Perplexing peat? Connemara NAS 40%

1st up in our original Mumbai whisky tasting group‘s October session was a no age statement dram from Ireland. Unlike most Irish whiskies, Connemara uses peat, hence it was an interesting choice to start the evening with.

We sampled it blind, the bottle freshly opened, and didn’t know what to expect!


Connemara NAS 40%

  • Colour – Bright pale yellow
  • Nose – Initially quite pungent, harsh, wood varnish, sour curd, then as it aired took on some vanilla, spice, hint of citrus while still retaining a sharp quality and dash of sawdust, settling down further it became increasingly sweet
  • Palate – Salt caramel, peat or coal (for some), wood, unidirectional, very oily. As our palates became better acquainted with it, there was an almost dry waxy quality
  • Finish – There was a finish, however surprisingly subtle. It retained some of the oils, with a sweet pine after taste

Overall we found it relatively thin, so assumed it must be 40%, no more. While it lacked depth, there was an oily quality which gave it some character.

Now here is the thing… there was a bit of a debate on the peat element. One of our members simply did not get a trace of peat whereas others found hints, but not a clear stamp.

During the reveal there was surprise. Those familiar with this whisky recalled a much more direct “in your face” type peat, not this gentle tease. Leading to speculation that perhaps Connemara has been tinkering with the recipe? Or something else what at work?

After sampling all three whiskies for the evening, we returned to the Connemara to see if we could solve the perplexing peat question.

This time, when another glass was poured, instant recognition of peat.

Now… was it in contrast with the Glenlivet? Did we not all have our peat detectors fully switched on with the initial go? Or did it need time to fully reveal its peaty character?

While it still did not have a strong peat quality, there was no doubt it did indeed have some peat.

For a previous review on Connemara, check out what fellow Whisky Lady Lina Sonne has to say:

What all did we try in our October session?

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

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