This week we’re going for one of my very favourite whiskeys. If you’ve seen me on Instagram you’ll know this by now – I love the West Cork cask strength whiskey. I love cask strength whiskeys generally because of the nice oily texture they usually (not always) have, and because of the concentration of flavours. I like flavour bombs, and if the ABV is too high, there is always water in the tap to add if it’s too strong.
West Cork distillers is a very interesting distillery in Skibbereen, West Cork. They do a lot of interesting things there, and are very nice people who quickly respond to questions if you get in touch. This is something I really appreciate, as well as their whiskey.
I came across their cask strength whiskey when we visited West Cork distillers in August last year. I asked about their core range, and I was delighted to hear that they had added a cask strength whiskey to it. We bought a bottle while we were in Ireland, and since I was unsure about whether or not it would stay in their standard range (at the time it was listed as part of the limited edition cask series), I later ordered two more online.
This beautiful whiskey is a blend of 66% grain whiskey and 33% malt whiskey. West Cork uses pot stills for all their whiskey, also their grain whiskey. I’m curious to find out eventually how much difference it makes – I’ve tasted lovely column distilled grain whiskeys, but it is well known that pot stills give more flavour to the whiskey. This is a topic for more research and an own blog post.
West Cork Cask Strength is matured in first fill bourbon casks and then finished for 6 months in exhausted Irish whiskey casks. It’s bottled at the impressive 62% ABV.
Very floral aromas and some light wood. Clementine, vanilla and almond.
Lovely oily texture!! Some oak character, sweetness, citrus, a hint of dark chocolate, and a nice spicy finish. Obviously this whiskey goes well with some water, that adds sweetness and honey flavours, as well as more malty flavours and soft vanilla. It’s strong, but it’s lovely. The oiliness is simply fabulous, and you can add some water and it will still be nice, oily, sweet, smooth, and with lots of flavour.
Because of its high ABV, I tasted this whiskey in the Neat glass which was a very nice experience. I’m also going to taste it in the Túath glass eventually – I will definitely write about it and compare these glasses with an ordinary Glencairn glass. It's interesting what difference a glass shape makes to a whiskey!