Showing posts with label Connacht Distillery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Connacht Distillery. Show all posts

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Connacht Batch 1 Whiskey and News from Killowen Distillery

The Connacht Batch 1 Whiskey and News from Killowen Distillery

Connacht Batch 1 Single Malt Whiskey 47% ABV

The Ballina based Connacht Distillery are proud of their Batch 1 as it is the first whiskey to come off their own copper pot stills. “ has been patiently matured for four years, when our distillers judged it to be ready for appreciation by whiskey lovers.This small batch, double distilled single malt is made from 100% malted irish barley, aged in ex-bourbon casks and finished in Jerez casks.”

Colour is a light gold and the legs last longer than you’d expect from 47% ABV. There is a fleeting hint of the higher alcohol in the aromas, especially if you get too close! Stay a bit further back, and you get notes of resin and honey and a slight touch of almond. The palate is warming, full-bodied. It is spicy, sweet and fruity right through the finish. Add in a wee drop of water and you lose nothing of the character while you gained a touch more smoothness. 

The label tells us this has been crafted with fine Irish barley (from Hook Head), has been matured in  Kentucky Bourbon barrels and finished in Oloroso Sherry barrels.

I’ve been putting this to the test over the past month or two, starting with a visit to the distillery where I bought a bottle. I liked that first time and have been just as satisfied after each raid on the bottle. Consistently happy with the result. Might be slightly biased as my mother grew up in Mayo but it is being added to my list of favourites for 2022.

* Just read, after our July visit to the Moy-side distillery, that Connacht Whiskey has been put up for sale with a price tag of more than €20 million.

List of favourites for 2022

Connacht Batch 1 Single Malt Whiskey 47% ABV

Powers '3 Swallow' Release 40% ABV

Two Stacks Irish Whiskey Dram in a Can 86 proof or 43% ABV, 100ml can

Fercullen 14 year old Single Malt 46% ABV

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

Clonakilty Port Cask Finish 43.6%

Below is a recent news release from Killowen:

Killowen Dark Rum
Cask Aged / Solera Method
Small Batch 3
Continuing on with Killowen’s Dark Rum Solera releases, and after considerable requests from spirit fans and quality bars, we can now announce batch 3 is being released tomorrow Wed 31st August at 5pm through all our normal retail partners, Irish Malts, KWM Wines and all interested bars and Off licences.
This rum is fully born & bred onsite, fermented from 50% blackstrap molasses and 50% Sugar, with funky 2-4 week open top fermentations.

The wash is distilled by Killowen's flame-fed copper pot stills and worm-tubs, the first still uses a copper thumper keg which acts as another half distillation, hence the bottle stating, 2.5 times distilled. 

Solera method cask ageing was chosen for this dark rum using a range of casks. The distillate was first laid down in a series of 6 ex-bourbon 50-liter firkins, then a PX Sherry Cask, a peated whiskey cask and finally in heavily charred Cabernet Sauvignon casks. 
Like all Killowen spirits, this distillate is a cut above all other quality rums. The focus on pot still distillation and cask aging is evident in a viscous, well-balanced, spicy, heavy, and molasses-led flavor that acknowledges its raw ingredients and cask aging method. 
Ireland's first dark rum has just set the standard.

Note: For every bottle sold, Killowen Distillery will donate £1 to The Joint Council for The Welfare of Immigrants' Windrush Justice Fund; paying respect to those who created one of the world's greatest spirits. Recognising Afro-Caribbean people within the Rum industry and acknowledging the dark legacy of slavery that bore its creation. 
Tasting Notes:

: home baking with vanilla pod kneaded into a fresh almond paste with a healthy drop of treacle and flaked coconut. Followed by a more professional gingerbread baking at with a generous helping of cinnamon. 
Palate: A breakfast of honey & treacle on thick buttery toast, while wearing a pair of brand-new, real leather boots. Followed by a trip to the petrol station shop for some ice cream flavoured penny sweets.
Finish: Demerara sugar melted over the same gingerbread we noticed on the nose, creating a dry/sweet balance that leaves you waiting for the next drop.

