Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Washing Machine Didn't Come With Hoses: Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey

Really -- you buy a new washing machine, they deliver it, they take away the old one, but then you have to drive to the store to get new hoses to finish hooking the thing up right?  Harumph, I say.  On a blazing hot summer day, with one child who is desperate for a new dancing outfit and high on big-cardboard-box, and another who has a case of the whines because she's too hot because she didn't listen to her mother and chose a long-sleeved shirt anyhow.  Fine.  Gimme the hoses... and two tutus and two leotards, too.

Next stop:  shopping for Mummy.  On the list?  One bottle of Pelee Island Moscato, which has been renewing my taste for wine lately.  I've been "off" wine for a few years, but this is a lovely light summery delight -- not too dry, not too sweet, not too red, not too white.  A fantastic chilled beverage on a hot day.  I grabbed two bottles and headed over to browse the scotch section.

I hummed and hawed and finally selected the experiment of the month: 8 year old Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey.  It's made by the Cooley Distillery, which also makes Connemara Peated Irish, which I included at the in-laws' tasting event and promised to review.  And I will.  Later.  For now, read about this lovely thing:

Thar she be -- nothing very helpful or interesting on the label, which meant I had to buy it to learn about it.
I had a quick taste while I supervised the girls in their evening bath, and I didn't think much of it.  There was a strong rubbing-alcohol odour I couldn't get past.  However, later on, after I had tidied up and provided all the necessary hugs and kisses and made lunches and done some laundry (and discovered that the infamous hoses needed to be reversed), I sat down to give it a serious assessment.

Appearace-wise, it is ever so much more attractive than the mess of shoes that clutter the front hall.  It's a light-colored dram.  If you'll permit me to play expert, at least insofar as colour is concerned, I'll describe it as "honey colored" or something equally poetic.  Given a swirl, it runs back down the sides of the glass in a rather indifferent sort of way, leaving a thin film on the glass, but none of the thick, syrupy legs I like to watch.

The nose is not one to smack you over the head like a hearty peaty smoky scotch.  The smells are delicate, and hide under a cloud of alcohol fumes.  However, a few swirls and a bit of time and the nose tingle dissipates revealing the scents of tiny flower buds and ripe pears, with maybe a bit of damp lawn in there somewhere.

The palate is equally light and delicate in exactly the kind of way Ardbeg or Laphroaig Quarter Cask is not.  It follows through on the suggestions of the nose with fresh fruits, subtle flowers, and cupcakes.

The finish is cheery and refreshing, somewhere between mild ginger beer and spring rain dripping off a new leaf.

When I didn't like this whiskey at first, it was entirely my own fault for rushing it.  This is a concoction deserving of a quiet moment and one's full attention.  I'm tempted to try chilling it a bit, but I'd be afraid to lose the complexity of the subtle flavours.  It's probably worth the experiment, but Greenore is refreshing enough at cool-basement temperature.

This is a limited quantity item, so if your local booze-vendor has it in stock, I'd suggest picking up a bottle.  At less than $60, it's a good bet for a summer sipper.

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