Killowen Distillery, Ireland’s smallest whiskey distillery, have lauchned their second expression of the their “Experimental Bonded Series”, a 10 year-old blended whiskey. This is the second expression in a series of experimental whiskeys that Killowen are set to release over the next two years.
With transparency at its core, the packaging of this new expression reveals that the ratio of malt to grain in this new blend is 24% malt to 76% grain with the individual whiskeys initially being distilled in both Co. Antrim and Co. Louth. The component whiskeys were individually matured in ex-bourbon barrels for 10 years, before being blended and transferred into a hand picked, Basque Txakolina Acacia Wine barrel, where the blend was left to finish for an additional 8 months.
Brendan Carty, the owner and operator of Killowen Distillery, tells us that transparency is a high priority for Killowen distillery and by providing all of the blend information on the label, he hopes that consumers will have all the information available to aid in the investigation and breaking down of the individual flavours. He goes on to tell us that the whiskey’s finish gave the liquid a fantasically in-depth, yet balanced cask influence.
This Killowen Experimental Series #2 was released on the 11th of Febuary, as a single cask expression and only 490 500ml bottles were released for sale. The whiskey was bottled at cask strength (55.8% ABV), without chill-filtration or caramel colouring (E150a). Brendan advises that this expression should be consumed to taste and the addition of water is suggested for consumptio, if needed.
The cask itself was a 250 litre hoghead and it chosen for its freshness and its intriguing fruity and wood forward aromas. The cask was then coupled with virgin Acacia heads to impart a full bodied Acacia body to the whiskey.
Killowen Distillery’s official tasting notes are below:
Nose: Intense varietal aromas on the nose, with notes of white fruit, (pear and apple) citrus, (grapefruit) and stone fruit, (peach) with a mild spice towards the end of the arrival.
Palate: A marriage of apricot, apple and pear flesh from the start with a slight bitter varietal character, creating a fresh mineral balance alongside vanilla wood-spice.
Finish: A long vanilla wood-spice finish with grapefruit and apple. Returning to stone fruit from the spirit balanced with stone fruit from the wine cask.