Whiskybase 2002 Single Malt Irish Whiskey

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It’s been a while since I’ve tried an Irish whiskey. I really have nothing against it, and there are some exciting things happening in that section of the industry, but there isn’t a lot of the really good stuff readily available here and I usually have stuff that’s much higher up on my list of priorities when I get bottles from overseas.

This one came as a bonus sample with an order from Whiskybase.com, they sometimes throw in samples of their own bottlings with orders. They get to market their whiskies, I get to try something interesting, everyone is happy.

This one is from a bottling they did of an Irish single malt from an undisclosed distillery for their first Whiskybase Gathering, a whisky festival which they organised and which I really hope I’ll be able to attend some day.

Aged 14 years. 53% ABV. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask number 8889.

Nose: Light fruits. Coconut. Pineapple juice. Juicy pears. Light apricot notes. Some green banana. Ozone. Orange cake. Macadamias. Simple syrup. Light wood spice. Slight alcoholic presence.

Palate: Quite dynamic here. Took a few sips to really pin anything down. A little bitter wood and fruit tannins at first and then a big sticky, fruity wave, dominated by pear concentrate and peach iced tea, but also slightly bitter and herbal with some menthol and anise on the swallow along with some ethanol.

Finish: Long. Residual pear & peach notes with some very dominant woodspice and menthol.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

I think the cask strength really drove some of the character here and it did so quite well even if it mean the the ethanol came through a little too much for my tastes. The range of flavours were typically Irish, but they were well balanced and full. Really an enjoyable sipping dram, albeit a tad pricey.

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