Thought peat was all about Islay? Think (or perhaps that should be 'drink') again. All Islay fans owe it to themselves to check out Connemara from the splendid Cooley distillery. IWSC 2012 - Gold Medal - Whiskey - Irish
Appearance Clear, mid golden amber with polished golden glints.
Aroma Sweet barley (touch of barley water) with wafts of peaty smoke, kippers and well baked apple crumble.
Taste Lightly honey sweet, subdued clean rather than sooty smoke with peaty vegetal notes, sweet barley water, light spice and vanilla oak.
Aftertaste Lingering smoke, spicy oak and sweet almonds.
Diffordsguide rating - 4/5
Tasting Notes by Dr Whisky
Honey and lemon, green grapes, skin cream/lotion. Very fresh on the nose. The peat is in there, but it is all so perfumed, estery, and free of the associations that often appear with peat smoke that it could go unnoticed. Apple crumble, margarine, and a touch of animal hide.
Okay, well the smoke will not go unnoticed on the palate, but it is so clean, and surrounded by floral sweetness, that to compare it to a Scottish whisky would not quite be fair (to either). Peated barley at the heart of the flavours, grassy, and increasingly drying. Oak and almonds.
A unique peated whiskey experience. Very drinkable, even quaff-able, with sweetness, and an interesting summer weeds type of presence. And plenty of peat, but don't expect a peat beast; this is driving-through-the-country window-seat-peat.
[These tasting notes are reproduced from drwhisky.blogspot.com]
Producer's Tasting Notes
Colour: Lightly golden
Nose: Smokey peatiness balanced by heather floralness with hints of honey and oak.
Taste: Silky smooth with a honey sweet start, followed by more complex aromas of malt and fruit giving way to the intensifying full bodied peat. A well-balanced yet complex taste with vanilla oak notes.
Finish: A long and glorious finish with golden honey notes and deep peat spreading across the mouth and palate. Hints of chocolate vanilla and oak leave a mouth-watering taste!
Serving Suggestions: Connemara can be enjoyed neat or with a little water to release the bouquet.
Customer Reviews: (27 reviews)
My Dad got me this for my birthday. Its an absolute delight. Not quite as strongly peaty as some Islay Peat Malts, it is however sufficiently peaty and smoky to be delicious. Its smooth and so very nice its hard not to over indulge. I soon finished this and ordered myself another.
- Andy Simpson, 7th November
It's a smokey BBQ in a bottle. Enough said.
- uchu, 22nd September
I have been enjoying Islays for about 65 years and was introduced to Connemara a few years ago--fabulously smooth and satisfying--possibly the best Irish available in California. I gift a bottle yearly to a 70-year, lifelong friend on his birthday and he swears it's the best he has ever tasted. It gives great joy to both of us when we kill off last year's, open the new one--and celebrate still being among the living.
- Don Mallin, 27th Nov '12
I've heard great reviews about this whiskey, and was excited when I brought home a bottle. It was my first peat experience, and alas... I have to agree with Kieth. Simply too medicinal for my tastes. Any alternative peat suggestions would be appreciated.
- MCS, 25th Oct '12
I bought it as a "tryout". Ok, it gives you the "peaty" nose and taste too, but it's....hmm..a bit too sweet. and the peat seems to be kinda "added" to all other tastes..but I only had one glass of ..will need more :)
- anonymous, 9th Jul '12
This was a gift and a delight. I`ve never tasted Irish malt until this evening preferring out of habit to enjoy various Scottish single malts. This Connemara peated Single malt is light and gently malty sweet in the mouth and will be a pleasure to share with a few friends.
- CGB 1st June 2012, 1st Jun '12
This is a sit back and make some time kind of whiskey. Nose matches flavor. Peat with heather- sweet nuance. Special as well for the true and time tested way it is made.
- anonymous, 16th May '12
i was introduced to peaty islay whiskies 20 years ago by a friend who cherished lagavulin, although i favour laphroaig. i have a bottle from each of the operating islay distilleries...plus a bottle of connemara, which IMHO stands its ground very well. i'm irish by birth and i also have a bottle of 10yo bush on the go, but connemara is an acceptable, affordable and readily available peaty malt (very few islays make it across the water).
- Joe Crow, 14th Dec '11
Great peat and taste is not too strong fabulous !
- JJF, 3rd Dec '11
this is the one and only irish peated whiskey,there's only one 1 non multi national company and this is from the country that invented the bloody stuff hope to see many more irish peated whiskeys
- bobby, 20th Oct '11
I decided to try this one for a change from my regular Islay and was pleasently surprised. Don't get me wrong, Connemara is no Islay but nor does it claim to be. This whiskey stands alone for what it is, a good and sound example of a peated Irish single malt. Does it change my preference for a good Islay dram? No. But I definately would buy this again. For me... 7.5/10.
- Jim, 18th Oct '11
This whisky has a sweet and inviting nose with peat hints. The body is sweet, smooth, peaty and mouth-coating. The pleasant finish fades away quite quickly.The flavour seems like a hybrid of the classic Irish whisky taste: very smooth, sweet, floral and with a waxy mouth feel and the aggressive peatyness of Islay, both of which I like. While the result is interesting, I do not think it compares well to the best Irish or Islay whiskies.
- Danny Hughes, 24th Apr '11
Disappointed - found this rather medicinal - not a patch on the Islay
- Keith Appleyard, 9th Mar '11
I have never tasted anything quite like this before. Potent sweet and yes peaty like the smell of Ireland down the country. Introduced by Mr John Cochrane who found it in a specialist shop in Dublin. Will definitely invest in a bottle.
- Aidan O'Rourke, 19th Feb '11
Bit too much thin and light first bite for myself. Peaty kick back is nice but I'm missing the more thick and plentiful first taste. Each on his own way.
- Jukka, Finland, 19th Jan '11
This is a treat for Islay man like me. Nice, warm, smooth peat palate. Amazing nose and long peaty, mineral finish. Siiiilent kille'r :)
- Mikko, 14th Aug '10
The only whiskey I've tasted in 55 yrs of tasting that might lead me to dependence.
- Donald Holliday, 3rd Mar '10
A must to everyone who loves peated whiskies from Islay. It really changed my belief that good peated whisky can be found on Scotland only.
- Povilas Safranauskas, 17th Dec '09
A very nice smooth whiskey that is not too powerfull. To the 'why not just buy an Islay?' comment. I can only suggest that if a person finds the Islay whiskies too peaty or smoky this is the perfect answer. The smoke is just on the edge of an otherwise smooth whiskey, and it doesn't over power afterwards, like some of the Islay's do. If you want a smooth Irish whiskey with a pleasant, light smoky flavour that doesn't over stay its welcome, this is a good one to try.
- anonymous, 18th Nov '09
I was introduced to this incredible whiskey when in Dublin recently. Just at the edge of it's nose is the scent of peat smoke in the Irish air I so keenly recall from 40 years ago. A deep, smooth taste. Thank you!