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February 27, 2018

Review: Concannon Irish Whiskey

by Jeff Ellingson

Concannon Irish Whiskey was released in 2012.  It is a blended Irish whiskey made from soft pure spring water from the mountainside of Slieve na gCloc, and locally harvested spring malted barley.  The grain whiskey portion is made from corn.  Concannon Irish whiskey is distilled in small long necked copper pot stills.  The spirit is first aged for 4 years in bourbon barrels and later aged for four months in barrels previously used to age Concannon Petite Sirah wine.  Fourth generation Vintner John Concannon created Concannon Irish whiskey in collaboration with Cooley Distillers, as a special tribute to his great grandfather James Concannon.  James sailed from Ireland to America in 1865 when he was 18.  In 1874 James and his wife traveled from Maine and settled in the Livermore Valley of California where he founded Concannon Winery in 1883.  The bottle I am reviewing was distilled at the Cooley Distillery.  Since Beam acquired the distillery and renamed it Kilbeggan Distillery, they reduced the number of brands they produce Irish whiskey for.  This resulted in several brands death, since there were so few distilleries producing Irish Whiskey.  Concannan Irish Whiskey has survived but I don’t know the current source of their Irish whiskey.Concannon Irish Whiskey pours to a honey golden color.  The aroma is vanilla custard, malt, leather, basil, oak, apple, and grape.  The sweet honey, citrus, apple, vanilla butter cream, and oak entry is joined by floral lilac building to a grape and blueberry peak.  The finish is dry and oaky with vanilla cream and grape-berry taste.  Concannon Irish Whiskey is a well crafted dry and tasty Irish whiskey.  After tasting several double barrel aged Irish whiskeys, I’ve found the flavor to be hit or miss.  Concannon Irish Whiskey can be included in the hit column.

Made in Ireland

40% Alcohol

Score: 91

Award: Gold Medal

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