05 June 2008

The Big Fellow

I was down at me local pub, thirsting for a new whiskey, when lo and behold I spy a strange looking bottle. It has a picture of the famous Irish patriot: Michael Collins, aka "The Big Fellow." It was labeled as a single malt. I says to Davey, "pour me some of that, eh?"

Michael Collins Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a product of the Cooley Distillery (they have a blend version as well), who can take credit for much of the revitalization of the Emerald Isle's spirits industry. Before the World Wars, Americans drank their own whiskey and Irish whiskey. Prohibition brought a flood of Canadian whisky into the States, and GIs came home from overseas duty with a taste for Scotch. Irish whiskeys have never recovered their "market share" in this country, and the lack of national investment by the Irish Republic in their homegrown stuff made sure it would lose international prominence to Scotland's malts. Take a trip to Scotland sometime--they know how to show off their treasures. But this is the 21st century, and a new interest in quality spirits is changing the face of the whiskey world. Single malt scotches are no longer the only things connoisseurs want. High-end bourbons, ryes, single barrels of all stripes--these are crowding the shelves. Whiskey drinkers like yer man M.C. are in hog-fookin'-heaven! And speaking of M.C., how can you NOT like a whiskey called "M.C."? In fact, initials aside, it is delicious stuff. Michael Collins has a clean, dry, fresh nose that belies its rich maltiness. And it has a touch of peat! Cooley has a whiskey called Connemara, lovely stuff that could give an Islay malt a run for its money in the smoky-phenolic department. M.C. is not like that, the peat is subtler and nicely balanced with the sweetness of the malt. I think I'll be askin' Davey to pour me a few more of this one.

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