As its name suggests, West Cork Distillers is located in the western part of County Cork along Ireland's southwestern coast, a geographic depiction of which is artistically displayed on the front label. The craft spirits distillery is about 100 kilometers west of its much larger fellow Co. Cork whiskey maker the New Midleton Distillery, but it might as well be a million miles in terms of scale and history. In addition to the Glengarriff Peat Charred Cask, West Cork produces a dozen other whiskey varieties including another in the Glengarriff series, the Bog Oak Charred Cask.
There aren't many peated Irish whiskeys available today--certainly nothing like in Scotland--but there are several notable offerings, and indications are that more are on the horizon. In no particular order, the Dark Silkie from Sliabh Liag (and its Midnight Silkie sibling), Connemara from Kilbeggan, and Teeling's Black Pitts stand out on the peated Irish list.
The West Cork Glengarriff Peat Charred Cask single malt is a bit different than those in that the whiskey is matured in casks that have been charred with peat burned into the wood using age-old methods of bellowing. The peat is harvested from the nearby bogs of Glengarriff. Since the casks are charred with peat rather than the whiskey being distilled using peat (whereby the phenols are directly infused into the new make spirit), it creates a much less smoky effect on West Cork's liquid.
If you're looking for an introduction to peated whiskey, this is a good way to ease yourself into the category. If on the other hand you're looking for a very peated experience closer to some of the Islay scotch whiskies, you will find this somewhat light on smoke.
West Cork Glengarriff Peat Charred Cask: 90 POINTS
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