Two new products from Ireland’s Tyrconnell are here, both single malts, both 10 years old, and both finished for 6 to 8 months in wine casks — one Port, one Sherry.
Let’s give them a whirl. Both are 92 proof.
The Tyrconnell Port Cask Finish 10 Years Old – It’s a bit muddy on the nose, with plenty of toasty grains, some florals, and a gentle undercurrent of red berries, but nothing overwhelmingly redolent of Port. Quite sweet on the tongue, there’s lots of honey-soaked gingerbread, sesame oil, and sweet tea on the palate, but again it never quite reaches the raisiny, pruny character that one expects from Port barrel finishing. The good news is that even without that character, it’s a solid, if effusively sweet, whiskey and a fair enough example of Irish, though you’ll need to mind the price tag. B+ / $75 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]
The Tyrconnell Sherry Cask Finish 10 Years Old – The use of sherry casks to finish the whiskey is a more traditional choice, and indeed this is a more straightforward experience. The nose is classically nutty, with notes of flamed citrus peel and cloves, underpinned by a quiet (and, again, classically Irish) granary element. The palate takes no major chances, a richly nutty and quite oily whiskey that lays the sherry on thick. It’s a much more immersive and complex whiskey than the Port Cask, with a lingering winey note that clings to the lengthy finish. Gently sweet and dripping with orange oil and a clear chocolate element on the finish, you could be readily forgiven for assuming this was a sherry-finished single malt Scotch. A- / $75