...which is a nice trademark Irish single malt with rather powerful wooden notes, a little beyond my preferences but wood-lovers will enjoy this for sure. According to my taste buds this should have been bottled around five years earlier. By the way, I did not find any rum flavours at all. This dram is a little punchy and closed when neat but it opens up nicely upon reduction so it is worthwhile to experiment with water.
The colour is pale straw and the nose offers a trademark Irish malt profile with lots of different fruits, barley sugars and a significant wooden note which is a little too dominant (my olfactory cells are used to old style spirit-driven drams and do not appreciate the more wood-driven modern style so far, maybe this will change over time but it did not happen yet). The spirit is quite punchy too, but this is okay given the high abv of 56.5% and the punchiness vanishes upon breathing after around ten minutes. I do not find any rum aromas.
The taste is all about molten barley sugars and fruits in a firm wooden setting. This is not the most complex profile but this trinity works well on my palate. No flaw that I can find, and after some chewing the spices and waxes join in. Some water opens up both nose and taste with significant new impressions so I advice to reduce this dram to at least 50% abv, better 45%. Now honeys pop up and some flavours combine to a tasty milk chocolate note with splinters of coffee beans but still the rum flavours are missing. This reduction is good for additional two to three points in my score.
The dram arrives powerful with a warming and coating mouthfeel on the palate with some bitter-astringent moments (the tannins of the wood take their toll). The finish is of medium length and adds more spices and waxes beside the barley sugars and fruits which I like. The finish dries out on tannins towards the end but this is not a major deal and wood-heads might actually love this. By the way, the drying impressions vanish to a great extend with the reduced dram.