Connemara 12 Peated Irish Whiskey is a premium Islay Single Malt born on the wrong side of town.
If you look at a map of Ireland, you will see a tip of land pointing out as the western-most point — that’s the district of Connemara. The Cooley Distillery is on the other side of the country, but that’s where they make Connemara Whiskey these days, alongside Kilbeggan, Tryconnell, 2 Gingers, and a few other Irish gems.
Cooley has won more than three hundred awards since they consolidated operations there in 1985. Shieeeeet. Pretty impressive, don’t you think? They market all of their products under the master brand of Kilbeggan.
Connemara is different… REALLY different. It says "Irish Whiskey" right up front on the label, but it is not what you expect. Sure, it’s a Whiskey and it’s made in Ireland. But Connemara is a Single Malt, where most Irish Whiskeys are a grain mixture. And all Connemara Whiskeys are peated. Now look at that map of Ireland again. The Connemara is made closer to Islay Scotland — just across the Irish sea. And that is what it tastes like.
The good folks at Cooley Distillery have crafted a premium, peated Single Malt Whiskey that you would swear comes from across the sea. So, is Connemara 12 an Irish Whiskey? Legally yes, to your taste buds maybe, but what matters is that if you enjoy high-end Bowmore or Laphroaig, you should consider this troublemaker too. Need another reason? Connemara has probably won more awards than the Scotches we're comparing it to!
A bit sweet with a smoky finish that is not overpowering. Can taste the peat and the oak.
Not a huge fan of peat, but this is flavorful and not the common smoke bomb. Hints of smooth sweetness come through.
I would put this Irish up against any pleated scotch in a blind tasting.
Smokey and smooth
big fan of peaty scotch whiskies. bought this to see how they compare and was pleasantly surprised. held up with it's islay cousins rather nicely. an excellent dram and will frequent my liquor cabinet.
Really Smokey and very bitter tasting. Not a fan at all.
Wrong one. I had the peated, not the 12 year. Ignore rating.
Very sharp, bitter taste through
Appearance: Color is straw, decent legs... Nose: Smoked green apple, salty sweet. Crisp, not dark smoke. Slight vegetal note... Palate: Peat (barely smokey) on the front of palate. Earthy and dark, but with an underlying sweet note, possibly pear. Fades to malty vanilla... Mouthfeel: Coating, oily... Finish: Linger of the initial earthiness, with a touch of peat spice... Overall: Interesting take on Irish Whiskey. The earthiness meshes well with the clean maltiness of the Irish style. Definitely unique.
Not a huge fan of peat flavor, but was pleasantly surprised. The peat was much more subtle than I anticipated, so I actually enjoyed this more than I expected.
You can taste the smoke for sure, but good change from the other whiskeys in this batch
Better then expected. Not too peaty. Can definitely smell the pear and sweetness.
Nice spicy aftertaste. Would add to drinks cabinet.
Not for me. Way too smokey.
Very smooth. I get a lot of apple on smell and taste and that hazelnut finish is great. Bit thin at times which may be to the low ABV. At the moment I don’t get any peat but I usually drink Laphroaig and other peated whiskeys so think might just be getting acclimated. Overall a great Whiskey. Highly recommend it.
Smoky peat with oily vanilla sweetness
Calling this Irish is like calling a donkey a horse. I guess it technically qualifies, but it tastes like a Smokey kick in the nuts.
How light the colour is! I like it, somehow ethereal even. The nose is very light also, but there is some berries, peat, sugar? Have to struggle to find it, but maybe it’s just the spring and clogged up sinuses. Still, what I het, I like.
The taste is wild! Super sweet, syrupy, smoky, some fruit I can’t place. Feels like water in the mouth, odd how there’s no thickness to the mouthfeel at all. Firewater. Acidic, bitter even. I really like it, but maybe not enough to get a whole bottle for myself. Really different than many others, which is always bonus, but I suspect this might get old fast.
Pretty smooth up front the finish is a bit industrial for me. Heavy with the smoke which isn’t my current preference. If you like the smoke you may enjoy.
Great peated whiskey
Odd aftertaste but good initial flavor
Certainly has a medicinal smell - very, very smoky and maybe a hint of sweet. It's really light in color and not at all what I expected. It's not nearly as smooth as other Irish Whiskeys I've tried so far. Not a fan.
