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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016


Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey Review.

Connemara – Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

A tribute to an Irish whiskey making tradition.

Connemara is a wild, mountainous region on the west coast of Ireland, lying between the Atlantic Ocean and Loughs Corrib and Mask. The majestic mountains, lakes, streams, glens and rain soaked peat bogs create a landscape of unique natural beauty. The peat bogs of Connemara are major fuel sources to the region and have played an important role throughout Irish history in the evolution of energy and as an employment source.


Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a tribute to this region. Its complex characters and peaty taste revive a tradition that in recent years has been forgotten by Irish distillers throughout the country. A forgotten tradition recaptured by Cooley Distillery with Connemara Peated Single Malt.


Development of Peated Whiskey: in Ireland

In 1661 heavy taxes were imposed on all whiskey made in Ireland, which led to an increase in the number of illicit distillers throughout the country. These distillers took to the bogs, glens and hills of Ireland to produce a whiskey that generated much needed money for its makers.


Connemara was a prime business location for these new entrepreneurs. However, the illicit distillers in the region had one big problem, which was the drying of the malt. It was common that sacks of grain were left to dry in different places throughout his home so peat was then used in aiding the quick drying of the malt. Any whiskey produced in Ireland with a peaty aroma and taste was called "poteen flavoured" as it was not left to mature for lengthy periods.


In the rural wilds of the West of Ireland, Connemara in particular, there was ample evidence of illicit distilling. A nineteenth-century observer Arthur Barnard said of the area that "No men understood better the localities that could turn out good spirit, and this fact may be seen to this day when we find many of the oldest distilleries existing upon sites which have been well-known to have been chosen by smugglers of old as places where the purest mountain streams, flowing over moss and peat could be used to distil and produce spirits of the finest description."


Fall from grace….


As many of the distilleries in Ireland were located alongside a canal, the transport of coal to the distilleries became far easier and cheaper. Over time peat was then substituted with coal in the distilling process. This temporarily killed the tradition of peated whiskeys.


The Rivival..


The Cooley Distillery has resurrected this process and recreated the Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey to revive this lost tradition


Connemara Irish Whiskey Distillery Bottlings

Connemara Aged 12 years Irish Whiskey

Connemara Cask Strength

Connemara Single Cask

Connemara Turf Mhor


Connemara Irish Whiskey Distillery Discontinued Bottlings

Connemara (No Age Statement)

Connemara Aged 8 years Irish Whiskey.

Connemara Distillers Edition

Connemara Sherry Cask

Connemara Turf Mhor Limited Edition Small Batch


Connemara Irish Single Malt Whiskey

Tasting Notes


Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey.


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.


Connemara Cask Strength Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey


Colour: - Pale yellow colour


Nose: - A strong and concentrated aroma of peat emerges from this unique Irish Cask Strength Whiskey amplifying in intensity when it reaches the nostrils.


Taste: - A very strong aggressive start with an enormous peat surge in the middle. Then fireworks of aromas explode in your mouth (fruits, spices, pepper, chocolate…) uniting with the peat to give a truly complex taste.


Finish: - Astonishingly long finish with peat clinging to every crevice in the mouth while remaining sweet and glorious.


Serving suggestions: - Connemara Cask Strength can be enjoyed neat or with a little water to release the bouquet. It is an ideal after dinner drink or served at the weekend where one can truly enjoy a tranquil moment to savour this unique whiskey.


Connemara 12 year Old Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Alcohol content: 40%

Colour: - A pale golden colour


Nose: - An expressive nose with a vibrant presence of peat.


Taste: - Smooth, melodious taste with a superb mix of fruit and peat. Round and full character with tantalizing traces of almond, marzipan and biscuit.


Finish: - A strong spicy bite to the finish that is dominated by an extraordinary peat explosion with a vanilla creaminess that luxuriates across the mouth, leaving a long finish on the palate.


Serving suggestion:- Connemara 12 year old can be enjoyed neat or with a little water to release the bouquet

Cooley Distilery home of Connemara Irish Whisky Cooley Page Buy Irish Whiskey Buy Irish Whiskey