A fun game I like to play is blind tasting whiskey. The game goes like this: Among a few friends, I ask the bartender to inconspicuously pour his choice of whiskey within a certain price range. He brings over a glass of whiskey to the table a few minutes later. Each person at the table tries to fill in 3 answers:
1. Country of Origin ( 1 point )
2. Category of Whiskey ( 1 point )
3. Exact Distillery / Brand ( 3 points )
This game really helps to sharpen the tasting skills, as well as slowing down consumption and really savoring and appreciating each glass. Judging by mouth feel, color, nose, and flavor as a group gives you instant feedback about the profile of each whiskey. After the bartender reveals the label, I then like to research further to see if my tasting notes match up with other descriptions. One of my favorite invaluable resources for this is Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible
Why am I telling you about my favorite game? Because this is the whiskey that stumped me: Connemara Cask Strength. It completely goes against everything I expect in an Irish Whiskey. This peated single malt has all the nose and mouth feel of a Single Malt Scotch! Very interesting to taste in a lineup of Irish whiskeys.
Coming from Kilbeggan Distilling Company at 57.9% ABV, Connemara uses no chill filter, and no coloring. This unique whiskey that stands out against others in the Kilbeggan lineup which includes Kilbeggan, Greenore, and Tyrconnell. This award winning whiskey according to Kilbeggan:
"Inspired by Ireland’s ancient distilling traditions, Connemara’s smooth sweet malt taste and complex peat flavours makes it a truly unique Irish whiskey. Connemara is the most decorated Irish whiskey with a huge collection of Gold Medals and has been honoured as the “World's Best Irish Single Malt”. Connemara allows you to unearth the Peated Pleasures of Ireland."