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Kilbeggan advertises itself as the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland (1757). But, you may ask, what about Bushmills, which was licensed in 1608? Well, that license was for another distillery on the Bushmills site (the current Bushmills distillery was built during the Victorian era). Yet having said that, Kilbeggan today is distilled at Cooley, not the original old Kilbeggan distillery (where, however, it is matured and bottled). Confused yet? Welcome to the tangled web known as the history of Irish whiskey.

Beam bought Cooley Distillery from John Teeling a couple of years ago, and are putting more muscle behind marketing and distributing Kilbeggan, a brand with a long and checkered history. The current bottling of this standard entry level blend has an updated, more attractive design.

The colour is a light honey. On the nose, sweet corn with lemon curd, honey, and peaches and pears in syrup. Pecans. Beeswax. Very soft and fruity. Much like the Teeling I had yesterday (which is from the same distillery), water does nothing but thin out both the nose and palate (however, it is much better than the Teeling).

A rather thin mouthfeel, yes, but still pleasant. Much like the nose, we have honey and fruit, with subtle hints of lavender and cardamom. A little bit on the sweet side, but lovely to drink.

The finish is medium length, with buttered toast and caramel. This is definitely a grain-forward blend but it is very nice, simple and straightforward, though not distinctive. Extremely easy to drink, and recommended as a daily Irish dram that will not dent your wallet.


Nosed from the bottle, I smell sawdust and sour pickle juice. In the glass it is much softer, still with fresh wood notes but also creamy vanilla and hints of lemon. Nice enough but somewhat restrained.

In the mouth it is light-bodied and quite silky. Noticeable malt presence with nice vanilla flavour, quickly becoming oaky and spicy. It dries at the back of the tongue and leaves a rather dull but pleasant finish.

Overall I find this blend quite decent if unremarkable. The best part of it is the initial malty sweetness on the tongue. From their website it looks like this is a blend of malt and grain, without any pure pot still. Maybe that's what I enjoy Jameson more.


Nose: Vanilla, honey, sweet matiness, banana.Some spices and corn flakes. with a little time in the glass it gets grassy. vegetal. Palate: Sweet honey, then transformed to a bit of bitterness, and malty notes. some spices, and a bit spicy on the entry with biscuity notes. Finish : short, biscuity, with a bit of cough syrup remnants.

Yes, to me this tastes quite similar to a lot of other Irish blended whiskeys.

Pretty accurate review, I'd say.


Kilbeggan means 'little church' in Gaelic and is a blended Irish whiskey (so I was a little surprised to see is here under single malts, but no matter).

The nose is full of sweet malt, a little citrus and even some pineapple. Reminds me of those cube-formed pineapple candy.

On the palate, this dram is well honeyed and smooth. Well balanced, though not complex. Rather fruity too.

The finish is rather dry with oak notes and sweet at the death.

Nothing fancy, to be truthfull, but at less than 20 EUR at local retailers, this is great value for money.

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