Review: Clonakilty Irish Whiskey 32 Years Old

Review: Clonakilty Irish Whiskey 32 Years Old

Clonakilty continues to push boundaries when it comes to expectations around Irish whiskey — and with this release what it’s really pushing is age.

This release hits a whopping 32 years of age, spending that time in oloroso sherry hogsheads, with 8 of those years in a maritime warehouse on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

On cracking open and pouring my sample, I was immediately taken aback by a whiskey that took me completely off guard. The nose is immense and heavy, offering aromas of mushroom, Amontillado sherry, and finally a bold cereal character that slowly fades to reveal honeyed malt notes underneath. Give this one lots of time and air to breathe, as the experience can be quite overwhelming at first blush.

The palate is downright confusing, leaving me desperate to put together some baffling, out-there pieces. Notes of ginger, lemon cake, and almond butter are overshadowed by a musty, beefy body that brings on a load of camphor, a big punch of marinated mushrooms, and layers of less identifiable sherry varieties. Hearty and thick, it’s almost pastoral, even barnyardy at times, though the finish finds room for some floral flourishes and layers of clean linen and sap-laden, green wood.

Should Irish be this out-there? Should it be allowed to get this old? I don’t have any answers for these questions, but I do know — I’m still processing the entire experience.

85 proof.

B / €2250/ 

Clonakilty Irish Whiskey 32 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.