Monday, December 19, 2011

Beam Inc buys Cooley! (Plus short Kilbeggan review)


Yep, forget all that stuff I said about Cooley being the only independent distillery in Ireland. They are now owned by Beam Inc. There's a lot of talk flying around the whiskey community about this. I at first I had that slight bummed feeling of, "Oh, another small guy bought up by 'The Man,' " but actually, this will probably work out better for everyone. Cooley was growing so fast that they would soon run out of whiskey (remember, whiskey isn't like beer, it has to be aged for a minimum of 3 years). So they need around 50 million to expand, and Beam bought them up for a cool €73m. When compared to the other Irish whiskey players, (Pernod Ricard and Diageo) Beam is kind of a small fry. Anyway, you can read more about this if you wish at the whisky advocate


 Kilbeggan is another Irish whiskey from our friends at Jim Beam, er, Cooley. Unlike Tyrconnell, Kilbeggan is a blend, and a inexpensive one at that. You can find a bottle of Kilbeggan usually sub 20$ range. So, naturally, it competes against Jameson and Bushmills. You've probably heard of (and tasted) those two, so why not give Kilbeggan a try? Many people love it, and it usually gets pretty decent praise. 

Price: <20$

ABV 40%

Color: Light yellow. Chardonnay. 

Nose: Pretty light, but not unpleasant. at first light fruity (apples), with light caramel and some light malt. It's pretty light. Malt comes out more with time in the glass. 

Taste: Not much at first, but gets better with time in the glass and a few drops of water. pretty consistent with the nose. It's, well, um, light. Nice malty Tyrconnell towards the end. 

Finnish: not bad. nice Tyrconnell-y malt that fades pretty quick and turns a little bitter. 

Comments: Not bad for $15. Less sweet than Jameson, less caramel than many. I think there is Tyrconnell in there, which adds a nice malty quality. Not metallic-y like some other blends which is nice. Not one I'd spend much time drinking neat, which is OK. My wife loves it on vanilla ice cream. Don't mind keeping this one around. 

Cooley has recently refurbished and reopened the historic Kilbeggan distillery, expect good stuff  from them in the future.

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