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Michael Collins 10 Year Old Single Malt

April 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Bottle Reviews

Fitting the rebel fervor of their namesake, Michael Collins proudly states that it is made by the Cooley distillery: the last independent distillery in the Republic of Ireland. This is their first release of the 10 year, and thankfully in a more traditional whiskey bottle shape than their previous giant cudgel of a bottle. Non-traditionally for the Irish, they lightly peat this whiskey, giving interesting and enjoyable, if not truly revolutionary, results.

Nose: Touch of smoke, wood, and wet barley, with heathery, and other flowery notes. Vanilla, faint cinnamon sugar, ripe banana and a faint trace of cherry. A bit of cane sweetness and caramel. As I’m nosing it, I see the slow, long, slender legs forming on the glass.

Taste: Butterscotch, vanilla bean, and a touch of banana open up with a rush of sweet, with minerals, earth and ash balancing out. Definite barley grain flavor, with a touch of smoky peat, iodine and salt. Overall bitter-sweet. Starts sweet, finishes bitter and a touch warm. Unsure if that warmth is all from the alcohol, or tied into a lingering spicy almost clove flavor brought out from the re-used bourbon casks. Moderate body. Pleasantly warm.

Finish: Woody. Peaty. Warm and a touch bitter and dry. Smoke, minerals, and earthiness linger for quite a while with the initial sweetness fading gradually.

Notes: Unlike most Irish whiskeys this is double, not triple distilled. This yields far more character of the origin ingredients, which other Irish whiskeys sometimes distill out of their product.

Michael Collins, (Cooley Distillery, Coley, Republic of Ireland) 80 proof, $40

(Sample provided by Michael Collins)


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  1. […] (say one of the Redbreasts) makes the overall feel closer to that of a traditional Manhattan. Use Michael Collins, and you may guess you’re having a Rob Roy, which is normally made with Scotch. Whichever way, […]