OK so this review comes five months late (it was a birthday gift from my parents), but hey better late than never! This is a refresh of the standard Tyrconnell single malt, but now moved up from 40 to 43% ABV (it is also double, not triple distilled). I have some of the 16 Year Old still left (46%) so let's do a quick comparison.
The colour is a light honey. Crisp on the nose with violets, white chocolate, green apple and kumquat. Very grassy. Herbaceous with arugula and Italian parsley. Freshly sawn pine. Toasted almonds. Lemon zest. Water brings out earthier notes, like freshly cut grass. A very elegant single malt, and unmistakably Irish.
Citrusy on the palate, with more oak than I got on the nose. Slightly spicy with hints of vanilla and caramel. Lots of lemon going on here, almost like a lozenge. Very light honey. Soft mouthfeel. Water brings out more spice and some bitter salivating oak. Even more elegant than the nose, the subtlety here is almost to a fault.
The finish has tons of lemon, with white pepper and buttered rye toast. Compared to the wonderful 16 Year Old, the standard bottling is lighter and maltier, but both have a lot of subtlety (though the 16 is much fuller bodied). This is a beautiful, crisp and clean malt that, despite not being triple distilled, epitomizes what makes Irish single malt what it is.
The Irish whisky industry is certainly interesting, I think we can draw many parallels with Canada's. Not necessarily in the style but in it's history of consolidation, the blending approach, how they build their whiskys and how so many brands are coming from the same whisky streams.
I might be coming home from Toronto with more bottles than I anticipated