A soft easy drinking Irish Whiskey that is a great value for the money.
This is somewhat of a hybrid Irish Whiskey, or possibly a new breed or certainly a new direction for Irish Whiskey. Irish whiskey for the most part used to be a blended whiskey with a few notable exceptions and usually not found much outside of Irish bars, and then very much one or the other brand depending on the religious/political leanings of the bar. This has changed somewhat with Irish whiskey of higher quality, diversity and acceptance into the wider whisk(e)y community. Indeed Irish Whiskey is a bit of a latecomer to the double or multiple wood finish idea, Scotch being the first I believe, with bourbon (particularly spearheaded by Mark Brown at Buffalo Trace) following on. There are also a number of rum experiments but that is beside the point. Concannon Irish Whiskey is made from a blend of both malt Irish Whiskey and Grain Irish Whiskey but just about everything else about it is different from your standard Irish Whiskey – all of them positive or improvements in my view from the traditional Irish Whiskey .
Concannon Whiskey is made by Cooley Distillery in smaller copper potstills with longer swan like necks, using a longer than usual distillation time, which allows more time with the copper and a more flavorful result than if they just ran it through at the usual industry speeds in different stills.It is then barrelled in used bourbon casks and aged for 4 years (on year longer than legally necessary) in granite warehouses. They then age the whiskey for a minimum of 4 months in Petite Syrah barrels from the Concannon Winery ( which have been shipped to them for this purpose to finish the whiskey then blend it to their specifications/profile. The whiskey is then shipped to California where it is bottled by the Concannon Winery.
Appearance: A very light clear, straw coloring the glass (lovely burnished bronze glow in the bottle itself).On swirling leaves a nice edgeline with well defined legs forming
First Impression: Grain, barley, citrus,orange,vanilla, oak and minerals
Taste: Slightly sweet entry then drying very rapidly rather woody and earthy with orange, citrus, vanilla, grain and malt notes.
Drinks: Not a lot of drinks I can recommend generally for Irish Whiskey.
Bottle:A tastefully done clear glass bottle with a relatively deep punt to it. Relatively thick glass giving it a nice heft and feel to it. What I presume to be a representation of the front gates of the winery is pressed into the glass above a multicolored embossed paper label, and a smaller signature label below that with a gold background. Back label gives a description of the whiskey and credo in fairly easy to read script.Screw off cap and neck collar are a deep green with the family name and crest (which on the bottle we have is on backwards).
Other: An interesting experiment with better than expected results.
Final Thoughts: Nicely done, smooth, while not my favorite Irish Whiskey I can certainly recommend it as an excellent value for the money and a stand out in its’ price class