About This Dram
It’s officially less than 6 months until St Paddies Day!!! I can’t think of a better reason to “craic” open an interesting bottle of whiskey from the emerald isle. This one’s been on my mind for a while now, as it’s not only an interesting-sounding whiskey style – but also a great story behind it.
“Green Spot” has been a fan favourite for many years now. Along with the “Yellow Spot” and newly reinstated “Red Spot” they harken back to an old style of whiskey that was served at the Mitchel; & Son Bakery & Cafe in Dublin. Back then, all of their whiskey was sourced from the old Jameson distillery on Bow St., which was unfortunately closed in 1971. They would mark their casks with different coloured spots of paint depending on age and style.
Nowadays, the whiskey is a single pot still style from the New Midleton distillery in Cork. New Midleton is now the home to many of the whiskeys that were left homeless when their original distillery closed down. Jameson is also made there now, so it makes sense that the Spot whiskeys are too. They share the distillery with Red Breast, Tullamore Dew, and Powers to name a few.
So, what is the story of this particular bottle? Mitchell and Son are very proud of their longstanding Irish business, and they want to celebrate that by working alongside other pioneering Irish business owners. The Chateau Montelena edition is part of a series called “The Wine Geese” that does exactly this, by teaming with Irish owned vineyards around the globe. Chateau Montelena is a winemaker in the Napa Valley, owned by Irishman Jim Barrett since the 1970s. They are known worldwide for their exquisite Zinfandel wine, and this whiskey spent the final 12 months of their maturation in a fresh cask straight from the valley.
Slàinte! I hope that you enjoy this limited edition traditional Irish pot still whiskey – just in time to start preparing for Paddies Day!
Ripe red apples jumped out of the glass to greet us on the nose. Perhaps even covered with a thin layer of caramel. It was followed up by thick luscious pear juice and light red wine with smooth vanilla-y oak. There were secondary fruity notes that were more distant and hard to decipher. Perhaps papaya and cranberry? Then there was the classic pot still spiced biscuity note that I’ve come to expect, like speculaas cookies.
The palate held juicy red currants and blanched almonds. Then an oddly specific set of flavours manifested – a strawberry and baby spinach salad with creamy poppyseed dressing. Nice. Very nice. And the finish was very satisfying too, petering out slowly before begging you to take another sip.