Review: West Cork Small Batch Irish Whiskey 8 Years Old
We’ve reviewed quite a few Irish whiskey bottlings from West Cork Distillers, but this 8 year old single malt may be its best release yet.
The 8-Year Single Malt is a non-chill filtered whiskey distilled in hand-built copper pot stills from 100% local-grown Irish Barley and spring water sourced within 5km of the distillery. The whiskey is matured for eight years in first-fill, flame-charred American Bourbon barrels sourced from the Calvin Cooperage.
The whiskey has precious little in common with the 10 year old single malt we reviewed in 2015, which came across as a fruit bomb overloaded with apple notes.
The fruit’s still here, but it’s pulled back, letting some other elements have their moment in the limelight. The nose is sharp with a complex weave of dried flowers, dried apples, fresh malt, and turned earth. The barrel is more evident here than in the 10 year old, giving the nose some gravity.
The palate quickly turns to sweeter elements, with a classic Irish structure. Chewy malt and honey meld to give the whiskey a sweet, nougat-like palate, with a lightly oily body that nods at almonds and a slightly saline cracker note. The finish isn’t aggressive, but it does offer a lasting flavor of candied nuts and a touch of baking spice. Solid on its own or in a cocktail.