Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Review: Kilbeggan

March 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Bottle Reviews

The Kilbeggan distillery is one of the oldest distilleries in Ireland, and fairly recently (2007) celebrated it’s 250th birthday with a return to whiskey production, after a 50 year hiatus. The whiskey I sampled likely was distilled at Cooley Distillery given that I’m not sure the whiskey actually distilled at Kilbeggan has yet hit the market.

Nose: Light, banana, sweet, grainy, malty, wheat toast, grassy, date-nut bread, oatmeal, brown sugar, the scent of pancakes cooking, … breakfast.

Taste: light, smooth, warm, sweet, brown sugar, hard butterscotch candies, cinnamon, salt, clove, cardamom, banana, bosc pear, plum, light wood, pecan, light tobacco, salty, Rainer cherry, fresh papaya, iodine, roasted poblano, carrot cake.

Finish: light wood, lingering brown sugar sweetness, fading cinnamon, some allspice and other baking spices, clove, bitter orange peel and light apple very late, lingering minerals and salts and iodine.

A perfectly reasonable Irish whiskey at a very kind price, this whiskey is well suited for cocktails designed with Irish or Canadian whiskies in mind. While it is sweeter than many Irish whiskies, it is far lighter in body than most American whiskies, so it shouldn’t be a substitute for a bourbon or rye in a cocktail, without a fair bit of tinkering to the original recipe. Recipes I have tried that do well with it include the Paddy, the Emerald, and other simple concoctions like a whiskey and ginger.

Cooley had been the last independent Irish-owned distillery in Ireland until Beam made a bid for it in late 2011. I hope the change in owners doesn’t harm plans for additional expressions of the Kilbeggan brand.

Kilbeggan, (Kilbeggan Distillery, Kilbeggan, Ireland), 40 proof, $18

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