Last year, the Michael Collins Single Malt Irish Whiskey easily made our Best Irish Whiskey List. This year, Michael Collins has given this unique spirit a reboot with a new bottle, a reformulation, and an age statement on the whiskey (the previous release had no age statement and the new one is 10 years old). While we liked the old kitchy baseball-bat-like bottle that Michael Collins used to come in, the new bottle and label design are much more representative of what you’d expect from an Irish whiskey.
As with the Michael Collins Blended Irish Whiskey, the single malt is double distilled rather than triple distilled (which is how most other Irish whiskeys are made), and the 10 year Single Malt takes the added step of being lightly peated – something you don’t see often in Irish whiskey.
Michael Collins Single Malt 10 Year Irish Whiskey (80 proof – $40) is amber in color, noticeably darker than the blend. The nose is lightly smoky with a grassy, moss-like note. Underneath there’s a nice sweet tone, a little of the cardboard that we saw in the blend, and a nice chocolate note. The nose also has a faint mineral quality about it. The entry is soft, sweet and full with vanilla, caramel and light smoke . Things quickly ramp up to an explosive mid-palate with very pronounced peat and smoke flavors that are backed by the slightest bit of sweet and spice. The finish is nice and cool, leaving just a faint reminder of the taste explosion that you get from the middle of this spirit.
Michael Collins Single Malt 10 Year Irish Whiskey – is clearly different from other Irish whiskeys in this class. The way it delivers its flavor is outstanding and the overall mouthfeel of the spirit is just divine. The peat and smoke notes give the spirit a nice complexity and depth that makes it a perfect sipping whiskey. It may not be exactly what people are expecting from an Irish whiskey, but we think those who do venture out and try it will be pleasantly surprised. Highly Recommended