Get Your Irish On With Concannon Irish Whiskey
When I started tending bar, there were two Irish whiskers available in the states: the big two that jokingly are referred to as Catholic and Protestant. Nowadays there is a plethora of choices when it comes to the water of life imported from the Green Isle. I am fortunate enough this St Patrick’s Day to be spending a wee bit of time in Ireland!
One recent favorite of mine is Concannon Irish Whiskey. You may know Concannon as a winery based in California, and yes it’s the same family. James Concannon was an Irish immigrant and pioneer of California wine making who open the Concannon Winery in 1883.
Concannon (Gaelic for ‘wisdom without compromise) has partnered with the Cooley Distillery in County Louth to create a unique 4 year blended whiskey that starts it’s aging in old bourbon barrels and then is finished in Concannon wine barrels. When I first opened my bottle and nosed my glass, I took a guess at the grape varietal before I had done any reading about this whiskey. The nose was very distinctive of petite syrah, and I was right.
The mash is made from traditionally malted barley that is harvested in the spring, then double distilled in small long neck copper stills. The aging begins in bourbon barrels (Beam to be exact since they own the Cooley Distillery) the transferred to petite syrah barrels for final aging.
Concannon has the standard notes of honey and citrus distinctive to all Irish whiskies, with an added depth that can only come from a heavy grape like petite syrah ( one of my favorites by the way) which adds a longer finish of vanilla, berry fruits and spice.
Concannon is available nationwide and retails for about $25 and is a great alternative to the big boys of Ireland. I would especially recommend this to bourbon who find Irish whiskey to be too light for their palates as well as to wine drinkers, because….well, you should enjoy some whiskey every now and then.
Slante! Catch you cats in April