Here at last
The Connemara Bog Oak, delayed by a packaging problem, finally landed in the shops.
Cooley's grain whiskey, Greenore, got a tasty website all to itself. As an Irish whiskey, Greenore is unique, and the refreshingly upfront website makes it clear why that's so. If you are looking for a whiskey gift, incidentally, Greenore comes in a gorgeous bottle at a very decent price.
Until its recent sale, Cooley Distillery was something of a family enterprise, with co-founder John Teeling and sons Jack and Stephen all shouldering various roles. It's good to hear, then, that Stephen has been appointed global marketing director of Irish whiskey within Beam, ensuring that the Teeling name endures in the business. (To really make sure, though, they should have put it on a bottle of whiskey!)
Kilbeggan, 5 years on
Cooley's Master Blender, Noel Sweeney, revealed on Twitter last night that a second batch of Kilbeggan Distillery Reserve will be released this year. Cooley restarted distillation at Kilbeggan almost exactly 5 years ago. After 3 years in oak, the spirit officially became whiskey and some was released as the first batch of Kilbeggan Distillery Reserve. It was pretty good for a minimally-aged whiskey. I'm looking forward to tasting what another 2 years on the clock has brought to it.
That last nugget of info was divulged during a live Twitter tasting organised by The Whisky Wire. I wasn't partaking, but I followed the good-humoured discussion as people sampled the miniature bottles of Cooley's core range that had been posted to them beforehand.
I found this account of the tasting written by Gal Granov on Whisky Israel. He says it coincided with a Jewish holiday during which it is customary to get slightly toasted. Hence the rather unexpected sentence: "I took a bottle of my Connemara peated to the temple..."
(Nobody should take religious dietary advice from me, but I do believe Cooley's core range is kosher, since none of it is matured in sherry casks.)
Speaking of Twitter, this site now tweets under the @LiquidIrish handle.