Whisky Advocate

Review: Greenore 18 year old

May 18th, 2011

Greenore 18 year old, 46%, $125

Greenore is the grain whisky produced by Cooley, and as an 8 year old and a 15 year old it has proved to be a world beater.  Now it’s being marketed as the oldest Irish single grain whiskey in the world, and while there’s lots to recommend, this age might be a step too far. Lashings of banana and vanilla ice cream are up front, but then sharp salt and pepper slash across it and leave an astringent, puckerish mixed finish. –Dominic Roskrow

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 82

photo courtesy of Patrick Bolger

22 Responses to “Review: Greenore 18 year old”

  1. […] Hansell of Malt Advocate writes in What does John know? blog about reviews done to Greenore 18 years old and Mackinlay’s Shacklenton Whisky by Dominic Roskrow and Benromach Origins 12 years old by […]

    • Rick Duff says:

      What is the point of this comment?

      • Mary says:

        This person wants you to go their blog….It’s really annoying that these attempts are showing up more frequently here & on other blogs. I wish they would be deleted as soon as they are posted since they add nothing to the conversation. They just repeat what is here like a parasite.

      • Miguel says:

        Hi, I write a blog about whisky and once a week I do a round up of the most relevant whisky blogs and link to their articles. Much like briefing of what have been talked about related to whisky.

        WordPress use a ping-o-matic feature and a trackback comment that posts the comment above, that it is like saying “Hi, I am linking you with this text”. If it is disturbing I can check on my site about disabling it or John can moderate the comments.

        Sorry for the problems.

  2. JC Skinner says:

    Thought it was much better than described above myself. Didn’t find any salt, but lots of very nice oak on the finish – far from astringent or puckering. But chacun a son gout, as they say.

  3. Red_Arremer says:

    Dominic, write more about what’s in the bottle. More than half of your “tasting” note is general context.

  4. Gregg Hartman says:

    John, just curious, what time zone are you in? It’s 9 o’clock in the morning and you have already posted today’s tasting notes. I’m not complaining, just an observation.

  5. smsmmns says:

    Great to see something on here I have tasted. I agree with Skinner (!); to each their own, but this is way better than Dominic describes.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      How would you describe it Sam? Couldn’t find a review of it on your site.

      • smsmmns says:

        Yeah, Red. I have really slacked on posting. I have the 15 and this 18 in the backlog on Dr. Whisky. Eventually it will get posted. Eventually…

    • JC Skinner says:

      One drinks magazine editor at a recent Irish whiskey festival compared this favourably to a 30 year old Invergordon. The consensus seems to be that it really is a superlative grain, getting better as it gets older. I wonder if perhaps Dominic just got a duff bottle?

      • John Hansell says:

        That’s certainly possible. Unfortunately, I have not tried this whiskey so I can’t offer any first-hand experience.

        • JC Skinner says:

          A friend allowed me to taste a really ‘off’ Bushmills bourbon cask at Christmas. It was utterly redolent of the musty corkedness that sometimes ruins wine. Fair enough, a single cask is more likely to be delinquent than a vatting is, but the odd strange bottle does slip through from even the best distillers sometimes.

  6. JohnM says:

    I tried this the other day. Very pleasant. Vanilla and banana. Very gentle and easy to drink. I’d score it around 8/10 if I scored whiskies…

  7. snakeman says:

    It this in the US? I have the 8yr old, and seen the 15 yr old, but this is “new” to me.

  8. Yes the Greenore 18yo is only just available here in Ireland, and I already prefer it to the 15yo. However for a really stunning Greenore try 19yo Single Cask from T2 in Dublin Airport, not for the faint hearted price wise though.

  9. Dominic Roskrow says:

    I’ve read with interest the comments made about my review and appreciate them. I would say that at the outset I stand by my score, which is a good one. On the other hand perhaps I was harsh on the Michael Collins 10 years old and have taken on board a couple of observations John has made to me.
    I think with the Greenore 18, my problem lies with the fact that Greenore 15 is so good that my expectation levels were too high. The sharp arrival of oak doesn’t work too well for me, and I wasn’t overwhelmed. I took the bottle to a tasting here in the UK, too, and that was the general view there, too.that spicy oaky hit didn’t fit with a grain whiskey for me.
    One other thing – I take on board the comments about more words on whisky, less on context. We’re on a very tight word count and my brief covers a lot of New World whiskeys unfamiliar to most. I felt that some context was important. But I’ll rebalance and up the whiskey content!
    Really appreciate the comments.

    • John Hansell says:


      Thanks for commenting here. We’re all about openness and honesty here, and it’s great to get your feedback. (And having new reviewers atl Malt Advocate (and it’s associated blog, WDJK) is a learning experience for all of us. The more you interact, the better, so thanks again for participating. Thats’s more important than anything else, in the long run.

      P.S. you might also want to offer your current thoughts on MC 10 regarding your review there too!

    • Red_Arremer says:

      On expectations, Dominic– John gave an 80 to Auchentoshan triple wood partly because he felt “it was hard to find the Auchentoshan in there.” Should this consideration have been part of the rating process? On the one hand, no– Triple Wood beats the hell out of many things he’s given higher ratings (Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, etc.). On the other hand, maybe– he is writing for an audience who won’t be buying blind or drinking blind. The impact of his expectations on the review might make it more useful to some people. This kind of conundrum is just going to come up from time to time when reviewers aren’t tasting blind. You’re concern over your “expectiation levels were too high”— I don’t think you should beat yourself up over it.

      My only advice is to try to be aware of your expectations. If you sense some strong ones, positive or negative, then spend some extra time with the whisky. Don’t take it to a party to see what other people think of it. Your impressions are the ones that matter. Have it alone over several nights and you’ll find that as your familiarity grows, your initial expectations will dwindle in importance. Keep up the good work.

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