OK, it's not that bad. Something happened, my draft wasn't saved, and now I have to start over.
Tyrconnell is a very interesting whiskey. This particular bottle that I am reviewing has sat unassumingly in the back of my 'cheap stuff' liquor cabinet with it's Irish kinsmen, occasionally seeing the light of day when i feel like sipping on something a little different without having to put much thought into it. Honestly, as I am sipping on a dram and writing this review, I can see that I didn't really give this whiskey the respect it deserves. Now, I am slightly saddened to see the the bottle is almost empty of my friend Tyrconnell.
Tyrconnell is somewhat unique for several reasons. For one thing, it is a pure pot still single malt Irish whiskey. Irish whiskey of recent history has been dominated by blended whiskey (Jameson, Bushmills, Tullimore dew). Tyrconnell is made from only single malt pot still whiskey, and not mixed with any grain spirits. Also, Tyrconnell is distilled at the Cooley distillery. Of the three big distilling company's in Ireland, Only Cooley is still completely independently owned. The other two big guys are owned by major spirit conglomerates that can dump millions into to advertising and the like. Thus, Cooley whiskeys are generally less known by the mass public. However, within the whiskey community, Cooley is highly regarded, even winning some very prestigious awards in recent years.
Cooley has a line of fine whiskeys that include some blends, and two main single malts: Tyrconnell and Connemara. Connemara is peated, Tyrconnell is not. They also have a line of whiskey targeted at the U.S. market called 'Michael Collins' with a blend and single malt, as well as some more experimental stuff (like Connemara bog oak). To be fair there are some other great single malt Irish whiskeys out there, I just chose to review this particular expression because, well, it's in my cabinet. And I like Cooley.
Color: Very light. White wine (I know, kinda general)
Big sweet malt and grains. Very appealing and fresh smelling. Since the day I opened this bottle, one fruit has dominated the noise for me: Bananas. Sometimes ripe bananas, sometimes banana bread or dried bananas, but lots o' bananas. Maybe a little oatmeal, with bananas. Water opens it up a little but not necessary.
Nice light mouth feel, the expected maltyness, and sweet fruit with maybe a hint of spice. Probably the closest to 'refreshing' I have come with a single malt whiskey. With water a little more dessert-y.
Finnish: Malty again, with dried fruit. Really pleasant and surprisingly drying.
Comments: I've enjoyed Tyrconnell more and more throughout the bottle. For me, it's not really a 'main event' type whiskey. Rather, I have enjoyed it most in the background, adding to whatever I am doing. Not a big in your face whiskey, just one to sip while talking with friends or reading a good book.