Nose: Vanilla sweetness, citrous and honey with some chocolate coming through.
Taste: Smooth and silky with sweet caramel and citrous ending off with oak.
Finish: Long and warm with malt, dried fruit and oak.
The legend of The Tyrconnell was born in 1876, when R. M. Delamere entered his chestnut colt, Tyrconnell, in the prestigious National Produce Stakes horse race. At odds of 100:1, fortune found favour with Delamere that afternoon, as Tyrconnell bested horses and oddsmakers alike on his march to victory. The surprise victory captured the imagination of the assembled crowd, which included A.A. Watt, local gentlemen distiller. He chose to commemorate the occasion by creating a limited edition, small batch whiskey that bore the name of their local champion. Although A.A. Watt intended to make The Tyrconnell just once, it ended up becoming Watt's most popular whiskey. Before Prohibition, The Tyrconnell was claimed to be the best selling Irish whiskey. Today, the brand is maintained by the Kilbeggan Distilling Company, proud protectors of Irish whiskey making traditions. Each bottle bears the same commemorative label celebrating Tyrconnell's triumph.
As a double distilled, single malt, The Tyrconnelloccupies a territory all its own. The double distillation process lets The Tyrconnell retain the character of its origin, creating an end product with a delicate flavor that lives alongside a creamy and viscous profile. The Tyrconnell Single Malt puts a great pressure on those who create it, as every decision between barley selection and bottling will reveal itself in the flavor profile. The Tyrconnell overcomes these challenges with flying colours, with a robust flavor profile built on a backbone of citrus and honey flavors. In the spirit of the unlikely champion that became its namesake, The Tyrconnell is a whiskey made by those who are not afraid to bravely defy the odds.
The standard expression of this much loved single malt and has apparently been tweaked slightly in recent days, with a selection of ex-Bourbon barrel matured making up the entire vatting. It is as soft and elegant as ever but the move to 43% gives it perhaps a slightly more mature taste than the previous 40% bottling.
Ultimate Spirits Challenge: 94 Points 2017
International Wine and Spirits Competition: Gold Medal Outstanding 2009, Silver Outstanding Medals 2012, 2014, 2015
Tyrconnell was originally distilled in the Abbey Street Distillery in Londonderry and is named after a racehorse owned by the Watt family who won the Irish classic at odds of 100-1 in 1876. The original distillery was founded in 1820 by Alexander Stewart and eventually came under the control of Andrew Watt. In 1833 the Abbey Street distillery was one of the first in Ireland to install a Coffey still, under Aeneas Coffey’s personal supervision, and the Abbey Street distillery was the largest distillery in Ireland, capable of producing 2,000,000 gallons of whiskey a year, much of which was exported to Scotland and used in the Scottish blended whiskeys.
Tyrconnell was the flagship whiskey for the Abbey Street distillery and enjoyed much success, notably in the US where it was one of the biggest selling whiskey brands, becoming New York’s favourite whiskey before prohibition and even adorning the advertising boards of the Yankee stadium at one point. The end for the distillery came when it joined forces with 2 Belfast distillery’s to become the United Distillers Company, which was eventually bought over by the Edinburgh based Distillers Company Limited, who forced the distillery to close down in 1925.
This was the end of the famous whiskey, until in 1988, the iconic brand was bought over and revived by those wonderful people in the Cooley distillery who have given us a chance to taste one of the historically great Irish whiskeys. It continues to be produced at the Cooley distillery to this day.
Producer Kilbeggan Distilling Company Style Single Malt Age No age statement Volume 70CL ABV 43%