All things Whisky & Cigars
Made at the new Lough Gill distillery in County Sligo in North West Ireland. The Athru single malt range is one of the latest in the whiskey comebacks currently happening in Ireland.
This week we tried three of the single malt range; the Annacoona (finished in a combination of Pedro Ximenez) the Knocknarea (finished in the finest Oloroso Sherry casks) and the Keshcorran (finished in Tokaji casks from Hungary). All three whiskeys coming in with the same age statement of 14 years are finished in a different combination of barrels, all have a unique flavour profile, while still staying true to the rich heritage of the area and amazing style of Irish single malt whiskey.
All three of these amazing whiskeys have been named after landmarks or after an ancient story of Ireland and are true reflections of the land it comes from.
Annacoona was the first edition in this series and has been named after the Annacoona Cave, on the Benbulben mountain. With a limited edition of 6600 uniquely numbered bottles, each is amber in colour. The taste of dried fruits such as orange peel, dates and raisins stand out in this whiskey in addition to dark chocolate coming through on the nose and palate. The exquisite finish involves orange and clove.
Knocknarea, crafted and curated by Billy Walker, has a light chestnut colour to it. Knocknarea has great summery notes coming through on the nose such as ripe apples and pears, peaches, and fruity bubble-gum. Counter to this, on the palate, winter seeps through with the taste of malted barley and oozing dark chocolate. The hint of tobacco (mainly the cigar type) makes this taste great when smoking a cigar with spice, pepper, and cedar box coming through on the finish, definitely proving the point further, helping bring this well-balanced whiskey to a close.
Finally, we have the amazing Keshcorran, which tells the myth of King Cormac. With a warm gold colour, the nose screams intensity, it has a slight sugary note to it whilst at the same time being fruity with a hint of spice. The fruit strongly coming through on the palate includes green apples. Pears make an appearance with hints of spice which turns into traces of milk and chocolate. The mild hint of spice returns in the finish through, making it a complex if interesting whiskey to end on. All three whiskeys are a must to experience.
The Athru distillery, having gone through a four-year planning phase, started being built just 3 years ago in 2019. It will have a capacity to store 140,000 barrels of whiskey. Plans are being made to hold some of the whiskey for up to 10 years; things are looking hopeful for future releases from the range.
Things are looking extremely exciting for the future of this distillery and it is a truly remarkable comeback the world of Irish whiskey is enjoying in the 21st century.
David - Cambridge store