Cooley has set its bar high in the past. Watch out, it’s just raised the bar again. The company is rapidly turning in to the Irish version of Compass Box – and praise doesn’t come any higher than that. This is without doubt world class whiskey making, so expect it to pick up another clutch of awards next year. Great name, too; bad pun it might be, but it tells you everything you need to know about it.
Nose: Like watching the Irish rugby team catch the ball from the kick off, run it wide and score in the corner in the first few seconds. It’s in your face immediately. The smoke is all burning steam engine oil, but it’s countered by lemon and lime syrup, and there is a hint of spearmint toffee. It shouts ‘come on in, it’s lovely.’
Palate: This is the metaphorical whisk(e)y bridge between Islay and Ireland. The oily industrial smoke is offset by an Irish one-two of rich fresh green fruit and delightfully spritely barley. There’s no real winner, and some time through the battle the two sides make friends and cosy up to you.
Finish: Exceptionally long with the smoke and fruit holding hands and wandering slowly off in to the distance.