I am in my 27th year as a member of a debating society. It has had a great influence on my approach to certain things. For instance, when I ran for Parliament I was over-prepared and dispatched my opponents handily (at least I and my mom think so). When I first got into whisky, the people I tasted with were mostly from this group, and in the spirit of our society, I kept notes, or minutes, of all the whiskies we tried. This has carried over to any whisky events that I attend or host, including the EPIC tasting on November 10 at my place.
At that tasting (or just before) I opened a couple of Amruts (plus one that we did not try) and tried some great whiskies. I received a couple of samples to review (one was a heel of the Yamazaki 18 and one an ounce of an Amrut single cask I traded for some of my Naarangi. The samples will likely be reviewed under my Mini and Samples series, but the bottles will eventually be reviewed as “Business arising…”.
In his haste to make an unfortunately early exit, @Astroke left not one, but two bottles at my place. After some private messages he implored me to keep them (this WILL be paid both forward and back), and I undertook to review them.
The Tyrconnell 16 YO is made from Irish Barley and matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, according to the container. It’s bottled at 46%, which in my experience is unusual for an Irish whiskey. It is 1/3 full tonight after a 20 cc pour, and I do not know how long it has been open or whether it was ever gassed (it will be now…).
This expression, poured into a Glencairn, is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Fruit syrup. Very sweet. Rich. Apples, honey, some baking spice. Possibly (maybe the power of suggestion, some citrus oil (or maybe it’s the clementines I peeled earlier. Beautiful fruity nose I could sniff for hours.
First sip bitter on the arrival. Sour wood. white pepper, tart grape. some spiciness. Water tones down the bitterness a little and makes it more sweet. (22/25)
sour tannins, almost like an oaked chardonnay when I breath out. A little bitter
I think this is a little over-oaked, and the wood tannins overwhelm the palate a bit, so it does not fulfill the promise of the nose. Slightly more balanced with water (21/25)
Score: Neat - 85/100 With Water: 87/100
This is a pretty neat whisky, especially for those who really like to nose it. I found the palate a little too woody, even though I like bold flavours and I tend to like oak. I wonder if the lighter Irish style is more susceptible to oak in its medium to old range.
I would definitely take this with a few drops of water based on tonight’s tasting.
This sells for $98.85 at the LCBO (at the time of writing), which in Ontario is a pretty good price for a 16 YO single malt.
Thanks again, @Astroke for forgetting this at my house and letting me “borrow” it for my review.