Visually very clear. Aroma is that of peat smoke with a hint of sweetness. The first taste definitely has the rubbery peat taste. Adding water sweetens the taste.
I don’t think I’m giving up smoky scotch like Talisker for this.
2nd taste- definitely a peaty smoky whiskey. Even though I am of Irish descent I think I’ll stick to Talisker.
Its quite light but way to smokey for me, also has a medicinal aroma to it which instantly put me off.
Smells like paint to me. Leaves an oily feeling on my lips.
First off, I hate peat as I've tried many peated scotches, but oddly I do not mind this whiskey at all. Maybe my pallete is changing or there is less peat smoke. Its an odd mix of sweet and meaty smoke, but it works. Note: do not sip it after you pour, let it sit for about 10 minutes before enjoying. It really opens everything up.
A peaty aroma with hints of something sweet. On tasting I find the sweet notes unbalance the smokiness leading to an oddly medicinal finish.
too smokey for my tastes. Very medicinal tasting with lots of peat.
Really nice, never had a peated irish whiskey before. Didn’t find it to be overpowering; quite well balanced.
Very medicinal nose and taste. Not altogether unpleasing. Just not my cup of whiskey.
Lydicane Band-aid on your finger but you still bite your nail anyway... More like scotch than an Irish Whiskey. Had a waxy finish (I'm guessing this is the "oily" note discussed) that's not all that pleasant. The aroma is definitely peat and smoke, but there is a really unpleasant Lydicane smell that made me think of the dentist. So, Scotch enthusiasts, it stands up to many out there, especially if you lean towards the iodine flavors. The overall finish is not lingering except for the smoke which gives way to the Lydicane again; however, the waxy feeling takes a bit to go away. Not a fan.
Wicked finish. Lasted forever, wishing I had a couple more sips to go after the last one. Might even enter the rotation
A pretty great dram; especially if you normally drink scotch. Extremely light in color, some smoke and butter, with a short nutty finish. It's very unlike most of the irish whiskeys I've been trying recently.
Not for me so i'm giving it an average score, in my opinion it'd be lower but that wouldn't be fair since i'm a starting spirit drinker.
Irish whiskey masquerading as Islay scotch. Unlike most scotch though, this doesn’t sit in my throat like smoke. This is probably the most drinkable peat based whiskey I have had. The smoke doesn’t over-power the malt and it goes down easy.
Too smoky for my taste. I detected a taste of camphor.
Very smoky for an irish whisky. smell reminds me a bit of shortbread
The smokeyness of the peat on top of the standard butter and biscuit flavors is fantastic.
If you are a peat lover, you have to try this.
I found it to be a little sharper compared to Islay whisky's.
Not very complex, but good if you like peat.
Too smokey like Virginia-Highland Whisky
A very odd taste.
It is smooth but really Smokey. To much for my taste
Terrible, not smooth.
Light but smokey
Smooth and Smokey but delicious
Absolutely tastes like an Islay scotch
I I wouldn’t say it’s a peaty flavor but there is smoke and it’s not awful
Very smooth. Heavy peat but not overpowering.
My favourite Irish Whiskey. Smooth, smokey, peaty, and slightly sweet.
This is the 2nd peat that I have tried. I found out peat is not for me. Tastes like u r eating moss off a tree.
It’s a peated whiskey, but a little more subtle than Ardbeg
Not a fan of Peat, but it is an OK Peat
Nose: peat smoke
Taste: light, smoky, smooth, some underlying sweetness
Smoky, smooth, delicious and at an excellent price point
Good but a little too smokey
Viel zu torfig für meinen Geschmack
It is an outstanding, balanced, peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey with a light & fresh birth; while a sweet & rustic life; leads to a delicate death of medium length with hints of oily smoke & nutmeg.
very peaty, it’s almost overpowering. I like the subtle pear flavor but overall not my thing
The peat & smoke is obvious, the oil as well. Not bigboned or heavy, as what you expect with a peated scotch. The smoothness is typical Irish. Nevertheless, not really my whisk(e)y
I like smoke and this is pleasantly smoky in the nose and up front with honey and vanilla sweetness close behind even as the savory smoke lingers. Enjoyable finish. This one made the tasting box worthwhile. True single malt flavor. Price point is a bit high but reasonable. Enjoy! I’m looking forward to a full bottle!😎
A deliciously peated Irish Whiskey.
