The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt is a triple distilled Irish whiskey that appears to have been sourced from Cooley – if the rumors are to be believed. Aged 8 years in ex-Bourbon casks, finished in first-fill bourbon casks, chill-filtered and watered down to 80 proof this whiskey is as safe of an Irish single malt release as could have been sourced, and that frustrates me more than just a little bit. Why? Because the world doesn’t need another safe whiskey on the shelves whose story is better than the liquid itself.
It might sound like I’m using The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt as a foil to come down on Luxco, but that’s because they have an amazing opportunity in front of them everyday to do something different. They get to ideate and bring new whiskeys to the market, but instead of daring to do something new and interesting they go safe and any “daring” attempts are over-priced. If I were to release a new Irish to compete in the market the last thing I’d look at doing is releasing that walks the path of so many whiskeys that have come before it.
Seriously, how much more interesting would The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt have been if instead of being another 80 proof chill-filtered Irish it was finished in first fill sherry casks for a year, non-chill filtered and released at no less than 90 proof? Or what about splitting some into first fill sherry, some into refill sherry and some into ex-bourbon casks from Islay for a year of finishing? Then dump, blend and marry together for a few more months in refill bourbon casks so as not to overpower the sweet and subtle smoky notes that developed in the finishing. Anything that keeps me from looking at my whiskey shelves and seeing 4 or 5 better examples of staring back at me.
I really do appreciate all the opportunities Luxco has given me to taste their new whiskeys and talk about them, but I wish they would deliver something truly new or interesting to the categories they work in. Seriously, if you want me to pay $10 more than a bottle of Bushmills 10 Single Malt then deliver something daring and different that makes it stand out – something that makes you go “woah”. Even if it’s not new and different to whiskey on the whole, just new to the category. I know they have the drive to put out new products, and I admire that, so if it’s just that the RnD guys are out of ideas give me a call. I have a head full of ‘em!
Okay, that’s enough chatter. On to the The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt review!
The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt Info
Region: County Louth, Ireland (possibly)
Distiller: Cooley (rumored)
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Age: 8 years
The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt Review
Apples, pears, spice and bananas roll out accompanied by light notes of malt, vanilla, toffee and Nilla Wafers. The lightness of this aroma is along the lines of what you might expect from a traditional Irish blend. Very airy.
Malt, fruit, toffee and light notes of powered sugar, banana, dried apples and spice. The core flavors are quite light as is and the lighter notes are nearly etherial.
Medium fade of dried apples, banana, toffee and sugar.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Ok balance, medium body and soft unassuming feel.
The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt is a bit disheartening. Not because it’s bad, it’s not. It hits all of the expected notes of orchard fruits, honey and malt and is pleasant to sip on, but in the sea of Irish Whiskey that’s out there it doesn’t stand out; is a very safe release that follows a previously trodden path.
If you’re a fan of Irish whiskey there’s a good chance you’d enjoy The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt – it would be familiar ground, and that’s my biggest gripe. It’s yet another 80 proof chill filtered Irish whiskey on the shelf that, other than packaging, isn’t too distinguishable from other whiskeys put out by Bushmills or Cooley, but costs more despite Cooley having been the one who supposedly distilled it.
Instead of releasing something that stands apart and adheres to Luxco’s motto of “mindful of the past, yet focused on the future” they played it safe with both the The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt and The Quiet Man Irish Blend. Which, to their credit, is where most of the whiskey money is.
Most whiskey drinkers don’t want something new, different or challenging in the market, but for the enthusiasts it’s hard to get excited about whiskey that’s so similar to everything else in the category. They’ll probably make a bunch a money off of these, and I sincerely hope they do, but when it comes to causing excitement a good story only goes so far.
*Disclosure: This sample of The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 83
- Palate - 82
- Finish - 82
- Balance, Body & Feel - 82
The Quiet Man Irish Single Malt is by no means a bad whiskey it’s just so light that there isn’t much going on.