With St Patrick’s Day fast approaching it seems fitting to embark on an Irish whiskey tasting journey until the big day. In 2015 St Patrick’s Day falls on 17 March 2015, and that day is dedicated to a Catholic saint who famously explained the confusing concept of the Holy Trinity using a three leaf clover (the shamrock) in Ireland. The Holy Trinity, in Catholic teaching, is the idea that God is in three persons or beings – the Father, the holy spirit and the son (Jesus). As over a decade of Catholic education has made clear, this concept is far from simple so to ease the cognitive pressure let us skip the dogma and move onto another divine creation – Irish whiskey!
There are three things that make most Irish whiskey distinctly Irish. First, it tends to be distilled three times (as opposed to twice, as most Scotch whisky). Second, it tends to be made from malted and unmalted barley (as opposed to being made purely from malted barley, as most Scotch whisky). Third, the Irish spell whiskey with an “e” whereas the Scots spell whisky without the e. Now that, my whisk(e)y brethren, is the Holy Trinity of Irish whiskey.
On this lead up to St Patrick’s Day 2015 the first Irish whiskey to be tasted by Malt Mileage is Green Spot. Green spot is a pot still whiskey that has been distilled three times, is made from malted and unmalted barley and the word whiskey on the bottle is spelt with an “e”! It even has the word “green” in the name, which, though probably a reference to the use of unmalted barley, is nonetheless a tribute to the Emerald Isle. You cannot get any more Irish than that, unless of course the bottle comes with a beard redder than mine.
Green spot is matured in American bourbon and sherry barrels.
The aroma of bubblegum, green apple soft candy, peach, apricot and whipped cream is first noticeable, followed by honey, cereal and barley, crushed nuts, pecan, vanillas, dew, green strawberries, burnt chocolate brownie, caramel, treated wood and nutty Flaxseed.
On the palate this whiskey is full bodied and spicy, the wood takes hold and is counterbalanced by the sweetness of green pear, nectarine and mango. The fruit is sharp yet sugary and sticky. Honey and caramels then emerge, as the spices tingle on the palate.
The spice remains on the palate with the wood, accompanied by pear and apple core.
Buy it. Green Spot is a superbly crafted Irish whiskey that I would have no hesitation buying at its price. It is a full flavoured spicy whiskey with lots of Irish charm.