Connemara 12 y.o. Review

Connemara 12 y.o.003

40% abv

Score:  82.5/100


Connemara’s NAS standard offering is a unique and interesting addition to the canon of Irish whiskey.  It’s youth though almost becomes an ingredient in and of itself, providing a razor thin profile of almost ‘too clean’ grains.

Now we’re looking at what I assume is the same malt a few years down the path to maturity.  I came at this one expecting the peated apple and leather profile to be slightly more muted…the grains to be a little less up front…and a little more oak to be forefront.  That doesn’t seem to be quite where this one ended up, but it’s not toooooo  far off either.  Let’s call it a progression on a theme.

Again we have a double distilled, peated Irish single malt.  All sorts of seemingly oxymoronic word jumbles there, but mixing it up a bit is ever a good thing.  Points to Connemara (Cooley distillery) for added something fun to our drinking repertoire.

AT the end of the day though, what the senses tell us about what’s in the glass is all that matters.  In this case it’s a whiskey with a hell of a surprising nose (in all the right ways!) and a rather disappointing palate.  These are always the greatest letdowns.  Still very decent, but feels a bit like an undelivered promise. 

Nose:  Peat.  Pepper.  Chocolate.  Grape.  Apple.  More fruits.  Leather.  Salty.  Just a hint of putty.  Noses bigger then 40%.  …and almost like a youngish Springbank/Hazelburn somehow (WTF?!).  Very, very nice nose.  Smells older than 12 years.

Palate:  Peat.  Pepper.  Slightly nutty again.  Ok…more than slightly.  Like licking leather.  White wine influence.  Grains at the back end with some grass.

Thoughts:  Great nose.  Not as great on the palate.  Still good, but I wish the dialogue betwixt the nose and the palate was a little more…coherent.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

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