A new whiskey from the impressive West Cork Distillers. This is a blended Irish whiskey contains two thirds grain and one third malt, which is then matured in first fill Bourbon casks, before being transferred for a finishing period in with a no. 5 level char. Usually distillers only go to no. 4 level char (55 seconds of fire) at a maximum, which is known as the alligator char, due to the pattern it produces on the cask looking much alike the skin of an alligator. Whilst Buffalo Trace did experiment with a no. 7 level char – 3 minutes 30 seconds of flame – West Cork are still pushing the boundaries here with this “double charred” barrel. Char has two effects on the whiskey: it adds flavour, and filters the whiskey in the barrel, removing impurities. The result is a stunningly flavoursome whiskey with a tremendous balance of sweetness and smoke. On the nose West Cork Black Cask has a lovely cereal sweetness, with aromas of vanilla, caramel and cream, followed by a core of toasted malt, and a slight wisp of some. The palate is dense and chewy, with crunchy golden malt, vanilla cream, cereal sweetness, a little toffee, some tinned peaches, and a late wave of barrel char smoke. The finish is short and spicy with a residual smoke. An excellent offering from the good folk at West Cork!