One of the more interesting aspects of doing all of these whiskey tastings is that there are some bottles in which I have no preconceived notions. With Bushmills and Jameson, I knew what I was getting into because I’ve tasted them both on many occasions. With The Tyconnell, I had no idea what to expect.
I was very pleased with the discovery of Tyrconnell.
Tyrconnell comes from the Cooley Distillery, a distillery that had once been shut down, but had been re-opened by 1987. As there were only two other distilleries at the time – Bushmills up in North Ireland, and Midleton down in Cork (Midleton is where Jameson and Powers whiskey are made) – the introduction of a third distillery “threatened” these two Irish Whiskey powerhouses. Jameson’s and the Irish Distillers Group tried to buy out the Cooley distillery with the intent on closing it. They were ulitmately rebuffed once the owners of Cooley found financial backing from international sources.
From my point of view (as limited as it is), the opening of the Cooley distillery and the introduction of their product line has gone a long way to re-introducing Irish Whiskeys to the international market.
Yeah… but what about the whiskey itself?
The Name comes from a Horse…a 100-1 longshot winner in “The National Produce Stakes” way back in 1876. Distillers from the Watts family were so inspired by the horse that they named a brand after him. The whiskey became popular during the late 1800′s and early 1900′s, but as the Irish Whiskey industry dried up during World War I, the Irish Civil War, and Prohibition in the United States, the brand eventually died. When the Cooley distillery opened up in 1987, they acquired the brand Tyrconnell, and re-introducted it to the buying public.
Nose: I got a whiff of what reminded me of Juicy Fruit gum before it settled into a nice, comforting orange/lemon aroma.
Taste:Light on the palate, this is not an overly complex whiskey. It has a fruity taste to it, but not as overpowering as the nose. The finish lasted quite long and was very sweet, almost honey like.
Overall: A good whiskey, easily on par with a Bushmills.
Cost: Here in the State of Washington, a bottle of Tyrconnell will run about $30 for a 750 ml bottle.
My Rankings of Whiskey so far:
Bushmills Black Bush