The Dark Silkie, a peated sibling of the Silkie whiskey, appeared in my social media feeds in the middle of the lockdown. A few years back the only peated Irish whiskey on the market was the Connemara, but lately we’ve seen quite a few of them being released. Perhaps most of the newer peated Irish whiskeys come from the well renowned Great Northern Distillery but there is news that also other distilleries have peated whiskey in the making.
The Silkie whiskey brand is owned by Sliabh Liag Distillery in Donegal. It is a sourced whiskey, and is said to be a recreation of an old whiskey from the 19th century. I haven’t tasted the standard Silkie whiskey, but the rumours of the new Dark Silkie and the very good reviews of it caught my interest.
I’ve tried to keep my whiskey buying down lately but Fèis Ìle was coming up, and being an Islay and peat fan, I tried to get my hands on some Fèis ìle bottlings. When that failed (I was 4 minutes late to the game) I bought two Kilchomans from the Whisky Exchange instead. Or so I thought. Something went wrong with the order, and it looked like I wouldn’t get any. Then as a consolation, I decided to get some new Irish whiskeys, such as the Dark Silkie. The Whisky Exchange saga doesn’t end there, but that’s another story…
The Silkie is a new creature to me. Remember that I’m not Irish – I’m used to banshees, trolls, näcken, näcken in the form of a horse, and the likes. From what I can read about the Silkie, it’s a mythical sea creature that takes the form of a beautiful sea maiden with long dark hair. Could it be the Celtic version of a mermaid, or the female näcken? Who knows. I have a book about these things somewhere, perhaps it’s time to read it soon. Anyway, back to the whiskey!
I purchased the Dark Silkie directly from the Sliabh Liag distillery website, and it arrived a few days later with a nice greeting note from the company.
This whiskey consists in triple distilled peated single malt matured in ex-sherry casks, blended with double distilled single malt matured in ex-bourbon casks, and grain whiskey matured in virgin oak casks. Sounds like a mix that suits my taste perfectly!
This whiskey is bottled at 46% ABV and non-chill filtered (as you can see). The bottle is tall, slim and elegant, reminds me of the design of a bottle of grappa.
Light and fresh as well as burnt wood, nuts, spice, light smoke, ash, pencil shavings. To me, it has the same kind of campfire feel as the Blacks Ops. Behind the smoke, there’s fresh apple and some vanilla with ginger-like spice.
Soft mouthfeel to begin with but there’s also some kind of crystallised honey kind of texture and it’s very sweet. There’s soft vanilla with spice, burnt sugar, smoke and hints of apple and maybe some citrus too. It feels quite light-bodied but has a nice mouthfeel and a good spicy medium-long finish.
This is a delicious whiskey, especially considering the price of somewhere around €40! It’s a very nice blend and the peat gives it that extra twist. Definitely something to sip on a cold night while reading that book about Celtic mythical creatures!
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