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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Green Grains from the Emerald Isles

You may have noticed that recently we've reviewed a few Irish whiskies, inc Connemara's Turf Mor (which was fairly heavy going at first) and Inish Turk Beg, a new Irish single malt, which was decidedly subtle, light and floral, much like a young Scotch.

We've just been sent a sample of Greenore's new aged grain, which demonstrates to us the current resurgence of Irish whiskey as a category- there seems to be a healthy number of interesting releases, with a number planned over the coming months. Finally some good news from the Emerald Isle.

According to Cooley, this new release is, at 18 years old, the oldest bottling of Irish Grain in the world and the release is limited to 4000 bottles. We reviewed the 8yo small batch release last year, which was a little harsh, but blended extremely well in a few long cocktails.

needless to say we won't be trying this method just yet on the 18yo!!

Greenore, 18yo Single Grain Irish whiskey - 46% - 4000 bottles

Nose: Unmistakable as a grain, with big floral sweetness emerging from the glass with such vigour, that its now covered the side of my laptop... balls. With a little more time in the glass, some polished surface-like notes emerge, as well as barley sugar, creamy cereal and a hint of vintage suede leather. It's vibrant, yet restrained- and works superbly well.

Palate: Soft at first entry, with a hint of a bite- then the flavours start to develop. Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, fruity sweetness, but then a darker, spicy side, with a hint of root liquorice, anise and sharp cherry sherbet. Again, lots of vibrant notes, but all controlled beautifully.

Finish: The cherry notes are retained on the palate, which dries into a long, fruity tongue coating aftertaste.

Overall: A damn good bottling, with all the right elements you'd hope for in an aged grain. The fruity notes are all there in abundance, but the age has been very kind indeed to this whiskey, giving it plenty of complexity as it lingers in the glass.