A terrific way to kick off an exploration of Irish Pot Still whiskies is with Green Spot…
Naturally there is a story to tell… Jameson’s Brand Ambassador Ciaran Hanton shared that the “Spots” began as a whiskey bonder brand. In this case, the Mitchell family used to mark their casks with a spot of colour – denoting different ages. The Blue dollop of paint was for the 7 year, Green for 10 year, Yellow for 12 year and Red for 15 year… of which both the Green and Yellow continue to be produced – just that now the Green Spot has no declared age. It also just happens to be the most popular “Spot” and is slowly becoming available in more places around the globe.
What matters most is what did we find?
Green Spot 40%
- Nose – Honey suckle, sweet perfumes, literally dripping in honey, caramel desert, honeycomb, aromatic oils, tropical fruits, hay, green grass, apples and pears
- Palate – Buttery, light sweet spices like cloves, green peppercorn. Had a much fuller flavour than expected – rich, oily, lots and lots of pear, very smooth with something more and a hint of spice
- Finish – Light spice finish, a bit bitter
We found it quite “summery” – like honeyed sunshine in a bottle. The pears were particularly predominant and the longer we sipped, the more companionable it became. While not complex, its easy drinking character made it a terrific dram to return to…
What else did we have in our Irish night?
Our experience was courtesy of Pernod Ricard, tasted from a bottle opened in August 2018. While Green Spot isn’t yet available in India, one never knows, that may change!
For all the whiskies we sampled that evening except the Stout Edition, it was a happy revisit. If you are curious about my earlier experiences… read on…
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If anyone asks, what would you suggest for a sociable occasion? Irish whiskey is defiantly at the top of the list!
So when the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai celebrated our 3rd anniversary and an opportunity to explore some Irish drams arose, how could we resist?
Our friends over at Pernod Ricard kindly offered an evening with their brand ambassador Ciaran Hanton and a few drams.
It kicked off with a round of dangerously delicious espresso whisky martini’s with a generous portion of Jameson Caskmate Stout Edition then continued with our tasting of:
And what did we think? You’ll just have to read on over the next few days as we share impressions of the whiskies while we were regaled with tales of and insights.
This wasn’t our first brush whiskies from the emerald isles…. Other Irish tasting evenings include:
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Tonight I was all set for our Mumbai Whisky Club’s monthly tasting … and as our host’s wife now regularly travels to Ireland, I had visions of sociable whiskies dancing in my head with a palate primed for pot still drams!
Alas our sampling was unavoidably postponed to next week… but I just couldn’t shake that Irish mood… So decided it was high time to revisit the joys of Irish pot stills!
A lot is said about the distinctive character of pot still whiskies – that they have a spicier character that comes from their way of blending malted and unmalted barley. Experts say it is this mash rather than the pot itself that qualifies a whisky as being a pot still whisk(e)y.
Here are a few Irish post still whiskeys we’ve sampled over the years…
Green Spot NAS 40%
- Nose – Creamy caramel, tarka, fresh green apples – tart and sweet combine
- Taste – Black peppercorn and rose sherbet, bringing together both sweet and spice
- Finish – Chewy, warm with a little spice, yet not as complex as Yellow Spot
- Add water? With water becomes lighter with a delightful toasted nut finish – delightful.
- Our verdict? While Green Spot more than holds its own, it brought back memories of the superb Yellow Spot. Value for money and an excellent example of what a single pot still can produced.
First sampled November 2013…
Yellow Spot 12 year 46%
From Ireland, a single pot still Irish whisky produced for Mitchell & Son of Dublin, matured in bourbon, sherry and Malaga casks.
- Nose – Fresh and sweet with hints of a complexity to come, sweet spices and fresh hay
- Palate – Initially a blend of sea salt and honey, it rounded out with creamy chocolate to fruit, supported by a woody toasted robustness
- Finish – Particularly superb!
- Our verdict? – Complex, with a gorgeous flavour that lingered… It has garnered some very well deserved praise from Jim Murray (and us)! An exceptional whisky that hit all our favourite counts for a wonderful malt.
First sampled June 2013 and again Dec 2015… Redbreast 12 year cask strength 57.7%
- Nose – Burnt rubber, bold, fruit cake chock full of raisins, dates, nuts, apples
- Taste – Follows through with its promise, adding cinnamon to the dried fruit and a roasted woodiness
- Finish – Stays keeping you cosy warm, like Christmas time, curled up by the fireside sipping spiced mulled whiskey, creamy, fruity, toasty warm yumminess!
- Add water? Even sweeter with spicy delight
- Our verdict? Ooooohhhhh the Redbreast definitely caught our attention and appreciation! This is certainly one worth revisiting.
First sampled November 2013… I later tried the standard 40% and must say, this cask strength one is by far my preference!
Other Irish Isles Evenings:
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