Tag Archives: Glendalough Double Barrel

Blake’s, Galway.

With it’s warm inviting open fire – dark wooden fixtures and furniture – mirrored whiskey displays and cosy snugs – you  certainly feel at home in Blake’s Corner Bar.

From the impressive 50+ range of whiskeys on offer I chose a single malt from one of the new breed of Irish distilleries – Glendalough 7.

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Blake’s Bar Whiskey Shelf c/othewhiskeynut

The Double Barrel Single Grain release from this Wicklow based distillery had impressed me and I’d added a bottle of Glendalough 7 to my growing collection by cashing in my loyalty card rewards at my local  O’Briens off licence. Something I do on an annual basis now – a sort of whiskey Xmas present to myself. As that bottle still remains unopened – I thought now would be a good a time as ever to sample the expression.

This was a different taste experience to my previous 2 samplings. A lighter – sharper – even clearer mouth feel followed through with a hint of spice and a lovely warm finish. Being unadorned – a straight single malt flavour profile contrasted with the barrel finished and/or blended malts I’d had earlier. At 46% unfiltered the stronger alcohol content would explain the extra bite at the beginning of this double distilled single malt.

Let me indulge myself here – but careful now – this PiL video contains rude words – as is typical.

I paired this malt with a tasty burger and chips from the extensive dinner menu – being after 12 – I’d just missed the breakfast service of a Full Irish I originally wanted to soak up the increasing alcoholic buzz that was starting to make itself felt.

Blake’s was doing a roaring trade with other folks popping in for meals – teas or coffees – pints or drams in between their shopping. Some had even stopped by to watch the sport on the screens dotted around the premises.

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Blake’s Bar c/othewhiskeynut

As the Tottenham vs Sunderland match was about to begin – and not particularly being football mad – I finished up my meal – relished the last drops of Glendalough 7 – and drank the glass of water accompanying my burger to help stop me dehydrating from the whiskey intake.

I fired off a few snaps with the camera – chatted to the ameniable locals and bar staff before heading on to my next destination on the Galway Whiskey Trail.


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Irish Single Grain Set Piece

Irish Single Grain Whiskey is a bit of a rare breed. Malted barley in pot stills is the norm and has been for centuries – even after fellow Irishman Aeneas Coffey invented his new continuous still around 1830 which sparked the rise of Scottish blended whisky. He did offer it to his fellow countrymen first – but so tied to their superior product they declined – so Aeneas went abroad and the rest is history.

Blended whiskey – a mixture of both malted pot still and grain continuous still spirits – accounts for about 90% of whisky sales worldwide – so is nothing to be scoffed.

Grain Whiskey is generally seen as the inferior spirit in a blend and only a few offerings are available in Ireland or even Scotland.

Ireland had to wait until the 1990’s before it’s first single grain offering was released from the Cooley Distillery in Louth when it opened in 1987.

Kilbeggan Single Grain
Kilbeggan Single Grain

Released as an 8 year old – Greenore Single Grain has recently been re-branded as Kilbeggan Single Grain by the current owners of Cooley, Beam/Suntory. Other age statements are available; 6, 10, 15, 18, 19 and 21 but may be hard to find and/or limited release.

Grain generally needs longer in the barrel to absorb the flavours than malt. Greenore reflects that by being a mild tasting approachable whiskey not unlike The Glenlivet but very enjoyable nonetheless. Bottled at 40% ,mainly made from maize.  B

Single Grain c/o Celtic Whiskey Shop
Single Grain c/o Celtic Whiskey Shop

Teeling Single Grain follows on from Greenore in more ways than one. Also produced at Cooley by the former owners under John Teeling, many of the team at that plant are now the main force behind the Teeling Whiskey Distillery. Innovation is almost part of the Teeling culture and finishing this single grain in Californian Wine Casks certainly does that in raising the aroma and taste of this lovely smooth whiskey. Bottled at 46%, non-chill filtered, no age statement  – it’s no surprise that World’s Best Single Grain 2104 went to this expression. B+

Glendalough Double Barrel c/o Glendalough Distillery
Glendalough Double Barrel c/o Glendalough Distillery

Glendalough Double Barrel is another new player in the Irish Whiskey market. They certainly hit the mark with this expression. As with many new entrants waiting for their spirit to mature – Glendalough has sourced this product from a third party. I originally thought Cooley – but with a malted barley and corn mash I’m not so certain. The malted barley certainly adds a bit more depth to the taste and the olorosso finish only adds to the experience. One to keep Teeling on their toes! Bottled at 42%, no age statement.   B+ 

Single Grain Selection c/o Whiskey Nut
Single Grain Selection c/o Whiskey Nut

A delightful trio of Single Grain Whiskeys to tempt you with their individual take on the silent spirit. All very good whiskeys too for a gentle evening drink. I’m finding it hard to decide between the Teeling or Glendalough as my favorite but think the latter just wins out with the fuller body – probably imparted by the barley content.

If you haven’t tried a single grain yet – now is the time!


The Whiskey Nut