Lambay Whiskey is a joint venture of the Baring family in Ireland (the owners of Lambay island) and cognac producer Camus. The company started in 2018.
While they often refer to themselves as Lambay distillery, they only have a bonded warehouse on site. They have a bulk contract with undisclosed distilleries, blend and finish the whiskey in ex-cognac casks and re-brand it as Lambay. While this practice is quite common in the world of Irish whiskey, some of the texts on their website make me cringe a little. Innovative whiskey with a cognac cask finish made at the distillery.
After a series of entry-level whiskeys they recently launched Lambay 20 Year Old ‘Castle Prestige Edition’ (see my news post). This triple distilled single malt rested in bourbon barrels for 18 years and then moved to Camus Cognac casks. These casks are exposed to the sea air on Lambay island. It is a “limited” edition of 8000 bottles.
They created a microsite that lets you discover the whiskey in an interactive way.
Lambay 20 yo (43%, OB 2022, Camus cognac finish, 8000 btl.)
Nose: leathery notes and a rancio note, I think. Underneath there seems to be a big fruity note, perhaps apricots, although they might be mirabelles too. I believe it smells like a mix of whisk(e)y and cognac indeed. Is that beeswax in the distance? Make that vanilla. I can’t quite tell.
Mouth: I think there are walnut flavours and probably honey. Then cinnamon? They say there are fruity notes too, but I’m mostly getting a vague sweetness. Seems okay.
Finish: medium length. Some caramel.
Lambay reached out to me and kindly offered a sample… which then turned out to be 0.4 cl, give or take. Now I don’t want to be ungrateful but I suggest you try assessing a new whiskey based on literally one sip. The above is pretty much what I could come up with. It appears to be a decent whiskey, but almost certainly not worth the asking price upwards of € 500. In any case I don’t feel confident enough to recommend it. No score.