Green Spot Chateau Montelena Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Tasting Notes
Green Spot Chateau Montelena Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Single Pot Still
Tasting note compiled by Mark McLaughlin (@mark_rye)
Many of you will have heard of and/or tasted Green Spot, a staple single pot still whiskey from the powerhouse that is Midleton Distillery. Originally created by whiskey bonders Mitchell & Son Wine Merchants in the early 1900s, the whiskeys took their name from the daub/spot of paint which was put on a cask to symbolize the age of the whiskey. Blue for 7, Green for 10, Yellow for 12 and Red for 15 years old.
This release is an extension to the standard Green Spot range celebrating the connections between Irish people and some of the world’s most famous wineries. Often referred to as the ‘Wine Geese’ series we see the same component whiskeys that make up the standard Green Spot expression finished in casks from a selected winery.
In this case we have the Green Spot components which are initially matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks being finished in a Zinfandel barrel from the Californian winery, Chateau Montelena. The winery was made famous by its Chardonnay winning the white wine section ‘Judgement of Paris’ in 1976 much to the horror of the French wine community at the time. These casks however held red Zinfandel, a vibrant, spicy wine, while the casks themselves were made from French oak.
Bright vibrant amber with the tiniest red hue.
The palate is aromatic and spicy, rounded with lots of orchard fruits and a distinct nutty character, hazelnuts and toasted almonds. The palate is less viscous than the nose would have suggested, clove oil and orange zest surround the slightly tannic wood spices. There are sweet elements but they’re like dried vanilla pod and wafers rather than honeycomb or the like.
Palate & Finish
Superbly textural with candied apples, sugary citrus peels and malt spices. There’s berries touching on the side with the stalks and leaves as if you’ve bitten in to them as well, imagine that with a side of vanilla ice-cream. There’s an oily character like linseed or plain candle wax, and dryness that pulls from wood spices to kitchen spice and back to cinnamon coated apple crumble. It finishes well balanced with chocolate covered nuts and just a touch of youth.
It’s a complex whiskey with lots of dryness and spice, the nose is something to behold but for me, the palate didn’t quite live up. I’d happily drink it, maybe something to be accentuated by a great IPA or full flavoured amber ale. Definitely one to get a feel for, try it at your nearest Irish Whiskey bar.
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