Kinahan's small batch
Blended Malt — Ireland
Reviewed December 19, 2020 (edited May 11, 2022)
Note - I'm doing the Really Good Whisky Company Advent Calendar. I've also decided to pour these whiskeys "blind" (or at least as blind as I can), then providing nose, palate, and finish notes. I'll then look at the label, proof, cask type, etc. before writing my other notes. I'll be providing some guesses around things like proof and cask type and then seeing how much I missed the mark. Slàinte Mhath! Nose: Vanilla, green apple, brown sugar, and a light cinnamon all bouncing off each other. Guessing this isn't single malt - getting some grain whisky vibes here via ripe bananas. No weird new make funk, so this has some age. Maybe Irish? Guessing 43% for proof, as well as 100% ex-bourbon for casks. A very subtle thread of smoke from what I'd assume is barrel char is buried, almost reminds me of deeply roasted malts or burnt nuts. Shortbread and citrus icing. Palate: Nice. Vanilla, stewed apples, and slight orange blossoms. A little bit of tannin and oak comes in, but not intense, giving me some butterscotch and coffee threads. Bananas and whipped cream. I'm getting a sense that maybe the proof is higher, but every time I second guess myself while doing these blinds I wind up being wrong. This hits the palate relatively evenly front to back, and while this is nuanced, there's nothing "prickly" or "dense" about it. Medium mouthfeel. Finish: Honey, lemon, allspice. That oak comes in to play again, lending a bit of tannic bitterness that gives me that ground dark-roast coffee thing. Bananas and mint get revealed, and things fade out trading punches between the vanilla, honey, and fruit. Medium length. Other notes: Tonight's tally - got region, style, cask types, and that it was blended. No clue on age. Was off by 3% on proof. Booyah. I have a soft spot for Irish whiskey in my heart, especially these friendlier expressions that aren't tossing you around the room. It's so easy to drink that I often pass right over it when shopping for something new. But whenever I sit down to really dive in deep and appreciate one, I'm struck by how quality they are. They tend to exemplify that complexity and depth and richness and proof aren't necessarily the only markers of quality. Balance, nuance, subtlety, integration are things I'm valuing much more as of late. This is a great example of why - it's well executed, and represents the style quite well. Another bottle I'll have to try to pick up if I see one out on a shopping excursion. Well done. Cheers!