This was the festival bottling in Gent, a peated Connemara 1999 from the Irish Cooley distillery. Contrary to what is mentioned on the festival website, it was distilled in 1999, the alcohol volume is 60,3% and the bourbon cask produced 222 bottles. By the end of the festival, only a handful were left.
Connemara 10 yo 1999 (60,3%, OB 2010, Whisky Festival Gent, 222 btl.)
Nose: I really like this Irish type of peat. It’s sooty but not in-your-face and mixed with lots of sweet notes, like sugared almonds and pear candy. A faint farmy edge as well (wet hay, sheep). If you add a drop of water, some crême brulée with vanilla shines through. The more water you add, the more flowery and candied it gets.
Mouth: too hot at cask strength. With water: very sweet with sugared corn flakes and chocolate. Peppery, drying oak. A lot of peat. Liquorice towards the finish.
Finish: long and drier. Hints of burnt grass with some vanilla and spicy sweet coffee.
This Connemara 1999 is a sweet hottie, with a peppery kind of peat. Lovely on the nose and a tad sharper in the mouth. Overall very enjoyable. Around € 50.