Guest tasting notes: W.D. O’Connell PX Series 18 Years Old Cask Strength, 58.16% ABV


The following notes have kindly been uploaded by Greg Szczepkowski, @bogstandarddram. You can follow Greg on Twitter, using the button at the bottom of this post.

Type of whisk(e)y – Irish whiskey.

How long has the bottle been open? – Under 6 months.

Introduction to the whisk[e]y (casks used, distillery, is it a special release etc) – Sourced from Cooley distillery stock, Most of the term spent in 1st fill bourbon barrels then aged in PX casks for 13 months. The bottle I review has been finished in single cask number 144105. The bottle number is 34 and is 500 ml.

Appearance – Light golden brown, quite oily, not many legs appear but legs are thick.

Nose – Salty caramel, vintage cask and soaked wood, liquid toffee, brown sugar melted on warm custard, touch of floral undertone, bubble gum (hint), marshmallow, furniture polish (hint), wood/bourbon incense, baking spice mix, pear drops, lemon fizz, cherry lollipop stick, menthol and old book. All harmonious and not cloying.

Palate – Chewy, full bodied, crisp and fresh. Caramel, sweet cream drying into white pepper. Fragrant wood, oxidized sherry, leather, sweet mint, freshly grated nutmeg, herbal layer: bitter drops, chamomile, thyme infusions. Stone fruits are present but not as vivid as one might expect.

Finish – Long with distinct mushroom undertone and pepper, mineral – chalk powder really drying your mouth, plenty of mint, oak sap, fresh like the nose and the palate.

Overall thoughts – Yes, most certainly. I have to admit, it is relatively expensive at 140 euro per 0.5 litre but you get plenty back in terms of tasting experience. It is very fresh tasting for it’s age. Unlike scotch equivalents, often set as a heavy, dark dunnage background (often tasty too!), this one creates feeling of crisp and living, organic process yet, rest assured, full of muscle too.
Overall it is more woody/herbal than fruity, which I find an exiting change from many typical Irish offerings. The most rewarding note is the sweet mint, very well defined with long minerality towards the finish and umami mushroom of PX cask. Superb whiskey, worth every cent I spent (and I barely look above 80-100 euro mark). If you can get the bottle please do, and what’s more important, open it and be ready for the adventure it provides.

Many thanks to Greg, @bogstandarddram (Twitter) for submitting his tasting notes.

Pic Credit – The Celtic Whiskey Shop.

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