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A Toast to a 10-Year-Old Irish Patriot

Richard Carleton Hacker

Michael Collins, the Emerald Isle hero who authored the Anglo-Irish Treaty that gave Ireland its independence in 1921, has now achieved another form of legendary status with the newly launched Michael Collins 10 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey ($39.99). Produced at the Cooley Distillery, the last independent, Irish-owned distillery, this single malt is as unique as its eloquent namesake. While most Irish whiskeys are triple distilled and use unpeated barley—thus producing a light, non-smoky taste—Michael Collins 10 Year Old Single Malt is double distilled —the same as Scotch whiskey— thus giving it a slightly more robust flavor. In addition, it uses a combination of malted unpeated and peated locally grown spring barley, which produces a semisweet and delicate smoke-tinged spirit. The whiskey is then aged for a minimum of 10 years in ex-bourbon barrels that are stored in the 18th-century granite cellars of the Cooley Distillery, which is located on the Cooley Peninsula on Ireland’s eastern coast. All of this combines to produce a subtly sweet yet muscular spirit with floral highlights, citrus notes, and a lingering hint of a campfire in the finish. (www.michaelcollinswhiskey.com)

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