This is shocking...I'm not a fan of peat normally but really liking this one. Super smooth. Peat & smoke on the front with sweetness lingering.
My first exposure to a pleated whiskey and overall was decent. I doubt I’d order a bottle but a nice exposure in the fighting Irish tasting pack
Reminds me of some of my favorite speyside scotches (Aberlour, Balvenie, Cragganmore)
Smooth with a distinct smokiness that is pleasant change, very nice finish with the peat lingering.
Terrific smoke that lasts on the palette. Not an everyday drink, but perfect for when you want to change it up a bit.
This one was smooth. It had no bite to it but the taste was very different. It went down well just had an interesting taste.
I enjoyed this, but the flavor is very powerful. This Irish whisky is as close to you can get to an Islay Scotch. Lots of smoke but not overpowering. The wood flavors are assertive too. You definitely need to rinse the glass in between tasting other types as it is strong. With the right food it is an amazing slow sipper, but it’s not the type I could continue to sip on all evening. It is very expressive and I appreciate it for that.
I just don't like peated whiskey.
Pleasantly peaty with some sweat and vanilla notes. Aftertaste is rather short. Quite enjoyable
Too peaty for me but I can appreciate it.
Not my flavor. Smooth, too oily for my blood.
This was the first peated whiskey I tried a couple of years ago. Still one of my favorites. Love the smoke and strong peat.
Great smoke and peaty whiskey
Too much peat for me, other than that it was decent nothing special.
Fantastic flavor. The smoke feels strong but there’s distinction in what follows. Almost reminds me of a Johnny Walker Blue Label but not quite as smooth, which isn’t a bad thing. This’ll be a go-to in the future.
I liked the Smokey after taste
Very peat heavy. Almost too close to Scotch. Not so much a fan of Scotch.
A whole new world! This is unlike any whiskey I’ve ever tasted. I love Irish whiskey but this is like sipping an Irish whiskey next to a good campfire. It was incredible. I loved it
Didn't like this one. Flavor and after taste not for me.
On the nose, it has a slight smokey scent with hints of vanilla. As for taste, the peat/smoke comes through but it is not overly powering. However, if you are not a fan of peated whisk(e)y, you should still stay clear of this one.
I'm keeping the bottle i have incase i get shot and i have to clean the wound !!!!!
Initial nosing didn’t reveal overpowering peaty/smoke smell that was expected. More so a slight lemon, splash of vanilla followed by a small amount of peat/smoke. A bit of a bite at the beginning, then the slight smoke and peat came through. A splash of water opened the flavors up a bit and mellowed it out. Small peat and smoke aftertaste. This is a good introduction to those who want to try a bit of smoke/peat but don’t want it to be overpowering.
I'm not a fan of peat, but this is good. Taste of peat not overpowering. Finish was oily till cut with a dram of water, then the nutmeg finish came out
Tastes like shit in a shoe
Sweet, honey, Smokey, peaty. Smooth entrance but it goes down a bit strong. I like it, it’s not bad.
Light smooth and peaty - perfect for a summer dram and definitely worth a bottle.
Smooth and fruity for a Scotch-style whisky. A unique kind of smoke narrative. Much less punchy than other scotch-whisky.
Very smooth with great smoke and peat that does not completely overpower the taste.
So smooth and perfect
a much more subdued peat smoke overtone than most Scotches I have ever tasted, worth adding to the cabinet
This is an earthy Irish Wisky that is ok but not my favorite.
Very peaty and smoky, maybe too much, not my favorite.
A nice peaty flavor but no match for a good peated scotch.
I liked it...had a good flavor to it...might have to try a bottle to taste more of it
Very Peaty and smooth.
Good dram!! Some sweet notes at the start, as most Irish Whiskey's do... But this follows with a nice touch of smoke. Nice balance!
Such a great smoke flavour from such a smooth Irish whiskey. Not harsh at all with a very slight hint of sweetness.
Too much peat fore
Not quite as distinct as an Islay peat but a decent sipping whiskey.
Not for those weary of peat. Beautiful Yin and Yang of mildly sweet notes with a strong peat crescendo that lasts.
A unique whiskey for Ireland... peat done right, not overwhelming smokiness, sweet front end, mellow vanilla, short finish... excellent
Excellent example of a slightly smokey and smooth 12 year single malt! A must have!
Smoky, sweet. Short finish.
Peated Irish whiskey. A treat.
I have no words to do justice to how much I love this whisky