Tasting Notes For Glendalough Madeira Single Cask Irish Whiskey
Nose: Rich sultanas, exotic fruit, mango and pineapple with a touch orange zest and marmalade. A light, inviting nose that draws you into deep flavours to come.
Taste: Complex but light and lively. Cooked fruit, raisins, dark cherry and plum notes. Vanilla and sweet grains with a slight peppercorn spice.
Finish: Clean and balanced, with dark stone fruits, spicy with a light earthiness.
Glendalough Madeira Single Cask is matured in three different barrels before it finally reaches the bottle. Initial maturation is done in an ex-bourbon barrel for three years, after which the whiskey is transferred to an Oloroso sherry cask for an undefined period, and finally it ends up in a barrel of canteiro aged madeira wine.
Despite going through 3 different casks, this whiskey is really all about the madeira. Madeira casks are notorously hard to get at the best of times, not to mention expesive, but Glendalough have used canteiro madeira casks - possible the rarest and hardest to find of all. Canteiro aged madeira is required to be aged for a minimum of 4 years and allowed to naturally mature in the sub-tropical climate of Madeira. As the wine ages, sometimes for 20 years or more, it is moved down from the top to the bottom parts of the store where the heat is less intense. Spending such a long time soaking up the sun, the sea air, and of course, the madeira wine, these casks impart a wonderful mix of exotic fruits on the nose and dark fruits such as raisins and cherrys on the palate.
The Glendalough Distillery was among Ireland’s first craft whiskey producers - founded by 5 friends with a mutual love of Irish whiskey and steeped in the lore and legend of Ireland back in 2011. The distillery is located in a narrow glacial valley in the Wicklow mountains, about an hour or so south of Dublin. Glendalough, pronounced glen-de-lock, is Gaelic for the glen of two lakes. County Wicklow, in which the valley is situated, is known as the “Garden of Ireland” and is among the most visited scenic attractions in the country. The venture was able to draw on the expertise of its founders Barry Gallagher and Brian Fagan, drinks analysts working in finance, and Gary McLoughlin and Kevin Keenan, who had experience in drinks advertising.
While drawing their inspiration from heritage, they weren't shy about innovation. With the help of another craft distillery, they first released a poitín distilled from sugar beet and barley and matured in Irish oak casks in 2012. Poitín was the origin of the species, the original “water of life”. It’s Ireland’s gift to the world, one of the first spirits ever to be distilled, but the people at Glendalough have added their own twist. They now even have a version matured in sherry casks.
In 2013 they set up a distillery in beautiful Wicklow for themselves after purchasing a Holstein still from Germany. While they wait for their own stocks to mature, they have sourced whiskey from the Cooley Distillery in Louth, but again they've managed to make it their own through the maturation and blending. Each bottle features the image of St Kevin, a sixth century hermit monk who founded a monastery in the valley of the two lakes.
Producer Glendalough Distillery Style Blended Irish Whiskey Age No age statement Volume 70CL ABV 42%