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Drink Review: Glendalough Double Barrel Single Grain

Glendalough Double Barrel is a single grain Irish whiskey, aged in a combination of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. Sweet and creamy, with butterscotch and honey from the American oak and dried fruit from the Spanish.

Glendalough Double Barrel Single Grain Review:

Nose: Sweet creamy richness. Butterscotch, caramel, honeysuckle, dried apricot and sultana. With time this opens up to include toasted ginger bread, dark cocoa, toffee and brown sugar

Palate: The sweetness from the nose comes through instantly and continues through to the finish where it gains overtones of cocoa, honey and cinnamon. The sherry influence is apparent. Spicy with a tingle on the tongue that adds a slight chill to the finish.

Finish: Not as long as you might expect, with the butterscotch and honey lasting maybe a minute and the dark cocoa and cinnamon lasting another 30 seconds. Not aggressive and spiciness lingers in the background during the entire finish.

 

Glendalough Double Barrel Single Grain Review:

You’d be hard pressed to tell between the nose or the palate of the Double Barreled and the entry level Glendalough. If memory serves me correctly, it’s likely this is purely the American whiskey. The extra time in the sherry casks is not having a huge impact.

Although the picture doesn’t make it look it, this is a single grain whiskey.

Single Grain differs from blend because it’s whiskey distilled from a mash of both malted and unmalted barley.

[While making a spirit solely from malted barley is known as malt whiskey.]

The reason Glendalough Single Grain and others are referred to as a single grain is because the inclusion of even a small amount of malted barley is enough to classify the spirit as a whiskey instead of a “malt” whiskey.

The law can be confusing.

Being unaged means it’s immature. Although we instinctively know this to the be the case, the standards of maturity are based on flavor and finish.

If a whiskey or spirit is fully matured and say, 10 years old, it’s considered “ready” and it’s likely very good. The early and middle tier whiskeys are generally aged a minimum of three years, with Glendalough being aged in barrels for 12 years, but that’s after the aging and blending process, which is explained later.

I found this whiskey to be very good, but not great. The palate was very pleasant and quite smooth. The finish was also nice with just a right amount of spice. It was underwhelming, most likely because I enjoy smokier and peatier styles.

As a single grain, the sweetness is concentrated on the finish, but there’s no smoke to balance it out. Aside from high quality, Glendalough Double Barreled is a safe choice when entertaining and not sure what to get. It’s a semi-sweet, full bodied whiskey that will please most people. That said, it isn’t exceptional and will likely not become a staple.

Glendalough Double Barrel Single Grain Review:

Nose: Sweet creamy richness. Butterscotch, caramel, honeysuckle, dried apricot and sultana. With time this opens up to include toasted ginger bread, dark cocoa, toffee and brown sugar.

Palate: The sweetness from the nose comes through instantly and continues through to the finish where it gains overtones of cocoa, honey and cinnamon. The sherry influence is apparent. Spicy with a tingle on the tongue that adds a slight chill to the finish.

Finish: Not as long as you might expect, with the butterscotch and honey lasting maybe a minute and the dark cocoa and cinnamon lasting another 30 seconds. Not aggressive and spiciness lingers in the background during the entire finish.

Glendalough Double Barrel: A nice full flavored whiskey that is very enjoyable and should appeal to many who like more sweetness in their bourbon.

 

Glendalough Double Barrel Single Grain Review:

I found this whiskey to be very good, but not great. The palate was very pleasant and quite smooth. The finish was also nice with just a right amount of spice. It was underwhelming, most likely because I enjoy smokier and peatier styles.

As a single grain, the sweetness is concentrated on the finish, but there’s no smoke to balance it out. Aside from high quality, Glendalough Single Grain and Glendalough Overlook are safe choices when entertaining and not sure what to get. It’s a semi-sweet, full bodied whiskey that will please most people. That said, it isn’t exceptional and will likely not become a staple.

Written by Mark Adams

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