After our lengthy sojourns over the Scottish mainland, and our one foray into Japan, we return to Ireland. Irish whiskey is immediately discernible from others: it has a brassy, fruity quality that stands out from all other whiskey producing regions. Certainly for me, an Irish whiskey can be as distinct from Scotch as an American bourbon.
Here, we’ve got one of the staples: Green Spot. ‘Unquestionably one of the world’s great whiskeys’, said influential whiskey critic Jim Murray. It’s remarkably tough to get hold of this whiskey outside of Ireland: only around 1,200 bottles are produced yearly by the Middleton distillery for the company Mitchell & Sons. Although it’s a single pot still whiskey (i.e. a single malt), it actually comprises of a blend of whiskey aged between 8-9 years. So we’re dealing here with a relative young’un.
Once more, on the nose is has that wonderful brass note. (You’ll know it if you were to ever get your hands on an Irish whiskey.) It sits in front of toffee and apple, but doesn’t so much conjure a late night by the bonfire as a cool spring morning. And, in similar vein, it doesn’t fizz, crack and sparkle either, but remains somewhat flat, as if it was offering you a pleasant aroma, but nothing more.
The taste brings the apple to life, stewing in a pot and sitting next to sweet grape. It fizzes around, dominating the flavour before leading to a long, lengthy finish that – once more – has the apple predominating around sweet syrupy honey. There, finally, the heather makes an appearance, ending the whiskey on a surprisingly rounded note.
Nose 18 Taste 19 Finish 20 Balance 21