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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Tyrconnell Irish Single Malt Whiskey

Tasting Notes Review

The Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey Distillery History

Originally distilled at the Abbey Street Distillery Londonderry.


The distillery was founded in 1820 by Alexander Stuart and had a proud tradition of producing good whiskies. This was due to. Derry’s suitability for whiskey production on a major scale with copious supplies of good clean water and excellent local barly combined with the Derry mills to grind malt placed the distillery in an advantageous position.


The Watt family, a local wine and spirit merchant established in 1762, was to become a major influence in the area when Andrew  Watt purchased the Abbey street distillery in 1830.  Around the same time they also bought the Waterside Distillery also located in the Abbey Street area.


There are conflicting dates of 1839, 1854 and 1870 these dates are possibly been given as when the Watts family gained overall control over other partners. As with most distilleries the early history can be confused.


One of the most noteworthy decisions taken was to install a Coffey still in 1833, personally installed under Aeneas Coffey’s supervision. It proved to be a perceptive move as before long, and with the installation of a second Coffey still, the Abbey Street distillery was the largest distillery in Ireland, capable of producing 2,000,000 gallons of whiskey a year.


Tyrconnell  their flagship brand is named after a very successful racehorse owned by the Watt family. The horse won the Irish classic 1n 1876 as an outsider at 100-1.


With their main brand Andrew A Watts enjoyed great success in the export sector, with sales in England, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, The West Indies and the US. The Tyrconnell was, before prohibition, one of the biggest selling whiskey brands in the US. Pre-prohibition photos of Yankee stadium in New York show Tyrconnell billboards in positions of prominence at the venue


By the turn of the century Watt amalgamated his interest with two other Belfast distilleries to form United Distillers Company. Things worked perfectly leveraging on they’re economies of scale until conflict arose between UDC and Scottish giants DCL based in Edinburgh.


This was the beginning of the end for the huge Derry operation and Andrew Watt was forced to close the doors in 1925.


The Watts brands remained dormant till 1988 when Cooley Distillery acquired The Tyrconnell brand name and they set about bringing this historical Irish whiskey brand back to life.


The Cooley Distillery, the only independent distillery in Ireland, has regained Tyrconnells’ reputation this can be shown by its recent Gold Medal win at the 2004 International Wine & Spirits Competition. The Tyrconnell has been embraced by whiskey lovers around the world (including the US again) and is the fastest growing Irish Single Malt Whiskey.


Tyrconnell (Cooley Irish whiskey Distillery Bottlings)

The Tyrconnell Irish Single Malt Whiskey

Older Distillery Bottlings

The Tyrconnell Aged 10 years Madeira

The Tyrconnell Aged 10 years Port Finish

The Tyrconnell Aged 10 years Sherry Finish

The Tyrconnell Aged 14 years

The Tyrconnell Aged 15 years Single Cask

The Tyrconnell Aged 15 years Willow Park

The Tyrconnell Aged 17years Single Cask

The Tyrconnell Single Cask


Tyrconnell Irish Single Malt Whiskey

Tasting Notes


Tyrconnell Irish Single Malt Whisky Alcohol content: 40%


Colour: - Golden Yellow.


Nose: - Full and fruity aroma with a citrus – spiciness taste


Taste: - Well structured with honey notes hanging from the nose. A tang of oranges and lemons, a strong malt presence that balances well with the oily sweetness


Finish: - A long finish with the malt becoming more dominant to the end without the soft fruits and honey, which helped make up the middle.


Serving Suggestions: -The Tyrconnell can be served neat in a tumbler, or with a little water to taste.

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