Whiskybase remains one of the best whisky resources on the planet. Some people like to point out this platform’s flaws, but most of them are unavoidable and come with the challenges of running a member-driven website. To me, I just couldn’t imagine my whisky hobby without Whiskybase.
Full disclosure, I did just start doing some content work for them, but I’ve been using their website since forever. And I’m glad to see them going from strength to strength. Just last year they reached a massive milestone when the 200.000th bottle was added to their database. As they’ve done with every milestone so far, they released a celebratory whisky. Or in this case, whiskey. But whatever… The spelling of whisky will never be on trial here. I’ll leave that to some unhappy corners of Facebook.
Anyway, celebratory whiskey. From Cooley, a distillery in Ireland that used to be run by the Teeling family, but has belonged to Beam Suntory since 2014. When at its best, Cooley is a prime example of fruity single malt. Even better, some of the fruitiest ever single malts I’ve tried has been produced here. (Not reviewed on this blog.) Finger’s crossed…
Cooley Irish Whiskey 2002 20 Years (57.1%, Whiskybase, C#2215)
Nose: It’s a bit dense at first, with even some hints of burlap and sandalwood, but there’s clearly some fruity DNA in there, which reveals itself even more with a little patience. Vanilla custard, ripe bananas, grape must and stewed apples. Taste: Creamy mouthfeel. Slightly peppery and maybe even chalky, but again, the fruits are here. I’ve immediately added some water after the first sip, but I’m not sure that was the best idea. Fruits still, yes. Some lemon pith, peaches, lime and icing too. But it also enhances notes of ginger, oak and soft herbal touches. Finish: Gentle yellow fruits, oak and custard. Medium in length.
Those late 1980s and early 1990s über-fruity Irish single malts may have spoiled me, because that's now a huge part of my frame of reference. This Cooley Irish Whiskey 2002 20 Years was announced as a fruity malt. And it is! But it's also not fruit juice. I find this more comparable with Glentauchers 1996, for example. Which is lovely stuff.