Ireland's only independent distillery, Cooley, makes a variety of Irish whiskies. Kilbeggan is their flagship blended Irish whiskey, and it makes a great introduction to the world of Irish whiskey. Irish blended whiskies make up 90% of the market. While Kilbeggan was a well respected name for years in Irish whiskey, the original Kilbeggan distillery fell silent in 1953 until the name and rights were purchased by Cooley. Currently, Kilbeggan Irish whiskey is distilled at Cooley, then transported to Kilbeggan, a temperate area of central Ireland, to mature in 200 year old granite warehouses. The result is an easy drinking, everyday blended Irish whiskey. Kilbeggan whiskey is double distilled in a circa 1840's 3000 liter copper pot still before being placed into used bourbon casks to mature.
On the nose, Kilbeggan displays soft, creamy and sweet aromas, think vanilla scones with caramel icing. The palate reveals soft almond nougat, fleur de sel, peach, caramel and vanilla flavors before finishing quickly with soft, light malt sugar flavors. This isn't the most complex Irish whiskey on the market, nor is it supposed to be. Kilbeggan is a great choice if you are looking for a versatile, utilitarian Irish whiskey at a modest price point (approximately $20). Recommended.