Showing posts with label Conecuh Brands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conecuh Brands. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

McConnell's Five-Year Irish Whisky Review & Tasting Notes


Most of the time, whiskey is spelled with an e when referring to American or Irish versions, whereas the rest of the world ignores it. However, nothing states you must have (or lack) the e; it is simply a preference. In the United States, Maker’s Mark leaves it off, as does George Dickel. There is also a brand in Ireland called McConnell’s Irish Whisky that bucks tradition. 

 

“It all started in 1776, when the McConnell family of Belfast began selling their whisky to the public. It quickly became one of the most sought-after spirits in Ireland, and to keep up with demand, the McConnells built a distillery: a sprawling, buzzing compound on the banks of the River Lagan. The next 154 years would be spent dedicated to a single pursuit: producing the finest whisky in all of Ireland. Many whisky drinkers believed that they achieved their goal, making McConnell’s the most famous Irish whisky of the time.”Conecuh Brands

 

McConnell’s Irish Whisky is made from a mash of 70% grain and 30% malted barley that matured in former Bourbon casks for at least five years. It comes in an attractive bottle with an oval-shaped brass plate on top proclaiming it comes from Belfast. Proofed to 42% ABV (84°), you can acquire a 750ml package for about $29.99.

 

There is also a Sherry Cask Finish that I’ve already reviewed. I provided more background on the history of the brand there.

 

I thank Conecah Brands for providing me with a sample of their Irish Whisky in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Let’s #DrinkCurious and learn more. 

 

Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, McConnell’s 5-Year Irish Whisky was the color of straw. A medium-thick rim formed but couldn’t hold the weight of the tears, which turned watery.

 

Nose: The first scent I picked up was lemon zest. Vanilla, apple, and oak followed. When I inhaled the vapor into my mouth, I encountered more vanilla.

 

Palate: The texture was creamy and possessed a medium weight. At the front of my palate, I discovered vanilla, lemon peel, and bold apple flavors. The middle featured only butterscotch, but the back offered oak, clove, and white pepper.

 

Finish:  Medium-to-long in duration, the finish consisted of white pepper, clove, and a slightly smoky quality that lingered more than the former notes.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  McConnell’s is a tasty Irish whisky with a lot to offer despite a lack of complexity. What flavors exist are far from muted and work well together. If you’re seeking a “soft” Irish whisky, look elsewhere. I particularly liked the smoke in the finish. As a $30.00, 42% bottle, I believe there is a good bang for the buck, and I’m happy to crown a Bottle rating for it. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

 


 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

McConnell's Sherry Cask Finish Irish Whisky Review & Tasting Notes


There were a few important things that happened in 1776. The United States declared independence from England. Crown Prince Paul of Russia married. Father Francisco Palou founded San Francisco. James Cook began his third voyage. And, the McConnells of Belfast, Ireland, began distributing their whisky.

 

A distillery was built along the banks of the River Lagan. The distillery churned out distillate uninterrupted until April 20, 1909, when a fire destroyed half the distillery along with 500,000 gallons of whisky. The restoration took place, but then, in 1920, Prohibition came to the United States. Losing one of its biggest markets, 90% of Irish distilleries shuttered, including McConnell’s.

 

In 2020, McConnell’s was resurrected by Conecuh Brands. In partnership with Great Northern Distillery in Dundalk in County Louth, McConnell’s was ready to hit the market once again. In the meanwhile, McConnell’s is building its distillery on the ruins of the original.

 

Many might look at my spelling of whisky and wonder what happened to the e. After all, American and Irish brands typically use it. McConnell’s purposefully chose to differentiate itself by not including it. No law requires either spelling; it is viewed as a preference.

 

Today I’m exploring McConnell’s Sherry Cask Finish, a blended Irish whisky made from malt and grains. It was aged five years in former Bourbon barrels, then transferred to former Oloroso sherry casks for another nine months. It is packaged at 46% ABV (92°) in an attractive bottle that retails for about $42.99.

 

Before I get to the tasting notes, I am thankful to Conecuh Brands for providing me with a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. And now, it is time to #DrinkCurious to figure this one out.

 

Appearance: A neat pour in my Glencairn glass revealed a sunflower-gold liquid. It formed a thinner rim that yielded wide, fat legs.

 

Nose: As soon as I popped the cork, a fragrant aroma of plum, raisin, leather, and pastry flowed from the neck and into the glass. Heavy raisin dragged across my tongue when I pulled the vapor through my lips.

 

Palate: I was taken aback by how weighty the mouthfeel was. It had a syrupy consistency. On the front, I tasted dates, raisins, and apples. As it moved to the middle, I found dark chocolate, hazelnut, and shredded tobacco. Then, I encountered dry leather, clove, and oak tannins on the back.

 

Finish:  The short-to-medium finish was made of leather, chocolate, date, oak, and clove.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I was impressed with how complex this whiskey (sorry, whisky) was. While the finish wasn’t very long, it did encourage me to take additional sips (and, eventually, refill my glass). McConnell’s Sherry Cask Finish is a sherry bomb, so if that’s your jam, you’ll want to jump all over this Irish whisky. I’m thrilled to have it in my whisky library and proudly declare it has earned my Bottle rating. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.