Killowen Rum & Raisin 5 Year Old Single Malt Tasting Notes

November 26, 2021

Killowen Rum & Raisin 5 Year Old Single Malt

Killowen Distillery

Single Malt



Tasting note compiled by Mark McLaughlin (@mark_rye)



Killowen Distillery have amassed a rather passionate following in recent years through their undeniable passion for Irish Whiskey making and a drive to deliver historically authentic Irish whiskey to their fans in the future through the whiskey they are distilling in their tiny craft distillery in Co. Down. In the meantime they have released a number of sourced blends and single malts which have riveted fans with their bold approach to flavour and bottling abv’s.

The ‘Rum & Raisin’ Single Malt is their first attempt at a core range offering, taking 5 year old single malt which has matured in ex-bourbon casks and finishing it in a selection of dark rum and px casks. Bottled at what at the stated cask strength 55%abv with no chill filtration and all natural colouring, they’re looking to deliver a feast of flavour.

55%abv would be an odd ‘Cask Strength’ abv for such a young whiskey, given the spirit was most likely filled at 63.5%abv initially, 8.5% loss of abv would be huge in such a short period of time. And considering all 3 batches of this whiskey thus far have been 55%abv, I’m less than convinced, but you can ask them the next time you see them, I certainly will. Nevertheless, it’s certainly a high abv bottling strength which will delight the #CaskStrengthCrusade.


The colour of dried hay but just a touch richer.


Nose (Aromas)

Quite big and spirituous with a healthy dose of sandalwood or perhaps cedar. Citrus is in abundance but quite clearly lemon driven for me, with a warming apple note coming through with deeper inhales. Little touch of tobacco ash and sprinkling of cinnamon dust.


Palate & Finish 

Gathers on the palate immediately with a big burst of juicy molasses style sweetness, there’s certainly raisins and a touch of sugar coated apricots. There’s a touch of green heathery wood smoke on the back palate with plenty of cinnamon, it’s like a warm cider punch in the winter with lots of apple and spices. Texture while bursting with flavour is a little thin and the abv is pronounced. 



While it reads as if I got quite a lot on the nose it was a struggle to find them whereas the palate was completely the opposite, and by the opposite I mean it was roaring with flavour. The palate definitely delivers influence from the finishing casks which is definitely a good thing but I would have preferred to see this at a lower abv as I feel that may have allowed the nose to shine a little more and perhaps give the palate a little more balance. Although that’s the beauty of these high strength whiskeys, I can see it at a lower abv by simply adding water, so I’ll certainly have to try it again.







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