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Stogie Spirits: Michael Collins Single Malt Irish Whiskey

11 Nov 2009

While Scotch gets most of the glory, we’ve made no secret of the fact that Irish whiskey can be an equally exciting spirit. But unlike the Jameson blends we’ve praised before, Michael Collins is a single malt whiskey, an attribute more commonly associated with Scotch.

Michael Collins

Still, with a name like Michael Collins, there’s no mistaking that this spirit comes from the Emerald Isle. Collins was an leader in the fight for Irish independence from Great Britain. Known affectionately by the Irish (but not necessarily by the English) as “The Big Fella,” he was later assassinated in 1922 at the age of 31 by factions in Ireland who opposed the treaty of independence he signed with the British.

Collins’ image emblazons the tall tapered bottle and, if he happened to be a smooth yet bold character, his spirit would certainly be captured within. This single malt is a most exemplary whiskey, as evidenced by the Double Gold it won at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. (Note: A blended Michael Collins Irish Whiskey is also available, although it doesn’t seem to be as widely available.)

The first thing that strikes me about Michael Collins is its bright bronze hue, which, while dark, isn’t at all cloudy. After pouring a few fingers in a glass, you’re greeted with a nose of peat, citrus, honey, and oak. The oak is imparted from the 8-12 years that the whiskey is aged in oak barrels.

When I enjoyed it neat I found flavors of peat, a hint of spice, and a toffee-like sweetness. It’s a warm, balanced combination that is very smooth. The finish is long with a bit of vanilla bean.

For those who can’t handle a bit of heat on the tongue, though, Michael Collins also does well with an ice cube or two. But drinking it on the rocks will spoil  some of the subtleties this whiskey has to offer.

Either way, this $35-40 spirit goes great with a cigar. I found medium- to full-bodied smokes to be the best paring. The Paul Garmirian Soiree, San Cristobal, and EO 601 Red all went very well. If you’d prefer something from that certain island south of Miami, light up a Hoyo de Monterey Epicure Especial, Hoyo No. 2, or Montecriso Petit Edmundo, pour a bit of Michael Collins Single Malt, and enjoy.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

3 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Michael Collins Single Malt Irish Whiskey”

  1. Tim Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    Hadn't really considered single malt Irish whiskey, but this sounds good and at a reasonable price. Thanks.

  2. Desert Dog Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    Saw this in the store tonight and was wondering if it was any good. Thanks for the review.

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    […] The Stogie Guys review Michael Collins Irish Whiskey, which is one of my personal […]