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
Age: 8 years
Distiller: Likely Cooley, but unknown at the moment
Bottler: Trader Joes
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.
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.
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.
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.