Whisky Reviews

Greenore 8 Year Old

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Cooley is an Irish whiskey distillery, founded in 1987 with the goal to ‘create more choice for consumers through innovation and the revival of old distilling techniques’ – definitely a goal worth a round of applause if you ask me. In their current range they offer both blended whiskey, single malts and, interestingly, a single grain whiskey that goes under the name of Greenore; it is this latter whiskey we will take a look at today, specifically the 8 year old expression. This is interesting because grain whiskey is rare, and Irish grain whiskey even more so – Greenore is the only one around!

Since there isn’t much competition, it is difficult to compare Greenore to other whiskies – comparing it to a malt whisky seems arbitrary – and as such I can only really pit it against Rittenhouse Straight Rye. This seems unfair in two ways though; firstly, Rittenhouse is 1/3 cheaper than Greenore (roughly $49 to £31) which puts them in different price brackets in my book, and second because I absolutely love Rittenhouse. In fact, my old review of Rittenhouse doesn’t seem to give it enough credit – I guess it has grown on me lately!

Focusing on Greenore 8 year old for now, the nose is (rather unsurprisingly for a corn-based whiskey) full of that corn sweetness, accompanied by vanilla (which it will doubtless have picked up from being aged in first fill Bourbon casks), wood, a warm rubberiness, and just a whiff of lemon tang. A quite well balanced nose, it would (in my opinion) benefit from just a bit more earthiness to balance the corn. The palate is thick and oily and feels lovely as it lines your mouth, tasting of wood, corn sweetness, a handful of vanilla, toffee and a bit of spice –now we’re talking! The corn is mellower on the palate than it was on the nose, and the wood moved forward to become more dominant along with the vanilla. Don’t get me wrong, the corn is still very much present and that is definitely a good thing, but it’s not as dominant as I had feared (because it would’ve probably made the whiskey rather sickly).

If I were to recommend a grain whisky to someone who hasn’t tried one before, I have to say that I would go for Rittenhouse Straight Rye over Greenore 8 because it is slightly better and it is a fair deal cheaper. It’s hard to beat. With that said, however, they are quite different whiskies and both are very tasty, so I would still very much recommend Greenore 8 if you fancy something a bit different.

Color: Lightly burnt hay.

Nose: Corn!, vanilla, wood, rubbery, some lemon.

Palate: Thick and oily, wood, corn, vanilla, toffee, some spice.

Want to buy this whisky? Available in: UK & World (click)

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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