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Tyrconnell, Ledaig Island, Talisker Dark Storm

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June was my turn to host, cleverly scheduled during my one week home… My goal was to stump our resident expert with offerings he had never sampled before…

Tasting Notes from 17 June 2014

Following our standard format, we blind tasted samples before revealing the whisky. This month featured: Tyrconnell 10 year, Ledaig Island Cask, Talisker Dark Storm and something extra special –  Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva Extra Anejo.

Tyrconnell 10 year Madeira Cask 46%

  • Colour – Light gold
  • Nose – Tamarind, fruit and flowers, copper, sour dough, chikoo, young
  • Taste – An initial nip then spice, coconut, leather, pronounced exceedingly ‘nice’
  • Finish – Alas virtually no finish…

Speculation was that while it was young, showed rather ‘nice’ promise. And while the Madeira cask finish is award-winning, newer offerings are now 15 not 10 years… something worth checking out!

None guessed that it is Irish – in part as the Cooley distillery does not use the ‘single pot still’ method that produces the remarkable Redbreast, Green and Yellow label.

The interesting part of this story is the flagship whisky and label celebrates the Wyatt family champion ‘Tyrconnell’ racehorse – best known for winning 100 to 1 the Irish “The National Produce Stakes” in 1876.

Ledaig Island Cask No 462 46% (Gordon & MacPhail Reserve)

  • Colour – Pale gold
  • Nose – Peat, smoke, tincture of iodine, orange
  • Taste – After an initial punch, hint of pepper, mellowed into a lovely elegant lady, the longer it aired the more notes discovered
  • Finish – Sweet chewy finish, long and smoky, warm spice

Definitely the whisky find of the evening. We had great fun with a guessing game of region, distillery… none came close until the hint was dropped that it is actually bottled by an independent company that specialises in bringing unique expressions and smaller distilleries whiskies to the world.

Ledaig is the previous name of Tobermoray distillery, the only distillery on the Isle of Mull. Gordon & MacPhail did a special bottling for La Maison du Whisky which I picked up during a rather delightful early evening in Singapore. Definitely a very special dram – one to savour!

Talisker Dark Storm 45.8%

  • Colour – Copper
  • Nose – Rubber, leather, caramel, heavy burnt wood
  • Taste – Full-bodied, wet mud, medicinal, yet smooth with no harshness – a ‘damn good’ gentleman
  • Finish – Spicy, ash, doesn’t disappear instantly

The unveiling? Surprise! Most were not terribly impressed with earlier Taliskar offerings… to learn this was duty free, no age… and really quite yummy?! The gimmick is it is matured in heavily charred oak. For once, gimmick or not, it worked!

Tyrconnell, Ledaig and Talikser Dar Storm

Tyrconnell, Ledaig and Talikser Dar Storm

Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva Extra Anejo 40%

  • Colour – Burnished copper
  • Nose – Herbs, clean, turmeric, sweet
  • Taste – Bitter medicinal, briny sea salt, wet forest
  • Finish – Peppery, buttery, spicy yet smooth

This was without a doubt the real ‘googly’ of the evening. All expected another whisky, so threw in a ‘extra anejo’ – tequila matured in bourbon barrels. An exceptional tequila in a class of its own – 100% agave anejo from Carlos Camarena of the La Altena distillery. Pulled out a premium blue agave to show just how different this remarkable tequila is from its brethren!


Tequilla – Tapatio Excellencia Gran Reserva Extra Anejo

Why not mix things up a little? Slainthe!

For more posts on our tasting sessions and whisky explorations… check out my other blog Whisky Lady.

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  1. […] Whisky Tasting (17 June 2014) – Tyrconnell, Ledaig Island, Talisker Dark Storm […]

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