Skibbereen Eagle is a nice collection of whiskeys released by West Cork Distillers for the German market if I’ve understood it correctly. I guess the truth in that is proved by the fact that I almost only find information about this whiskey on German websites!
I came across Skibbereen Eagle one of the first times I visited Shelbourne bar last spring. There are three different expressions, a single malt at 43% ABV, a single cask whiskey at 57% ABV, which is also a single malt, and a single grain. The single grain is gorgeous, and so is the single cask whiskey. I haven’t tasted the single malt with lower ABV but would think it’s similar in profile to the single cask, both being single malts.
The name derives from a local magazine or newspaper (I’m not sure which, actually) in Skibbereen, where West Cork Distillers are also located. Since some time back they are refurbishing/extending the distillery. I’ve passed by a few times and it certainly looks promising. They have some interesting things going on there, now that they move on to use their own produce instead of sourced liquid, they have new expressions coming – some of them were featured at Whiskey Live 2019. There’s also an interesting cask investment programme.
This single cask whiskey definitely is a treat. It’s released at cask strength, with no artificial colouring and is non-chill filtered. It’s a non-age statement whiskey, matured in ex-bourbon casks. It’s a limited release but as far as I can see, it’s still available at the Celtic whiskey shop.
Fresh aroma of citrus peel, sweetness, some kind of leather.
This whiskey is different from what I’ve previously tasted from WCD. Darker fruit notes, Orange, dark chocolate, orange liqueur – I’m back to the fabulous Italian liqueur Aurum. It has a lovely oily texture but gives some dry feel on the tongue towards the end.
When a few drops of water are added, the whiskey explodes with strong dark chocolate flavours with orange, it also becomes sweeter. Some oiliness disappears but it’s still very nice. Perhaps it has some young spirit character in the flavours but I’m not sure. Somehow there is something in it that makes it resemble Dingle whiskeys. Nothing wrong with that, though – unless you’re one of those who dislike Dingle whiskeys.
This is definitely a nice whiskey worth tasting! They probably still have a drop or two left at the Shelbourne bar in Cork, if you’re in that area.
Edited 2021: I’ve now tasted a different batch of the Skibbereen Eagle, and it was completeley different (and not in a pleasant way).