Release Date

400 Bottles  on Wednesday 31st August 2022 @ 5pm GMT


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Local Whiskey and Beers enjoyed during Mayo Prelude to Roscommon Stay

 Local Whiskey and Beers enjoyed during

Mayo Prelude to Roscommon Stay

The Connacht Distillery are proud of their Batch 1 as it is the first whiskey to come off their own copper pot stills. “ has been patiently matured for four years, when our distillers judged it to be ready for appreciation by whiskey lovers.This small batch, double distilled single malt is made from 100% malted irish barley, aged in ex-bourbon casks and finished in Jerez casks.”

We were in Ballina, where the distillery is located, to visit relations and booked a tour. The tour is pretty routine, takes you through the process as you walk around the working distillery. You learn the pot stills are Canadian, the barley comes from Hook Head (County Wexford) and it is malted in Athy.

The three Canadian made pot stills

Following the milling and mashing on site, the spent grain goes to some happy local cattle while the wort, goes to the fermentation tanks and, with the addition of yeast, the whiskey begins to emerge. Now it’s on to the copper pot stills (‘think of them as kettles”) for either double or triple distillation. The whiskey is bottled onsite.

Soon we arrived in the cosy comfortable bar for the tasting. It wasn’t mentioned during the tour but the website tells us the timber floors were rescued from Boland’s Mill (Dublin), the very floors “upon which Irish patriots stood and battled British soldiers during the 1916 Easter Rising.”

Timbers with a tale

Our assignment was threefold but a much more comfortable experience than the battles of 1916. Under the logo of the Sea Serpent, we tasted three of the Connacht spirits: The Straw Boys Poitín, Ballyhoo Irish Whiskey, and the Connacht Single Malt Batch 1. 

The Poitín, at 45%, is a very smooth (no alcohol burn) and an easy drinking example of the native drink. The Ballyhoo, another smooth dram, began as a sourced Irish whiskey that “we bring to our distillery to further age and finish in used port barrels from Portugal”.

The bar at Connacht Distillery

It was good but I was really waiting for the Batch 1 and I wasn’t let down at all. Sweet, spicy and especially fruity, it is warming and full bodied with lingering walnuts and honey. The ABV is 47%. The RRP is €64.99 but if you take the tour you can get a 10% discount, though you may have to ask for it!

We were in Ballina, where the distillery is located, to visit relations before a two-day break in Roscommon. Our next stop was Swinford for a very comfortable overnight stay at the Deerpark Manor B&B. Very friendly hosts and an enjoyable breakfast as well, in a location convenient for us with Roscommon just a short drive away but the likes of Knock Airport, Castlebar and Westport aren’t too far away either.

We have, for a quite a while now, an ambition to visit the Mescan Brewery near Croagh Patrick but it just wasn’t possible on this occasion. However, that didn’t stop us from enjoying some of their beer in the lovely old pub, Mellett’s Emporium in Swinford, a ten minute stroll from our B&B.

It looked very well kept from the outside and when we spotted a sign for Mescan in the hallway, we went in without hesitation. Quite a good buzz there for a Tuesday night! And that Seven Virtues Lager on draught was just the job after a long day. Besides, we also got to enjoy the Jack the Lad Ale by the Reel Deel brewery from nearby Crossmolina.

In fact, it was craft beer all the way on this trip, as our Roscommon hosts, Keenan’s of Tarmonbarry, also had two beers on tap, the Little Fawn by White Hag and Scraggy Bay by Kinnegar.

The trip from Cork to Ballina took us about three and a half hours and was pleasantly uneventful. It should also have been 3.5 hours from Tarmonbarry to Cork but the return stretched to four hours. The major delaying factor came in the square in Thurles. When we entered, I spotted a person lying under a truck immediately to the right. Shock was the first reaction but later I read on a local radio’s website that the lady was unharmed so that was very good news indeed.

Also on this trip: 

Superb stay at the lovely Keenan's of Tarmonbarry Hotel

48 hours in Roscommon and neighbouring counties

Friday, October 20, 2017

Irish Whiskey Awards Results. Power's John Lane the big winner.

Great to see the Powers John’s Lane, one of my favourite whiskeys coming out on top at the Irish Whiskey Awards last night. Thanks to the Celtic Whiskey Shop, you can see all the winners below....
Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green
27-28 Dawson Street Dublin 2
Ph. +35316759744

Irish Whiskey Awards Results, 

This year the Irish Whiskey Awards were hosted at the Old Jameson Distillery on Bow Street and was attended by producers, bars and whiskey enthusiasts all over Ireland. The night consisted of whiskey cocktails, a tour of the distillery, the all important awards and of course far too much whiskey! Please see our list of winners below...

