The Tyrconnell Single Malt

Posted by Irish Whiskey USA on

 

The Tyrconnell Single Malt holds a special place in Irish Whiskey history. Upon its initial release almost 150 years ago, it became one of the best selling Irish whiskeys in the USA from one of the largest Irish distilleries. 

In 1876, Andrew Alexander Watt at Watt Distillery honored his chestnut colt, The Tyrconnell, for winning the renowned The National Produce Stakes, despite odds of 100 – 1, by naming a single cask release after it. The whiskey remained part of the core range and a best seller until the distillery closed in 1925.

 In 1988, John Teeling of Cooley acquired the assets of Kilbeggan Distillery and The Tyrconnell brand name. Cooley was at the time only the 3rd operational distillery in Ireland other than Bushmills and Irish Distillers (Midleton). To differentiate from these traditional producers, Cooley challenged conventional norms by distilling twice instead of three times, offering a peated Irish whiskey, and releasing a single grain variety. In 1993, The Tyrconnell was re-launched as a double distilled, non-age statement single malt from the Cooley Distillery.

For almost 20 years, The Tyrconnell was one of the lone brands outside of the Bushmills aged expressions to represent the single malt category. For almost 25 years of its 2nd rendition, the Tyrconnell Single Malt was bottled at 40% abv. This changed in 2017 with a rebrand and increase in strength to 43%. The bottle image which depicts the winning horse racing to victory was also reversed from right to left (below) to its current version of left to right (above). 

 This is a very approachable Irish Whiskey and perfect way to enjoy the single malt style. It has light spice and a medium finish, a perfect 'everyday' drinker that does not require a ton of contemplation. Sometimes you just want to enjoy a drink. On the nose, you pick up lemon and citrus with bread notes from the Cooley malt. Cooley fans will definitely recognize the malt characteristics which differ from Bushmills expressions as well as some now newer distillery releases. Flavors of honey, vanilla, and toast complement the subtle citrus notes which finishes with light oakiness.

This is a very good representation of a medium aged (non-age statement), ex-bourbon cask Irish Single Malt.  Those looking for additional aging and wine finishing can try the other expressions in The Tyrconnell Single Malt range. Three separate 10 year old single malt expressions with finishing in Port, Sherry, and Madeira are also part of the core range. Older expressions can also be found like a 16yr old with Oloroso and Moscatel finish. The Tyrconnell Single Malt lineup is definitely worth exploring to appreciate this style of Irish Whiskey.

The Tyrconnell range can be found across the USA at reasonable prices. The Tyrconnell non-age statement is a great whiskey for those trying an Irish single malt for the first time, as a 'go to' drinker, or Cooley malt fans who appreciate a bourbon cask aged expression.

 


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