Whisky Ladies Irish Celebration – Yellow Spot 12 years 46%

When I first tried Yellow Spot in 2013, it stood out for its approachable yet complex character. Over the years, I’ve kept my eye out for it, yet always found it in more sociable settings like a favourite bar in Singapore and not a proper “tasting” environment.

So when there was an opportunity to introduce Yellow Spot with Jameson’s Brand Ambassador Ciaran Hanton to our Whisky Ladies of Mumbai – it was an enthusiastic yes!

And what did we find?

Yellow Spot 12 year 46%

  • Nose – Brown sugar, fruity – again like the Green Spot we found pears, honey, vanilla, a nice crème brule, cinnamon spice, then apple pie
  • Palate – Love it! Denser than the Green Spot, peach pits, spicier, had that lovely oily silky roll around in your mouth, very tasty, shifting over time from white to red fruits
  • Finish – Light yet ginger spice – quite lovely! Perhaps even some candied apple at the end too with a sweet close

For many ladies, this was the “now we are talking” moment. Settling in to sip, savour and enjoy. Quite  few shared this was their favourite of our Irish evening.

Meantime our Irish whiskey education continued with Ciaran sharing that Yellow Spot is not a “finished” whiskey like those that say start in an ex-bourbon cask then are “finished” for a further time in say a sherry cask. Instead, Yellow Spot gains its character from whiskey that is matured in three separate casks – ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry and ex-Spanish Malaga – then is blended together.

What is interesting is how the Sherry and Malaga, a sweet fortified wine made from Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grapes, adds a subtle yet discernible elements. What matters most is they come together in harmony to make for an enjoyable dram.

What else did we have in our Irish night?

Our experience was courtesy of Pernod Ricard, tasted from a bottle opened in August 2018 with Jameson Brand Ambassador Ciaran Hanton.

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Whisky Ladies Celebrate with an Irish Quartet

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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Whisky Archives – Oban 14 year, Deanston 12 year, The Six Isles and Yellow Spot

Another from the archives… from June 2013 and my 1st whisky post on EverydayAsia. Hope you enjoy!

Tasting Notes from 20 June 2013

Following our standard format, we blind tasted before revealing the whisky. This month featured: Oban 14 year, Deanston 12 year, The Six Isles and Yellow Spot.

“Oh us fortunate few! What an evening it was!”

Oban 14 year – Golden amber colour. A light fruity sweet nose. Unexpectedly oily, chewy body with a spicy bite yet smooth. Short finish. Felt familiar, nice yet not exceptional.

Oban 14 year (photo: Carissa Hickling)

Deanston 12 year – A little ‘extra’ brought out by our host for those who missed trying it in an earlier meeting. Nuanced nose with over ripe fruit, sweet and spicy on the palate, lovely finish with a hint of spice that slowly dissipated. Delightful!

Deanston (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

The Six Isles – A vatted malt with single malts from the Scottish Islands: Islay, Jura, Mull, Arran, Skye and Orkney, this one kept us guessing! Quite peaty on the nose with hints of spice and other elements. Burnt ash, rich, oily on the palate yet with only a drop or two of water transformed into an exquisite smooth sweet whisky that would even pair well with desert. A lovely mellow finish. What a wonderful surprise!

The Six Isles (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

Yellow Spot 12 year – From Ireland, a single pot still Irish whisky produced for Mitchell & Son of Dublin, matured in bourbon, sherry and Malaga casks. The nose was fresh and sweet with hints of a complexity to come. On the palate, initially a blend of sea salt and honey, it rounded out with chocolate to fruit, supported by a woody robustness. The finish was particularly superb! 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.

Yellow Spot (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

Any different opinions? Any recommendations along the lines of Yellow Spot?

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Irish Eyes – Green Spot, Yellow Spot + Redbreast

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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