Best Irish Single Pot Still 
Powers John's Lane
Powers John’s Lane was an instant hit when it was first released in 2011 so it’s no surprise that it was a firm favourite with a lot of our judges this year, despite having some very strong competitors in this category.

John’s Lane was intended to faithfully recreate the old style of whiskey once made in Dublin, it's one that Irish whiskey lovers keeping coming back to. It is comprised mostly of a robust, heavy pot still spirit and is predominantly aged in ex-bourbon casks with a little sherry cask ageing.

Gold Medals went to: Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest & Powers 1817 Release
Tasting notes:

Colour: Bronze.

Nose: Distinct cocoa and mocha overtones on the nose with hints of dried apricots orange peel and marshmallow.                        

Palate: Crisp and mouthwatering with a spice laden palate, a touch of bittersweet fruit, marmalade and toffee apples. The finish becomes more chocolatey with some dusty oakiness making an appearance.
Powers John's Lane Regular Price €63.99
Best Irish Single Malt (12 Years Old and Under)
Tyrconnell Madeira Cask
Originally released as a limited edition but proved to be so popular that it was made a permanent part of the Tyrconnell range. Flavours of barley sugar, chocolate, and toffee has made it a clear winner in this category.

Gold Medals went to: Teeling Brabazon Bottling Series 2 & The Whistler Single Malt Aged 7 Years
Tasting notes:

Colour: Golden yellow.

Nose: Harmonious and warming. Aromas of milky coffee, dried apricots, roasted nuts and creme caramel. 

Palate: Smooth, rich and extremely well rounded. Plenty of soft malty flavours, a touch of spice and dried fruit nuances. Very well balanced, one of the most successful Madeira finishes we have tried. The fruit flavours persist all the way to the finish.
Tyrconnell Madeira Cask Regular Price €77.99
Best Irish Single Malt (13 Years Old and Over) & Overall Best Irish Whiskey Winner
Teeling Revival Single Malt Volume IV
Teeling’s new revival release was hugely popular with our judges this year and when you taste it, it’s easy to see why. The ex-Muscat barrels used for a finishing period of around 12 months have added some citrus and floral notes, as well as a ripe fruits and spice towards the finish.

Gold medals went to: The Irishman 17Year Old & Tyrconnell 16Year Old
Producer's tasting notes:

Colour: Golden.

Nose: Subtle floral notes, aroma of peach, pineapple, and satsuma mandarin.
Palate: Ripe fruits and spices, with an hint of vanilla and cream which moves onto a dry finish with tannins and lingering wood. 
Teeling Revival Single Malt Volume IV Coming Soon!
Best Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60)
Jameson Black Barrel
The second time this whiskey has won Best Irish Blended Whiskey under €60. The heavily charring of 1st fill Bourbon casks gives this whiskey notes of butterscotch, vanilla and dark chocolate. The remainder of the casks used are 1st and 2nd fill bourbon barrels which add some balancing sweetness to the blend.

Gold Medals went to: Irishman Founder's Reserve & Slane Irish Whiskey 
Tasting notes:

Colour: Deep gold with some copper tinges.

Nose: Intensely fruity with characters of apricot, kumquat, and fruit cake. A hint of bitter, dark chocolate and truffles.

Palate: Spice and dried fruits, mixed peel, apricots, marshmallow and burnt caramel. The palate ends with a spicy, bitter chocolate finish.
Jameson Black Barrel Regular Price €47.99
Best Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of more than €60)
Jameson Maker’s Series – The Cooper’s Croze
Another win for Jameson and a well-liked whiskey with our judges this year. Named in honour of Jameson's Master Cooper, Ger Buckley, this whiskey clearly showcases the diversity of barrels used and the importance of cask maturation through using Ex-Bourbon, Sherry and Virgin oak barrels to create balance. 

Gold Medals went to: Jameson Maker's Series - The Blender's Dog & J.J Corry 'The Gael'
Producer's tasting notes:

Colour: Pale gold.

Nose: A subtle flower petal-perfume develops into rich ripe fruits, while some charred oak and cedar wood bring balance and complexity.

