Greenore 8 year old, Irish Single Grain Whiskey, is reviewed by Steve Crotty.
Greenore 8 year old
Single Grain Irish Whiskey
Approximate price £30 – 35
Yes! Yes yes yes fucking YES! After a long, arduous and soul-destroying quest, I have finally found a grain whisky to shout about, to place on a pedestal alongside the best that single malt has to offer: a grain whisky to be cherished rather than endured. Let me explain.
Many years ago I was discovering whisky with a friend, and to maximise our knowledge and experience we purchased many samples rather than one large bottle. It was during the course of this wonderful evening that I came across something so stunning that I was transfixed by its excellence. Barely reading the label due to my being quite squiffy by this point, I could only pick out the words ‘Single Grain’ (or at least these were the only words I remembered the following day). I thought no more about it until I started reviewing whiskies, and ever since then I have been searching for something worthy enough to be proof of my proclamation that single grain, oft maligned, can be every bit as magnificent as its malty cousin.
Greenore is made by the Cooley distillery, famed for their peated Connemara single malt amongst many other strings to their whisky bow. The website describes it as being Ireland’s only single grain whisky, which is true in the sense that only Greenore single grain is currently available, but false in the sense that there are also rarer (and naturally pricier) 15 and 18 year old expressions available. The nose is a curio, an amalgam of different whisky styles, the strongest being the starchy tang of corn whiskey (it is made from grain after all) as well as a smell I can only attribute to a barn full of wet hay. If this sounds off-putting then it shouldn’t; it’s magnificent stuff.
The taste is even better. It trumps Galaxy chocolate for its ability to melt in the mouth, and is so gentle I’m reasonably sure that you could replace the water in your fish’s aquarium with it and they wouldn’t suffer any ill fate. (DISCLAIMER: Do not replace your aquarium water with Greenore whiskey. It’s a terrible waste of whiskey). Its languid texture brings forth essences of honey, vanilla, lemon rind, walnut, orange, corn and toffee, with none of these flavours either too overpowering or too complex, more footnotes to help emphasise the main story, which is velvety smoothness. If ever there was a definition of an aperitif whiskey then this is it, it is in its element served before a heavy meat pie (the kind that gives you the meat sweats). The only problem is it may act as an aperitif for itself, causing you to forgo the food you were going to have and wondering where the last four hours went.
This has finally ended a three year personal crusade of mine to champion single grain whiskies. Up until now I sounded like a lunatic, advocating the drinking of them without having any evidence to qualify my assertions. No more. Forget the price, forget the availability, just drink this whisky and appreciate it for what it is. Not a damn good single grain whisky but just a damn good whisky.
Overall Rating 8.5/10
P.S. Cooley if you happen to be reading this, I love the bottle. Please make all your bottles this shape as it’s just the dogs bollocks. Love the sound the stopper makes when you pull it out as well.