I have for you today a pretty decent dram at a pretty decent price. And it’s to Ireland we go, to West Cork Distillers in fact for their recently repackaged West Cork 10 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey – it’s hand crafted, using hand selected ingredients.
As a certain Mr R— pointed out to me (I am naming no names): ‘you’ll find “hand crafted” by Cooley Distillery’. Which is an interesting point. And it keeps bringing me back to this difference between the Irish whiskey industry and the Scotch whisky industry. So it can (potentially) be declared on the bottle of Irish whiskey that this is hand crafted by a certain company, even if the whiskey in question comes from somewhere else, somewhere much larger than you might think, and on the whole you’re not entirely sure about the true provenance.
Not that your average punter will perhaps care much for such information. But you, dear reader, are a devilishly good-looking whisky intellectual who does care for such information. And not that I’m criticising any one particular producer, merely highlighting the different landscapes of different whisky industries.
The last time I tried a product from West Cork Distillers, it was the Pogues whiskey, which was pleasant enough but didn’t rock my world, and I felt it was a smidgen overpriced. But this is much better. The West Cork 10 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey has been matured in first fill bourbon barrels. It’s also non-chill filtered at 40% ABV, which is not all that common to see.
West Cork 10 Year Old tasting notes
Colour: yellow gold, light floral honey.
On the nose: good for the ABV. Light and clean. Green apples, mead, honey, toffee, a touch of vanilla. Yeasty. Some citrus notes. Green tomatoes. Lemon curd.
In the mouth: again, very pleasant for the ABV. Much of the nose comes through identically in the tasting: it is very clean and refreshing, like a whisky tonic. Honey. Baked apples. Vanilla. Not so much grassiness but there is a cereal note there. There’s just a touch of solvent-like character that tarnishes the finish. The texture is medium to light.
It’s a simple, crisp whisky, but nicely done. And to be applauded is the fact that you wouldn’t notice the strength – some would have this at 43% or maybe 46% at a push. Given all of those qualities, I’d say this would make a perfect everyday drinker – especially during the summer months.
A bottle of this will set you back £35, so you can’t really ask for more. Decent price, decent dram. It’s very well presented, too, so I think this will do rather well for the fellows at West Cork Distillers.
Note: this was based on a sample sent to me on behalf of the distillers. But as we know, Malt remains an honest whisky church.