A few weeks ago Stephen Magennis, the National Brand Ambassador for the Kilbeggan Distilling Company, called to me for a coffee and like a good guest, he didn’t come with his hands hanging. In he arrived with what looked like the Tyrconnell 16 tube but with tremendous delight, I found that it was the newly released Tyrconnell 15 year old Madeira cask Single Malt. I had been looking forward to this since I heard it was coming out. The 16 really impressed me last year and has earned its place in the whiskey bunker so that I can enjoy it for a few years to come, so I expected great things from the Madeira finish.
I plan out my reviews in advance so when it came to the Tyrconnell’s turn, I was heading home to Kerry in some glorious weather. I called into my good friend Mike Flahive at Bromore Cliffs just North of Ballybunion. A fantastic cliff walk in all weather but there is something truly spectacular when the sun is shining and the water is calm. Obviously bonus points that it is in Kerry and as an aside, since I’m a HUGE Christy Moore fan, the song “The Cliffs of Dooneen” is actually about these cliffs in Kerry and not in Clare as is mistakenly thought. Anyway, back to the whiskey! We cracked the seal of the bottle surrounded by some beautiful heather, a nesting Peregrine Falcon and a view that would take anyone’s breath away. So, onto my notes;
This Tyrconnell is aged for 15years in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in Madeira casks before being bottled at the perfect 46% ABV.
Nose – Light and immensely fruity. Bananas, plums and a touch of pineapple. Caramel and brown sugar there too.
Palate – Light to start that is interrupted with a big burst of spice. nice mouth coating with notes of peach and plum that is compliments nicely with some rich butterscotch sauce notes. Addition of water allowed more of the Madeira influence to come through and increased the sweetness on the finish.
Finish – Long finish that is both slightly drying and sweet.
Overall – I hear that Madeira casks are very hard to work when when finishing spirit. If that’s true then a real master finished this whiskey. Is a lovely drop with the double distilled malt being complimented beautifully with a sweet influence from the fortified wine. Back in 2007 a 10yr old Tyrconnell Madeira cask was launched and while it is a lovely drop too, this just blows it out of the water. For me, however, the Tyrconell 16 just tips it to the post……but it is a photo finish. As with the review of the 16 I’ll leave you with the great quote that is attached to the bottle. Sláinte!
“Here’s to the underdogs, the underestimated, and the courageous. Here’s to the ones who refuse to rest, who continue to push boundaries, and write their own legends. Here’s to those who dare to inspire hope……because they are the ones worth remembering”
1 – This sample was provided free of charge to the author. No monetary reward was received for the review. The review, as with all reviews, was written subjectively and not influenced in anyway.
2 – We strongly recommend responsible drinking and doing so in moderation. The above photos were taken under supervision.