Clontarf 1014

Some times I don’t drink single malt. Sometimes I don’t even drink whisky. Tonight I have a glass of whiskey to savour. Notice the slight difference in spelling. It signifies Irish.

Clontarf 1014 is its name. Made, it claims, by King Brian Boru. Although how that man could have driven the Vikings into the sea at the battle that gives this whiskey its name, and then lived another thousand years to bring me this fine blend, I don’t know. Maybe King Brian Boru is the name of the company. I could Google it I suppose, but on this occasion I prefer to speculate.

An almost brandy-like sweetness assails the nose on first inspection. That alcoholic smoothness that only comes from triple distilling – similar to that from Auchentoshan, which is also triple distilled. It’s bold in the mouth, promising summer and peaches and cream, but as it lingers there’s a faint bitterness – perhaps the Bourbon it was matured in. It is very more-ish. You keep wanting that first hit. A bit like those warriors at Clontarf, so confident at the start of battle and yet the ravens attend the fallen on both sides.

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