nearly call this stuff "acrid". Doesn't do much in the "blend vs. malt" argument.

Update: after having the bottle open for a week, this whiskey has improved quite dramatically. Less bitter, more integrated now. If I had to rate it again it would probably score in the low 70s.


At the end of the 19th Century, A.A. Watt Distillery from Derry brought introduced Inishowed Irish Whiskey. The name is derived from the beautiful peninsula in the west of Ireland, where you'll also find the famous Burt Castle. Quite a bit of poteen - illicit spirit - was produced in that area. Around 1822 no less than 800 stills were active in the Inishowen region. Today, Inishowen is produced by Cooley. It's a blend of grain and malt whiskeys. The maltwhiskey is distilled from 30% peated malt. It is the only peated blend coming from Ireland.

After pouring it, a whiff of peat is the first thing that you notice, only to have it dissappear never to return. The fresh aromas of apples and green grapes take over, along with some grain and vanilla notes.

It's very soft and sweet on the palate and the peat has a very hard time manifesting itself.

The finish is a trifle dry and spicy. At the death, with a bit of good will, you'll taste just a little bit of peat.

Whisky guru Jim Murray gives this one in his 2008 bible a whopping 98! While this one is absolutely not bad, it's a far cry from the best whisky I've ever tasted (the max I've ever awarded a whisky was a 97 for a ond Glen Garioch, not so long ago). Inishowen is worth every penny for it is pretty cheap. A very good blend, to be sure, and might be a good introduction to the world of peated whiskies.

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