A couple of Irish whiskey gems: Fercullen 14-year old and Killowen 6-year old

A couple of Irish whiskey gems: 

Fercullen 14-year old and Killowen 6-year old


Fercullen 14 year old Single Malt 46% ABV

Carefully selected from rare stocks of aged Irish whiskey, this Irish Single Malt by Fercullen was matured exclusively in ex-Bourbon barrels by Master Distiller Noel Sweeney in his time as Master Distiller at the Powerscourt Distillery.

Note the light gold colour and also the slow slow legs. The nose is quite complex, honey and spice, sweet from the malt. Complex yet smooth and harmonious on the palate, layer after layer of different flavours, silky and sweet, the oak crisp, the whiskey fresh and spicy. And the finish follows much the same pattern: complex, fruity, with that amazing sweet spice. Memorable. The 14 years haven’t been wasted. On the contrary!

“This is a truly remarkable whiskey, smooth, satisfying, perfectly balanced, and easy to drink…” said Noel Sweeney. “Exclusively matured in fresh Bourbon barrels for over 14 years, it has married oak and bourbon with a fruity clean malty spirit to deliver a classic with a maturity beyond its years.”

So smooth, so harmonious on the palate, sweet and silky and fresh from start to finish. Gather up this Single Malt. Keep one for every one you drink now! 

The Powerscourt Distillery was founded in 2018 but the history of the Powerscourt Estate can be traced back to the 9th century to a territory that stretches across fertile plains and rugged mountainous land.

Known in native Gaelic tongue as “FeraCulann” or Fercullen, it is located in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains, close to Dublin. Ownership has been claimed by many over the centuries, from the native Clans of O’Toole and O’Byrne, to the Norman house of LePoer (who built a castle here and from whom the estate takes its name.)

The whiskey is generally priced at €92.95 and is available at Irish Malts and Celtic Whiskey. Mine came via Bradley’s Hip Flask service, a very popular service by the way; a full bottle here is keenly priced at €89.95.


Killowen Signature Rum & Raisin 6-Year Old Single Malt Whiskey 55% abv, 50ml bottle. Batch #4.

Colour, as you might expect, is a shade or two darker than the usual. You can’t always judge a whiskey by its colour and here it is the aromas, rounded and rich, that are making the promise, a promise that will be amply fulfilled. And indeed, it is smooth and rich and long, no extremes at all other than being extremely well executed. Waves of flavour, delicious dried fruit notes from the sweet sherry butts melding superbly with Caribbean rum inputs of molasses and vanilla. 

With an ABV of 55%, a drop or two of water is advised. I took my own advice here and that tiny input of H2O makes it even smoother without impacting negatively on any of its other qualities.

To make this single malt Irish whiskey, Newry’s Killowen firstly aged the spirit for 5 years in Bourbon casks and then expertly balanced the PX sherry and dark Rum finishes “for the perfect flavour of the Caribbean with coconut and vanilla, figs, prunes and raisins…. The County Louth malt is the perfect compliment to the marriage”.

Just 995 bottles were produced. My Killowen came via Bradley’s Hip Flask service, a very popular service by the way, and my flask was filled from bottle #140. Full bottles (50cl) are priced at  €64.95 in Celtic Whiskey; €62.95 in Irish Malts (Batch #5). 

Founded by distiller Brendan Carty, Killowen’s team brings together a rogues gallery of whiskey experts and enthusiasts, all driven by one thing; bringing back the character and tradition of real Irish whiskey. Brendan is active and influential in the Irish distilling world, and is obsessed with the revival of forgotten styles of native distilling.

Media release - Killowen's Double Release:

Pic via Killowen Facebook

PARTS 1 of 2
OAT ABV: 59.79% - RYE ABV 60.61%
"The two whiskeys we released on Monday July 11th are Independent bottlings of Belgove Rye (239 bottles) & Oat (222 bottles), these are also released in the true Killowen fashion: cask strength, no added colour, integrity bottlings, with full label transparency." 

The reason for celebrating another micro distillery’s spirit is because we love it. It has connections with Irish whiskey’s rich past and with its contemporary future. Most whiskeys need to be old - very, very few don’t, however, just like Killowen, Belgrove put the effort in at spirit production stage instead of relying on prolonged casking, the sacrifice is quantity but who needs quantity when our game plan, above all else is quality.

Killowen has played its part in spreading the Belgrove gospel throughout the Northern Hemisphere. We have a profound respect for Peter Bignell and his liquid. After purchasing some Belgrove from Peter last summer we felt right now is the perfect time in the Killowen journey to release it.

The Rye - 60.61%
239 bottles
Finished in Ex-Malt & Australian Pinot Noir Casks

The Oat - 59.79%
222 bottles
Finished in Ex-Malt & Australian Pinot Noir Casks

RRP: £94.95
For more, see Killowen's social media.