I had the pleasure of a brief sit down and tasting with John Cashman, New Business Development Manager, of Cooley Distillery who was in Vancouver and Victoria marketing his range of Irish whiskey to the trade and public. During our chat we tasted the Greennore Single Grain 8 Year, Tyrconnell Single Malt, and the Connemara Peated Single Malt. John mentioned that prior to 1987 (Cooley's founding) The Irish whiskey industry was controlled by two spirit giants: Diageo and Pernod Ricard. These two multi-nationals marketed Irish Whiskey to the world trade and public with the thoughts of Irish implying "no peat and triple distilled". Cooley resurrected mothballed distilleries and the original concepts of true Irish whiskey; peated and double distilled like Scotch. Cooley Distillery was named World and European Distiller of the Year in November 2008 for their spirits at the International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Here are my tasting notes: January 23rd 2009 10:15am
Greennore 8 Year Old
Small batch single grain irsh whiskey matured in used bourbon casks for a minimum of 8 years. Sweet coconut, corn, and vanilla notes on the nose. Medium-bodied, lush and smooth, with vanilla, spice, and sweet oak flavours. An Irish Bourbon ? Perfect pre-dinner aperitif spirit. 5000 case production.
Tyrconnell Single Malt
Named after Tyconnell, a legendary 1oo to one horse race winner, this full-bodied whiskey has a honeyed and citrus nose and flavours of mild peat smoke, cointreau, chocolate, apple, and pear and Assam tea. Complexly layered. Pot Still Distillation. $59.99 BC CDN$
Connemara Peated Single Malt
Ireland's only Peated Single Malt. Aromas of smoke and peat. Full-bodied and creamy, with smoke, peat, honey and vanillin oak notes. Complex and long finish. Nice digestive whiskey to finish an evening. $$69.99 BC CDN$
photo's Cooley Whiskey website