Silkie Irish whiskey, from Sliabh Liag Distillers, hit the scene only a couple years ago, and already the line has expanded to four expressions, including the one we’re tasting today, The Legendary Dark.
This blend starts with a rare peated single malt (though to just 22 ppm of phenols), triple distilled and matured in sherry casks. This malt is blended with bourbon-aged single malt and grain whiskey that’s been aged in virgin oak.
The results are complex. The peat is vivid up top, but not overwhelming, lightly smoky but sweet, with elements of citrus and cherry wood evident. The “darkness” is mild on the palate, driven by a through-line of peat, though it doesn’t feel overwhelmingly well-integrated here, adding a layer of dusty ash atop a core that evokes almonds, a light touch of stone fruit, and brown sugar. Gently honeyed on the finish, the smoke soon all but disappears, leaving behind some notes of toasted bread, baked apples, and — eventually — some lingering chimney soot elements late in the game.
Peat makes for a fun departure from the typical world of Irish, for sure, and while this bottling is worthwhile, it doesn’t quite reach the complexity and elegance of a release like Teeling’s Blackpitts.