19 January 2011

Connemara Turf Mor "Earth Wind & Tyre"

Now don’t get me wrong the Irish have been producing some superb drops of drammage for many years, but recently it has to be said that they’ve well and truly upped their game in terms of competing with the offerings from Scotland and the ever evolving and emerging range of ‘new world’ whiskies.

Infact I think it’s fair to say that they have well and truly thrown down the dramming gauntlet.

Some of the finest examples of these new wave Irish whiskies come from the Cooley Distillery and in this particular instance from their Connemara stable.

The ‘Connemara Turf Mor’ has been branded as a heavily peated single malt whiskey, but I can’t stress enough how much it differs from those big peat monster offerings from Islay. This is more of a tamed gentle giant, full of balance, with a subtle added air of sophistication.

The nose kicks off with a mesmerizing barrage of rubber-ment. A fresh out of the box replacement bicycle wheel inner tube, along with the burning sensation from the tyres of a Formula One racing car just before it completes its final lap.

A subtle coastal whirlwind delivers a balanced infusion of seaweed, diesel dregs from a harbour and a touch of something medicinal for good measure.

Verbena leaves, lime marmalade and some freshly chopped parsley add an air of freshness and balance to the dramming proceedings, before being overshadowed slightly by the sweet delights of a ‘Milkyway’ and a ‘Caramac’ bar.

The palate delivers a delightfully balanced, sweet burning rubber smack on the lips. As with the nose you’re treated to a veritable rubber pick and mix; inner tubes galore and more.

A shovels worth of peat along with the diesel fumes from platform 8 at Euston station, during the rush hour, help to push this dram towards its full gutsy potential.

Hints of grains, lemon boiled sweets and more of that chopped parsley make for the next set of sensations, along with a hint of something nutty and even slightly tannic.

Bramley apples, slightly under ripened limes and jar of freshly made plum and gooseberry jam, add fresh yet full dimension to the dramming proceedings. Then march their way forward, leading the very long lingering and satisfying finish.

This is an outstanding example of all that is great about Irish whiskey. Not only would I highly recommend it to enthusiasts, but I'd also encourage whisky newbies and those who normally shy away from those more intense Islay Scotch whiskies to give it a whirl.