Connemara Turf Mor Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
58.2% ABV/116.4 Proof
Currently available in the UK, Germany, Benelux, and Ireland
What the Distillery Says:
Turf Mor is the latest and 2nd edition to the Small Batch Collection series of Connemara. The first was the highly successful Connemara Sherry Finish, of which sales are now deplete and the product is retired. By bottling it at cask strength with no chill filtration we get a truly phenolic taste experience while still managing to retain Connemara’s distinctive smooth taste. Turf Mor is the Peatiest expression of Connemara with over 50 ppm phenol level. It is a limited edition bottling with less than 20,000 bottle available.
What Richard Says:
Nose: Peat and smoked meat. It reminds me of my buddy Sam’s smoked beef brisket. (I’ll have to ask him what wood he uses) There is also a good bit of fresh apple and a hint of freshly grated ginger.
Palate: Very smokey on the palate but in a different way. It’s more actual wood smoke rather than peaty like an Islay. I’m thinking that is because it’s less briny. Surprisely dry with hints of sweetness.
Finish: Sip it slow and the heat mellows to a smooth warmth that sticks with you. It leave that wood smoke lingering behind.
Comments: I really liked this much more than prior experiences with Connemara. I think it’s a mildly complex dram that offers a different take on smokey whiskey. A very nice warm you up dram on a cold night.
Rating: Stands Out
What Matt Says:
Nose: First hit with a caramel sweetness, then overpowered by peat that swirls around more floral notes (rose petals) and notes of green grain and grasses.
Palate: Peat and tall grasses that coat the mouth. It seems trite, but it’s very “Irishy” with a boat load of peat.
Finish: Peat and a little bitter with touches of oak around the edges.
Comments: I’ve never been as enthralled with Cooley as the rest of the whiskey writers. I think everyone is just excited to have another player in the game. I can sympathize. I’m a huge supporter of independents and micros as a concept even if I’m not thrilled by the product. Cooley brought us the first peated Irish whiskey in quite some time and now they are going after the super peat market with Turf Mor. In some ways this is a success. I tried it next to the standard Connemara Peated and I have to say that its miles ahead. Even at cask strength, it is very drinkable. The nose is intoxicating. With water, there is a caramel roundness that helps to tame the peat and other vegetation. However, I find a rawness to this whiskey that I often find from Cooley. It says to me, “let me sleep a little longer. A few more years in oak and I’ll be less cranky.” I’m going to rate this a “Stands Out,” but with a caveat. It’s not my style. Turf Mor stands out because there is little to compare it to in it’s category. How does it rate against the peat monsters from Scotland? It depends on if you are talking about one of the complex and amazing ones or one of the one trick ponies. Ultimately, it is distinctly Irish and cannot be directly compared to a Scottish whiskey.
Rating: Stands Out
Overall Rating: Stands Out
We’d also like to thank Rachel Quinn at Cooley and Megan Hurtuk with Gemini for providing us with samples for review.