An age statement of seven years feels random before delving into Glendalough’s very specific inspiration. St. Kevin—the 6th century hermit depicted on the label—spent seven years in the wilderness before founding seven churches in Glendalough, Ireland. The whiskey that bears his image didn’t endure the same hardships, but it did spend seven years in American Oak barrels before being finished in barrels used by the 5 Lamps Brewery in Dublin to make their Black Pitts Porter.
Glendalough 7 Year pours a light gold in the glass and has vanilla ice cream, cherry, almond and oatmeal on the nose. It feels round and creamy on the palate, and kicks off with a medium temperature and nutty flavors of almond and oatmeal. A powerful, malty vanilla bean kicks in at the center before a spike in heat that brings us to tannic oak. After a long, spicy finish, a faint flavor of warm apple pie comes in for the closer.
The silky feel and creamy texture is surprising for a whiskey bottled at 92 proof, and its unique combination of oaky spice and malty sweetness feels like a liquid handshake between Irish whiskey and Irish beer. Glendalough 7 Year is approachable enough to pour first-thing at the end of a long work day, and complex to mull over as a nightcap before bed.
— 46% ABV