About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, 31 August 2014


Hmm where to start? Don't really know... This is only the 2nd Irish Whiskey I'm reviewing here on The Malt Desk... Why? don't really know, other than I usually only drink Irish whiskey at the pub as I find most whiskeys from The Emerald Isle best for that purpose as they're easy drinkers and that's what you'd (or at least I want) usually when out...

Then sometimes like this next whisky comes along and knocks about all your usual perceptions about a certain style of whisky - and in this case, its really a lot of fun :-)

Distillery 118 from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is Cooley's from Northern Ireland, located on the peninsula of the same name. They produce several of the Irish brands on the market, names like 'Kilbeggan', 'Tyrconnel' and a grain 'Greenore' and have also contributed with a couple of malts to the acclaimed 'Knappogue Castle' series. They also produce Connemara, a peated malt expression, something rarely seen in Irish whiskey.

The 118.3 is one such... This one is also only double distilled, unlike many other Irish whiskies, which goes through x3 distillation...

Cooley pot stills - picture from Wikimedia

Cooley's (peated) Connemara 118.3 (14.10.1991) 22yo 'Self-assured, buxom and rewarding' 57,9%, 2nd fill ex-bourbon barrel, 206 bottles, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Colour is full gold

No bottle picture available, but it comes in the standard SMWS bottle

Sweet, instantly typical Irish whiskey notes hit your nose, with at times, almost a grain whisky style to it. There's wild flowers and Geranium and lavender, honey, slight hint of high quality tequila, vanilla, red berries (raspberry?). Have you tried the Knappogue Castle 1993? take that and add 15 years of maturation and add a good measure of smoke to it as well. Hugely expressive!

Full force floral and perfumy front, then malt, more honey, fresh pear and smoke. Also vanilla, cough mints, licorice, and musty white wine. After a while the whole experience gets alot more fruity, with added banana and melon notes. Water brings out a bit more smoke and a few darker notes, more oak and spices.

I've tried this a few times now and it has grown a bit on me... sadly, a price tag of £270 here in Denmark will keep me from getting one.

A fun and interesting dram, though...


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