This week’s dram is a nice 12-year-old single malt from West Cork Distillers. It’s a sourced whiskey but has spent time in the West Cork warehouse. It's been matured in first-fill bourbon casks for 12 years, and then finished in rum casks for a shorter period of time. It’s bottled at 43% ABV.
West Cork whiskeys have an interesting floral character that I haven’t been able to identify yet (suggestions welcome), and this one is no exception. If that character comes from the distillery the whiskey is sourced from or from the finishing, I don't know.
West Cork distillers keep the whiskey in the finishing casks for a shorter time than many other distilleries, in order to keep the bourbon cask character. I haven’t decided yet if I think this is good or bad. I like lots of flavour and I do like whiskeys where also the cask used to finish the whiskey has left its character, but the typical flavours of the ex-bourbon cask are definitely very nice.
The whiskey greets your nose with fresh fruit, light oak scents, vanilla, and pepper.
Peppery, spicy entrance, then fresh fruitiness along with vanilla, floral notes, and a long peppery finish. With a drop or two of water the oak scent comes through stronger, the oak takes more place, more sweetness appears and there’s more body to the whiskey. Generally, this whiskey is quite light, perhaps a little too light for my liking.
The nice fruity character and long spicy finish kind of makes up for it but I miss a more robust body, I really like whiskeys where there’s a strong body behind all the other flavours. Still, how you like and perceive different kinds of whiskeys always depends on many different things, and this is a very nice whiskey, after all, one that I’d happily enjoy also on a hot summer day.