Its starting to happen, middle age is upon me, although, If I am totally honest middle age has been about me for about 2 decades now. When my friends were heading out to night clubs, I preferred dark pubs where folk could come and moan about politicians, how all sport is rigged (when they lost a bet) and where the bar man is so lacking in hospitality as to make Basil Fawlty look like a charm school grad. All that is mental, or spiritual though, the middle age I mean here is of the physical kind, things are not running the way they used too. Take my hearing, for example, lots of times people speak and I don’t hear what they are saying, this leaves me with 4 options: 1) Ask them to repeat 2) Move closer to hear better 3) Say “What?” constantly 4) Smile, nod my head and hope it wasn’t a question. Invariably it’s number 4 I opt for. This leaves the door open for constant surprise, since I have missed, up to 80%, of the conversation whatever happens in the after math is a total surprise to me. Just so happens I like surprises. 

A surprise is when something unexpected happens and when you grab a bottle of West Cork 10 yo Single malt, from Skibbereen, there is certainly is one. There are a lot of lower to middle priced Whiskies hitting the market and a lot of them are fairly unremarkable, if we are honest, the flavour range just isn’t there yet, this is a little different.  Its really on the nose that the surprise is to be found, it is lovely light and fresh, take a sniff with your eyes closed in peace and (now easily found) quiet and you could be standing on a section of the Wild Atlantic way with the wind gently blowing on you. Utter joy. Another surprise is that it tastes different to the nose, not just a fantastic, it has to be said, but that isn’t a shock when the bar is set so high to begin with.  For an entry level bottle this is very good, surprisingly so. Well done.

 

Nose- Fabulous. Sweet, American hard gums, Malt, Apricot, Vanilla, Oak. Quintessentially Irish 3/3

Palate- Soft fruit, slight citrus, limes. Oak 2/3

Finish- ginger, pepper, vanilla, oak, Marshmallows. Decent length 2.5/3

Value for money 1/1

Total 8.5/10

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