Palate: The initial impression is from the sweet vanilla of the American ex-bourbon barrels. This brings added depth to the rich fruits typical of the ex-oloroso sherry butts. A pleasant touch of hazelnut and toasted wood complement the pot still spice
Jameson Maker's Series The Cooper's Croze Regular Price €69.99
Best Irish Single Cask
Cill Airne Cask PX
The Celtic Whiskey Bar’s very own Cill Airne Cask PX came out on top for the Best Irish Single Cask.  This whiskey is bottled exclusively at the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder and has been finished in a Pedro Ximenez Sherry cask for one year. Very limited, only 70 bottles.

Gold Medals went to: Irishman Founder's Reserve Marsala Cask Finish & Cill Airne Cask Oloroso.
Tasting notes:

Colour: Dark Amber with a tawny centre.

Nose: Aromas of toasted oak, rich sherried raisins, marzipan and roasted walnuts can be expected. 

Palate: At first there are flavours of Christmas cake, dried fruits and warming spices of clove and cinnamon. The palate ends with a sweetness clinging to your cheeks like treacle and has a velvety finish. 
Cill Airne Cask PX Only Available for Purchase In-Store at Celtic Whiskey Bar
Best Irish Cask Strength
Tullamore D.E.W Phoenix
The second time this whiskey has won Best Irish Cask Strength Whiskey. This triple distilled blend of all three styles was a clear winner amongst our judges. The Oloroso Sherry cask finish gives this whiskey some very distinct sherry and toffee notes, perfectly balanced with creamy pot still spice.

Gold Medals went to: The Whistler Single Malt 7 Year Old Cask Strength & Writer's Tears Cask Strength 2017.
Tasting notes:

Colour: Bright Gold.

Nose: Warm and spicy initially, then rich, toffee, vanilla notes become evident. The characteristic leafy, malty notes of Tullamore D.E.W. are enriched with deeper, toasted oak aroma and a hint of sherry nuttiness.

Palate: The higher strength tingles on the tongue leaving a spicy pot still flavour. Addition of a little water releases layers of caramel sweetness, delicate floral notes and oak tannins.
Tullamore D.E.W Phoenix Regular Price €77.99
Best Irish Single Grain
Glendalough Triple Barrel
It was a close call as a lot of the judges were very impressed on the quality of this category, but a new release from Glendalough won the title for Best Irish Single Grain. Our tasters felt that the Glendalough had more depth and character than your average grain whiskey!

Gold Medals went to: Method & Madness Single Grain & Glendalough Double Barrel
Producer's tasting notes:

Colour: Amber.

Nose: Wine influence jumps right up front with a raisiny sweetness followed by notes of young malt, vanilla, toffee, pear heavy fruit and a light earthy bit of sawdust and a light floral note.

Palate: Similar with the nose the raisiny winy sweetness jumps out first followed by a sweet graininess, apricots, vanilla, fruit, young malt and again that light earthy bit of sawdust.

Glendalough Triple Barrel Coming Soon!
Other Winners Include:
Best Irish Vodka: Dingle Vodka
Gold Medals went to: Straw Boys Vodka & Woulfe's Irish Vodka

Best Irish Gin: Dingle Gin
Gold Medals went to: Brennan's Old House Irish Gin & Thin Gin

Best Irish Liqueur: Merrys Salted Caramel
Gold Medals went to: Merrys Toffee Buttermint & Merrys Pumpkin Spice

Best Irish Poitin: Ban Poitin
Gold Medals went to: Straw Boys Poitin & Mad March Hare Poitin

Best Irish Barrel Aged Beer: Dot Brew Cab Sauv Session
Gold Medals went to: Boyne Brewhouse Imperial Stout & Dot Brew Cab Sauv Grain Rye

Best Irish Whiskey Bar Leinster: The Dylan Whisky Bar, Kilkenny
Gold Medal went to: Bowe's, Dublin

Best Irish Whiskey Bar Munster: The Folkhouse, Kinsale
Gold Medal went to: Dick Mack's, Dingle

Best Irish Whiskey Bar Connacht: Garavan's, Galway
Gold Medal went to: Sonny Molloys, Galway 

Best Irish Whiskey Bar Ulster: The Duke of York, Belfast
Gold Medal went to: McCauls, Cavan

Best Irish Whiskey Bar International: Seamus O'Dowdens Irish Pub & Shebeen, Vermont
Gold Medal went to: The Dead Rabbit, New York

Best Irish Whiskey Bar: Garavan's, Galway