Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag is a private bottling, of an Irish single malt, by the Celtic Whiskey Shop. Though like all of the releases, at least the ones I’ve had, they didn’t just grab something off of the shelf and bottle it. No they did an extensive finishing on the whiskey, this time in a wine barrel.
In Celtic Whiskey Shop’s Words: Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag
“Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag is our fourteenth special release in our line of exclusive whiskeys. This time we sourced a double-distilled unpeated malt whiskey from a well known distillery. It was initially matured for 11 years in a first-fill bourbon cask before being transferred into a special wine cask.
A final maturation period of over 3 years took place in a top quality wine barrel from the Altesino estate. Brunello di Montalcino is one of Italy’s most sought after red wines and this barrel was previously used to mature one of Altesino’s top cuvees of Brunello. Only 323 bottles were produced and they will not last long!”
So now the big question is where did this whiskey come from? Back in 2001 when this was distilled there were only 3 active distilleries on Ireland: Midleton, Bushmills and Cooley. Using the above description we can safely say it was Cooley for two reasons.
#1 Cooley was the only ones practicing double distillation (everyone else was triple) and #2 they specifically call out it being unpeated and Cooley was the only one using heavily peated malt at the time. Now, on to the Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag review!
Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag Info
Distiller: Undisclosed (Cooley)
Bottler: Celtic Whiskey Shop
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon (11 years) & ex-Brunello di Montalcino (red wine) Cask (3 years)
Age: 14 Years (28th August 2001 – 8th February 2016)
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller ($160 when available)
Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag Review
Complex dark sweets (butterscotch, toffee, caramel), dark fruit, toasted nuts, leather, red wine, Smarties, orange peel and a a bit of spice and cocoa. Quite nice… quite nice indeed.
Orange Creamsicle, red wine, strawberries, apples, dried dark fruit, cocoa, toasted nuts, cinnamon and bits of nutmeg show up now and then.
Medium drawl of spice, red wine, cinnamon and cocoa.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good balance, full body and a silken feel.
Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag has an elegant and graceful aroma but sits a bit light and topical on the palate in comparison. It’s still wonderfully delicious and well composed with the high amount of sweet and fruity notes being balanced out by darker undertones, but just a bit light compared to the depth of the aroma.
All-in-all the Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag is lovely and well constructed with the grapey winey notes working well throughout and pairing nicely with the well-aged malt. It’s a fantastic whisky and if it was still available at its original price I might be tempted to snag one as this year’s birthday bottle.
SCORE: 89/100 (B+)
Big thanks to Alex for the Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag sample!
Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 89
- Palate - 89
- Finish - 89
- Balance, Body & Feel - 89
Celtic Cask Ceathair Deag has a deep and powerful aroma with a palate that’s a slightly lighter but still wonderful.