Jan 06, 2015

Trader Joe’s 8 year Irish Single Malt Review

When I heard that Trader Joe’s had brought back their...

Trader Joes 8 year Irish Single Malt Review
When I heard that Trader Joe’s had brought back their Irish Single Malt I was excited until I got to the store and immediately noticed something different… an age statement. Last year’s Trader Joe’s Irish Single Malt was a NAS whiskey and it was fantastic, I loved it and even though they claim it was 100% ex-bourbon I’m still convinced sherry casks were at play somewhere in the process.

This year’s age stated (8 years) Irish Single Malt release is definitely a different beast to say the least. It has a different characteristic to it but, to jump the gun, I liked the NAS better. This is one of those situations where if I had the option of buying the age stated 8 year or the NAS at the same price I absolutely would buy the NAS without a moments hesitation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The number of times a whiskey as gone around the sun isn’t what makes it worth buying, it’s how it tastes.

Trader Joe’s 8 year Irish Single Malt Review

ABV: 40%
Age: 8 years
Price: $25
Distiller: Likely Cooley, but unknown at the moment
Bottler: Trader Joes

EYE
Golden Hay

NOSE
Honeylicious is the first word that came to mind. After that word for a moment I noticed some nice notes of vanilla, malt, a light caramel and a light orchard fruit. This isn’t as complex as the NAS version they perviously had and it’s missing that sherry-like sweetness , but it’s still a nice smelling whiskey.

PALATE
Honey again leads the charge with vanilla, fruit, malt and a light caramel coming along with it. It gets a bit ashy on the end and there is a light ambiguous sweetness running underneath. Again, not as complex or tasty as the previous edition, but still pretty good.

FINISH
Malt, grilled fruit (lightly charred sweetness) and ash run out on a medium finish.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
The balance is there, the body is medium and the feel is smooth without being watery making it a pleasant drinking experience.

OVERALL
Is this as big of a star as the previous NAS version? No. Is it still a tasty whiskey that’s worth the money? If you like Irish single malts then yes. Otherwise, maybe not. Everything comes across sweet and light but well put together. I like the way it starts out sweetly honied on the nose and then moves through to be a bit fruitier on the palate and finish a bit on the ashy side. It’s a nice progression and I find myself enjoying it. Just wish it had the sherry-like notes the NAS version had.

SCORE: 86/100

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tagged irish, 8 years, reviw, single malt, trader joes