Age: 13 years
unchillfiltered; natural colour
The first sniff is very biscuity on the nose – sweet shortbread with vanilla sugar on top, to be exact. Behind the biscuits are notes of fudge, ripe red apples and pears, peaches, lemon drops, lemon flowers. Just a hint of alcohol too, but it does not distract from the experience at all. Sweet. light, summer fruits yet sophisticated – I find this very agreeable! The palate is quite a bit lighter in style with a more noticeable alcohol influence at first. Notes of malt (sweetness), an herbal dry/bitter note – apple and grapefruit peel perhaps? Also notes of still slightly green peaches, custard and stewed apples with cloves. The short to medium long finish is initially quite dry and slightly bitter (highly diluted wormwood anyone?) before turning rather malty sweet with noticeable wood influence.
The Glendalough distillery was only founded in 2011, so the whiskey at hand (or rather, in the glass) is a “sourced” whiskey from another (undisclosed) Irish distillery. A fresh, “Irish”, fruity dram with herbal aspects, with quite a bit more oomph than expected from the usually very light Irish distillates. I find this very agreeable and well made and the 46% bottling strength certainly helps as well. At a price point of 60-70€ it is on the upper end, though, and competition in this price range is really strong, especially from the Scots. Well, try to see it partly as an investment in this young Irish enterprise. Fingers crossed their own distillate will turn out as well or even better!
(Nose: 87 Palate: 83 Finish: 84)