In a few months, Clonakilty distillery will have liquid that can legally be called whiskey (if I remember the dates correctly – I think they filled the first cask with their own distillate at the beginning of May 2019). But they also have a lot of good things going on when it comes to the management of sourced whiskey. They have a good range of bottlings with different cask finishes, some available in shops, local or online, and some bottlings they’ve made exclusively for the US. It’s really nice to see so much going on while waiting for their own whiskey to mature!
We’ve been indulging in some of these whiskeys during Christmas and New Year.
One of them is their new cask that resides in the distillery shop, from which you can now fill your own bottle. It’s a young-ish single malt, distilled elsewhere, initially matured in a bourbon cask and then put into an ex-Rhum Agricole cask for a bit over a year. The whiskey in the cask has a strength of 58,4% ABV.
Medium. Cinnamon or nutmeg or both, with a sweet aroma. Spongecake with icing sugar, strawberry and cream, blackcurrant, red apple, hints of tropical fruits, grapefruit peel.
Pronounced, with a nice, oily mouthfeel. There’s a quite immediate hit of spice and/or alcohol sting. Then red wine gum, a hint of blackcurrant, icing sugar, strawberry pie and a mix of tropical fruits with some chocolate.
This is a very pleasant and tasty little beast. My opinions have varied about it – first I found it a bit rough and with that youngish feel of dry coconut that I normally can’t stand, but it wasn’t overwhelming, and after the bottle has been open for a while, I don’t find this character anymore. I do recommend adding a few drops of water to it, it makes all the dessert-like flavours stand out more.
Will I get a second bottle when this is gone? Oh YES!