Aged for a decade in seasoned oak and finished in sherry, port and madeira casks, these Irish whiskies have each earned many accolades.
Nearly 800 years ago, the O'Donnell Dynasty ruled an ancient Gaelic kingdom in northwest Ireland called Tyrconnell (Tyrconnell means "The Land of O'Donnell"in ancient Gaelic). In 1876, the family of Andrew Watt entered a horse named "The Tyrconnell"in an Irish horse race known as the The National Produce Stakes. Despite the 100-to-1 odds against him, Tyrconnell won the race and the Watt family, which had been producing whiskey since 1762, celebrated by launching the Tyrconnell label.
Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey became one of the best-selling Irish whiskies in the world and prior to Prohibition, was the best-selling Irish Whiskey in the United States. Ultimately, the drastic drop in sales the distillery experienced as a result of Prohibition caused it to close its doors in 1925. In 1987, the label was resurrected by the Cooley Distillery, which began producing Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey once more.
Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey is made using the finest Irish barley, which is steeped in pure spring water and allowed to germinate. Unlike many Scottish distilleries, Cooley Distillery does not use any smoke during the malting process, resulting in a cleaner taste of the malt and barley. After the barley is malted and mashed, yeast is added to the wort in order to begin fermentation. The wash is then distilled through the distillery's copper pot stills — the stills' small size and long necks result in more contact between the whiskey and copper, and ultimately produce a more refined and layered spirit. Following distillation, the whiskey is matured for a decade in seasoned oak casks which are stored in a 200 year-old granite warehouse. The seasoned casks impart notes of vanilla and caramel to the whiskey, and add a hint of cinnamon.
Following its slumber in the oak, Tyrconnell Single Malt Port Cask Finish Whiskey is double-barreled, or finished, in used port casks, where it rests for another six to eight months. The port casks add complexity to the whiskey, and provide it with notes of cherries, stone fruits and dark chocolate. Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey Port Cask Finish earned a score of 92 points from Whisky Advocate and earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2011.
Tyrconnell Sherry Cask Finish Whiskey is finished in used sherry casks for six to eight months. The sherry influence lends notes of raisins and honey to the whiskey, which are complemented by the whiskey's notes of tobacco, oak and cinnamon. The finish is soft and lingering, with hints of butterscotch and nutty dough. Tyrconnell Sherry Cask Finish Whiskey earned a score of 94 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2012 and 97 points from the Beverage Testing Institute.
Tyrconnell Madeira Cask Finish Whiskey is finished in used madeira casks (madeira is a type of fortified Portuguese wine). The madeira casks add notes of sweet toffee, citrus and honey to the whiskey, and complement its notes of vanilla and caramel. Tyrconnell Madeira Cask Finish Whiskey earned an astounding 98 points from the Beverage Testing Institute, which also gave it the Platinum Medal, calling it simply "superlative."The whiskey also earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012.
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92 (46% ABV)
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Sherry: Notes of raisins and honey, which are complemented by notes of tobacco, oak and cinnamon. The finish is soft and lingering, with hints of butterscotch and nutty dough.
Port: Initial notes of oak, honey and chocolate fade into flavors of dried fruits, toffee and apricots. The finish is long and smooth, with a burst of vanilla and cinnamon.
Madeira: Notes of sweet toffee, citrus and honey, complemented by vanilla and caramel.