Whiskey of the week, week 18 2018

The Spot whiskeys from Midleton distillery have an interesting history. It started in the late 1800s, when bakery & confectionery business Mitchell & Son expanded the business to also include wine and spirits, and owned a variety of wine casks. They sent casks to the Jameson distillery in Bow street to be filled with fine pot still whiskey, that would then be matured in Mitchell & Son’s warehouse.

There were a few different whiskeys aged in casks that were marked with colours, depending on the age of the whiskey. There was the Blue Spot (7 years), Green Spot (10 years), Yellow Spot (12 years) and Red Spot (15 years). However, only the Green Spot survived the fall of the Irish whiskey industry, and is actually the only pure pot still whiskey that has continued to be in production over the years. It was the only single pot still whiskey in business for a while, until the Redbreast brand was revived in 1991.

For some time, Green Spot was a very rare whiskey and sold only in Dublin or traded in secret, but today it’s part of the Midleton core range and is available in three different variations. When all Dublin distilleries closed, production moved to Midleton but bottling and marketing is still done by Mitchell & Son in Dublin, which is also the case with Yellow Spot.

Yellow spot was originally made from a mix of pot still whiskeys aged for 12 years in three different cask types; casks that had held bourbon, sherry and sweet Malaga wine (made from Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grapes). The brand was discontinued in the 1950s but was relaunched again in 2012, using “recipes” from old archives – there were still some casks of 12-year-old Malaga matured pot still whiskey in the warehouse, so the whiskey could be relaunched with the same style as in the past.

Nose
Hay, lots of honey, citrus, white wine, dark varnished wood, sweetness, some vanilla, something Christmas-y – could be cloves?.

Palate
Sticky honey, pepper, I get the feel of the crispy top of creme brulée, a very intense spiciness. Tropical fruits. Long spicy and sweet finish. A drop of water doesn’t do much other than add some sweetness.

This is not the typical pot still whiskey if you compare it with for example a Redbreast. Nice and complex though and if you like sweet whiskeys, this is one you need to taste. I’m a big fan of single pot still whiskey, and this is a very nice addition to the single pot still family of the Midleton range. I actually like the Yellow spot more than the Green spot for the added complexity and a different twist.
I would love to see also the Red spot and the Blue spot be relaunched, but maybe that’s too much to wish for..