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Kilbeggan Traditional Whiskey

The lights are on but no one's home

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@PandemoniumReview by @Pandemonium

22nd Feb 2016


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I am well aware that the Kilbeggan you’ll find in stores today is made at the Cooley Distillery as the first batches of the old reopened distillery haven't come of age yet. But it was only after buying this bottle that I found out that it is also just a single blend and not a single malt. In my opinion the whole labelling is deceptive: proudly displaying a picture of the old Kilbeggan distillery and bearing its name, but no clear reference to where it was actually made or what type of whiskey it is.

Description: single blend Cooley whiskey, official bottling at 40% ABV.

Nose: smooth as expected, clean, fresh… eeuhm hello anyone home? Well I can report some faint notes of hazelnut and whole wheat bread, but in all honesty I am not getting much else here.

Mouth: smooth once again with a thick oily texture but a watery palate. A bouquet of caramel, honey, soft smoke and a sniff of white pepper….

Finish: short and a bit drying, caramel and soft vanilla in the tail.

Verdict: drinks like lemonade, does this even contain alcohol, barkeep? Just kidding but in all seriousness does this whiskey even try to be anything more than just acceptable? Watery and lacking overall in flavour.

Related Kilbeggan reviews


Victor commented

@Pandemonium, thanks for your review.

Kilbeggan blended is one I have not been able to get excited about either.

Some day, hopefully soon, somebody in Ireland is going to realise that putting out more Irish blended whiskey at 50+% abv will be very desirable to a large segment of the market. 55% ABV Tullamore DEW Phoenix does not have that thin watery quality common to many Irish blended whiskeys. Yes, the traditional whiskey markets are for 'everyman' and 'smooth drinking', but hell, connoisseurs are people too!

6 years ago 0

Robert99 commented

@Pandemonium, I did like it more than you as I didn't expect the smoke, but I didn't buy a second bottle. Of course we are talking about a smooth dram, but I didn't find it watery. For me it is very well done, but without anything standing out. Easy to drink, easy to forget.

@Victor I totally agree with you. I think this Killbeggan would charmed a lot of people at 50% abv.

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

@OlJas, cool. Of course it still has to taste good, and, like you, I don't want to pay a fortune for my whiskeys. I look forward to tasting the West Cork Cask Strength blend.

6 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

I'm really excited about trying the Writer's Tear's Cask Strength, bottled at 52 and 53% depending on the year. @Victor I'll be sure you get some of that.

6 years ago 0

Misty commented

Don't get too excited about the west cork cask strength. I've tried some recently and found it good but easily forgot. Try red breast cask strength or if you have deep pockets the single cask red breast for TWE. Both very tasty! Also there is some single casks from exclusive malts just labelled Ireland that are really very good.

6 years ago 0

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