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Lambay Malt Whiskey Review

By Craig Ellis
Author Bio: Craig's love for all things whiskey began when he visited his first distillery, Talisker in 2006. During his free time, he likes to visit distilleries around the globe, planning his travel around these locations. Craig created The Pot Still in 2016 when he first started to collect rare and unusual whiskeys. His whiskey collection has grown and grown since. Craig writes and reviews independently and is not commissioned by any brand or distillery. Craig's views and opinions are his own.
Lambay Malt Whiskey Review - The Pot Still - Lambay Island

Lambay Whiskey is an independent bottler/blender with quite an interesting back story. Lambay Whiskey company is the result of a collaboration of two families steeped in rich heritage: Camus, the famous family-owned cognac producer, and the Baring Family, owner of the Irish island of Lambay.

Lambay Island, famously located a few kilometers off the coast of Dublin, is of course where the name has come from. The Baring family has owned Lambay since the early 1900s. Praised by nature-lovers for its wonderful flora and fauna, it houses notable populations of seabirds, over 300 plant varieties, and even a colony of red-necked wallabies. Yes, wallabies! The island is a perfect microclimate for a thriving wallaby population, who have inhabited the island since the 1950s.

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Once upon the most unusual Lambay island, two entrepreneurial spirits from two very old families decided to form a unique partnership. Together, they’d make a whiskey. But not just any whiskey, their whiskey would be one of dynasty and devilment, of rarity and refinement, unique tasting, and masterfully crafted.

Eccentrically curious, independently sourced, bourbon-barrel matured and always cognac-cask finished, Lambay Whiskey’s unique taste is attributed to the expertise of blending and maturation using French oak hand-selected Cognac casks carried across the sea from the world-renowned cellars of Camus, France. 

As the island is privately owned, the Baring family has set up numerous conservation projects, known as "The Lambay Initiative" to preserve the natural habitat. In this way, they want to ensure that not only the coastline, flora & fauna, and architecture are kept in good condition, but that the original culture and values are also preserved.

One such project is Lambay Whiskey that the Baring family have started in a joint venture with the Camus family. The Camus family is the famous producer of one of the largest Cognac brands in the world. Founded in 1863, it has remained within the family for five generations. And thus the ideal partner for the Baring Family create the Lambay brand.

What sets the Lambay Whiskey range apart is the influence of cognac casks. Yes, the whiskey is sourced from various distilleries throughout Ireland, but they are exclusively finished in Camus Cognac casks, giving the whiskey such depth of aromas and flavours. What also ties the whiskey back to the island is the use of its microclimate, as the barrels are laid to rest on the island for further maturation. The maritime influence on the whiskey during its maturation giving the range a unique finish.

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I selected the Lambay Malt Whiskey to sample, which is the fourth addition to the Lambay Whiskey portfolio. Comprised of a minimum of three variants of high-quality Irish single malt distillates, this is a delicate blend of both double and triple distilled malt spirit.

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All single malts within this blend are independently sourced, first bourbon barrel matured and then partially finished in hand-selected French oak cognac casks, as is the signature finish for all Lambay Whiskeys. Included in this blend are Lambay Single Malt casks that have been exposed to the sea air and maritime winds on Lambay.

My thoughts, it's delicious! A very smooth and easy drinker, all the sweet maltiness is there, with the aromas and flavour profiles that you would expect from the influence of cognac casks, similar to my previous review of Brenne French Single Malt whiskey. The whiskey develops the longer it is allowed to breathe in the glass. Allow it some time to rest at the beginning before you taste it. Overall, the spicy oak aromas, sweetish malt, and slightly salty and sour fruit aromas dominate this whiskey. The cognac barrels influence mark their presence on the whiskey with sweet aromas such as vanilla, cream, and fresh fruits.

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Tasting Notes: Lambay Malt Whiskey Review

Nose: 
The fruit aroma is particularly evident in the form of unripe bananas and tangy/acidic grapes and green apples. Somewhat grassy and subtle vanilla aromas spread.

Palate:
Oak spice creates a tingling sensation on the tip of the tongue, similar to ginger. The malt on the nose is now a bit more roasted and salted nuts and a little hazelnut/milk chocolate are added. Tropical flavours such as coconut, cardamom, nutmeg with malt and dried berries. 

Finish:
Long-lasting malt characteristics, with a lingering sweetness and a hint of spice. Medium length with a dominant mix of spice, sweetish malt, and salty aromas.

Tags: Irish Whiskey, Lambay

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