Monday, January 05, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #326

Michael Collins Irish Single Malt Whisky
Michael Collins
Single Malt Irish Whiskey
40% abv
$40 (USD)

That's right, this whiskey sets out to embody the 'heroic spirit' of Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins. Known as "The Big Fellow" in his life, this whisky is sourced from the "wee county" on the east coast of Ireland and was launched in the USA in the spring of 2006. Like these whiskies had on the Malt Mission, this single malt is pot distilled twice at Cooley Distillery and was created by Sidney Frank, a modern master of marketing in the liquor business.

There was a time when Irish whiskey was booming and the nation's spirit was available across the world. In fact, it is said that near the end of the 19th century there were over 400 brands of Irish whiskey being sold in export markets, namely the USA. Prohibition in America killed demand in Ireland's largest export market. Partly due to the results of the actions of Michael Collins (and others), Irish whisky was suppressed as an export by the British government eventually leading to a collapse of the Irish whiskey industry. Now here is an Irish whisky named after him... hmm... Ironic?

There is no age statement but as Collins didn't live beyond 31 years of age, it is safe to assume this whisky has had a similarly short life in oak casks. I have read that it is 8 years old on the website and Kevin at The Scotch Blog says that they use smaller oak casks to accelerate the effects of oak influence.


Sweet and malty, some dried fruits like raisins, and impressions of ice cream: pralines and cream, rum and raisin, and good old french vanilla, all with a faint peatiness that adds a degree of depth.

Slightly hot, with potato bread, vanilla, and hints of roasted sweet potato. Burnt rosemary and baked fruits. Some smoke, burnt sugar, and milk chocolate.


Impressive, well-rounded, and a good whaff of smoke for those into that sort of thing. Great mouthfeel as well. There is a slightly hard attack on the palate that makes it a dram that may be tough to sip at length. To be fair, I have nosed and tasted it neat. Ice subdues this spirity element and the cream and fruitiness of the whiskey shine through. Also unleashes even more of the smoke. Worth a try, for sure. Funky love it/hate it bottle, too.

Malt Mission #325
Malt Mission #327

Malt Mission #328
Malt Mission #329
Malt Mission #330

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