If after reading this review you go out looking for the West Cork Black Reserve but don’t find it that’s because the name has recently changed to the Black Cask. Different name, but it’s the same whiskey except for the proof. The West Cork Black Reserve was a bottled at 43% whereas the current is bottled at 40%. Though outside of these minor differences it’s the same thing.
In West Cork’s Words: West Cork Black Reserve
“West Cork Irish Whiskey – Black Cask(40% abv/80 proof) – is a blended Irish whiskey containing 66% grain Irish whiskey & 33% malt Irish whiskey. Patiently matured in first fill bourbon & then polish matured in double charred # 5 casks to deliver enhanced smoothness, vanilla & a lingering sweetness.”
And with that let’s dig on into the West Cork Black Reserve review!
West Cork Black Reserve Info
Region: West Cork, Ireland
Distiller: West Cork Distillers
Mashbill: 66% Grain Whiskey + 33% Single Malt
Cask: ex-Bourbon (first fill) & re-charred ex-Bourbon
Age: NAS (at least 3 years)
West Cork Black Reserve Review
Honey, apples, spice, cocoa, malt, nuts and light notes of caramel, bing cherries, char and bread dough. Quite nice, it’s different and interesting.
Honey, grilled apples, bing cherries, waxy cocoa, nutmeg and light bits of chat, bread dough, caramel and vanilla. Much more punch and power than traditional Irish blends.
Medium tannic fade of bing cherries, orchard fruit, nutmeg, bread dough and fruit.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good sense of balance, medium body and a soft velvety feel.
The West Cork Black Reserve is a tasty little whiskey. It has all the character you’d expect from a traditional Irish blend but it gets amped up with some darker notes thanks to the time it spends in a heavily charred barrel. This “polish” maturation (finishing) lasts for several months.
The finishing in deeply charred barrels give the whiskey additional aspects of barrel aging and emboldens the whiskey so that it brings something new to the marketplace. West Cork Black Reserve is definitely worth a try if you’re looking for something new to try in the Irish Whiskey Category.
SCORE: 85/100 (B)
*Disclosure: This West Cork Black Reserve was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.