Single malt whisky - tasting notes

26 Feb 2014

Irish single malt 1988 (Whisky Agency)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Ireland

I can’t remember other Irish whiskey from The Whisky Agency, but now they have two at the same time. It’s a single malt so either produced at Bushmills or Cooley. This one was distilled in 1988, the year Cooley started distilling, but that doesn’t tell us anything. Update: according to the Teeling brothers, Cooley distilled its first malt in 1989. Bushmills it is.



Irish single malt 1988 | The Whisky AgencyIrish single malt 25 yo 1988
(51,1%, The Whisky Agency ‘Old Times Diving’ 2013, 212 btl.)

Nose: all the yellow fruits you can expect from Irish whiskey. Especially Maracuja sherbet. Also pink grapefruit (BenRiach 1976’s style), white apricots and hints of Charentais melon. Orange blossom. Bags of gummy bears. Very fresh, with a definite acidity, although there’s a warmer vanilla theme in the background. Soft notes of herbal honey. Mouth: sweet, still lots and lots of this passion fruit sherbet, simply lovely. There’s some oak and liquorice, as well as fresh herbs, but they don’t stand a chance, the tropical fruitiness is ten times bigger. Bananas, mandarins and a little coconut. Triple Sec. Truly a fruit bomb. Hints of cinnamon and mint. Finish: long, still sweet, slightly nuttier and more chocolaty now.

Just excellent Irish whiskey, it turns the fruity volume up to 11 but it wouldn’t be a Whisky Agency release if it didn’t show complexity as well. It doesn’t matter, but this time my guess would be Bushmills. Highly recommended, even at € 200.

Score: 93/100

Irish single malt 1988 (Whisky Agency) 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2014-02-26
  • Teun

    tried it yesterday. Love it! Did remind me a bit at first of the excellent Limerick Adelphi bottling 1988-2012.

  • WhiskyNotes

    Yes that’s quite similar indeed.

  • Teun

    but I was led to believe that one was actually a Cooley.

  • JohnM

    The Adelphi is a Bushmills. It was distilled before the Cooley distillery started producing. Cooley didn’t distill its first whiskey until Easter Sunday 1989, I believe.

  • Tony

    I see this one has also edged up to 93 points along with the Nectar Peated bottling. So these two are the clear standouts from the (also very good mind you) others?

  • WhiskyNotes

    Indeed the two standouts for me. But I’ve also secured a sample of the famous ‘Maria’ bottling which I will try very soon.

  • Tony

    Looking forward to the Maria review – haven’t tasted that one. By the way – you don’t have this one in your top list (you do include the later reviews of Eiling Lim and Nectar Peated)

  • WhiskyNotes

    I’m afraid the top list is still manual work. I tend to update it every few months…



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1933 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.