New wave of irish single malt. Those who work in the whisky business usually forecast trends, and it’s been a while since they predicted a great success for Irish whiskeys in future. Traditionally, the very few Irish distilleries release modest and meager expressions and also independent bottlers usually snub their pretensions. Something now is changing. Mark Reyner left Bruichladdich and he’s dedicating himself to Irish experimentation and the main festivals are increasingly betting on whiskeys different from “usual” Jameson. Adelphi brought to the Rome whisky festival a Slaney Malt (Cooley distillery), we tasted with
great enthusiasm. But we were probably drunk, so it is worth a new tasting. It’s the cask #8585, bottled at 59%. Please be aware that there’s another cask on sale, but it’s 58,1% abv.
N: first of all, despite the high abv, it’s surprisingly friendly. Aromas are impressively intense: it’s time for one of our beloved tsunami of suggestions! In its general compactness, let’s start from the fruity side: the tropical character is overwhelming, we have notes of tropical fruit juice, ripe mango, maracuja, pineapple in syrup. This aromatic tropical intensity is definetely rare. Later, notes of walnut liqueur, nuts (almonds and fragrant marzipan), warm caramel, toffee. There’s also a herbal and almost minty side, between eucalyptus and basil; and even that typical Irish floral air, which withstands the power of fruit. With water,
it’s more recognizable the oak influence, with bourbon in evidence.
P: the alcoholic impact is relatively gentle. Maracuja is the king, an absolute ruler all-pervading. Then pineapple, coconut and guava juice. There’s also a dried fruit side, on walnuts and chestnuts. Still minty, even if here we can taste fresh basil more than proper mint: have you ever bite a fresh basil leave in a sunny Summer afternoon? With water it gets creamier, and those herbal hints (infused herbs) come back.
F: fat and tropical, playing between walnut/chestnut and infinite tropicalia.
What a glorious surprise! Did we tell it’s a bit tropical? Well, it’s not easy to find a balance between mango and basil, keeping everything impressively intense. If you don’t like it, you’re no longer our friends: 91/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Dropkick Murphys – I’m Shipping Up to Boston.