It’s been quite a journey with Killowen Distillery. Over the last year they have showcased what is possible with Irish whiskey blends. We have enjoyed six releases to date and been given as much information as is allowed under current restrictive labeling regulations.
The Bonded Experimental Series is a collection of sourced whiskeys which Killowen blend and then finish in casks from all over the world in an effort to create something different. Each blend includes whiskeys that are ten to twelve years old from different distilleries all across Ireland, two single malts and one grain. They are small batch releases of 50cl, bottled at cask strength, non-chill filtered, and no colouring.
To date they have included:
an ex-Islay cask
ex Stout Cask finish
The seventh and final release is the same blend finished in virgin Hungarian oak single cask which yielded just 356 50cl bottles. The story of the cask is as much a part of the journey as the spirit. Hand made from start to finish using local skilled tradesmen, the cask stands out as a piece of art.
Although the series has concluded, for Killowen, surely the journey has just begun.
Official tasting notes
Honey-suckle and floral aromas intensified by the grain component but far from overpowering. A wood spice reminiscent of star anise along with a lemon zest. These notes are on a canvas of vegetal fragrance reminiscent of early September’s rural, laneway, Hedgerow cutting.
The wood spice is clearly clove at this stage with plenty of finely ground white pepper. The stone fruits are evident from the Single malt but this is not as forthcoming as the abundance of soft dark-brown sugar. Out on it’s own there is a hint of wild evergreen Ivy, known to gardeners when tending to their craft in late winter.
On the backdrop of caramelised demerara sugar sweetness, there is an explosion of raw clove buds. Finishing off with thick cut orange rind, like that found in rind found in a hearty marmalade. Nothing Short of a juicy mouth-watering spice bomb!
Read more about Killowen Distillery in issue 10 of our publication.