Irish Whisky Review: One Spot, Two Spot, Green Spot, Blue Spot
Recently, I’ve got my hands on a triplet of Midleton’s “Spots” series, so let’s take a peek at the Green, Blue, and Gold Spot Irish Whiskies.
Midleton Green Spot Château Léoville Barton / 46% ABV
There is a little bit of a story to this Green Spot single pot still Irish Whisky; normal Green Spot is an Irish Whisky triple-distilled at Midleton Distillery and aged for seven to ten years in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.
For this version, they’ve added a 12–24 month wine-cask finish, using French oak from Château Léoville Barton, Saint Julien. The out-turn is 4000 bottles, and at diluted strength; no information on natural colouring, almost certainly filtered.
Let’s see how Mitchell & Son’s (Est’d 1805) fine Irish spirits are like.
- Color: russet (1.3)
- Nose: ethanol, raspberry, corn, rose, black pepper, a little fudge, vanilla
- Taste: full custard, fresh strawberry, whipped cream, fresh bread, and dry spices
- Finish: medium; slightly acidic, pastry and sparkling mineral water
There’s something a bit grainy on the nose, it’s got a certain amount of hot alcohol with perfumey fruits underneath. The French Oak influence must have added a good deal of dry fruitiness, which is both good (because we have new notes to enjoy) and bad (because it steers towards the drier side).
I would drink this again, but probably not at the premium it goes for in Japan.
For more information on Green Spot, check out their website.
Midleton Gold Spot 9 Year Old / 51.4% ABV
Done up for the 135th Anniversary of the Mitchell family’s bonded whisky business, Midleton Gold Spot is bottled at a higher 51.4% ABV and is non-chill-filtered. It features a sumptuous 9 years age statement, and the cask mix is more diverse, with Bourbon Barrels, Sherry Butts, Bordeaux Wine Casks and Port Pipes used. This is a limited edition of 3,800 bottles.
The website notes this is the first Spot to feature port-maturation:
Gold Spot is the first member of the Spot family to contain a Port matured element. However it’s not Mitchell & Son’s first foray into this famous fortified wine from the Douro valley, up until the 1960’s the family bottled their own Vintage Port.
- Color: auburn (1.5)
- Nose: forest mulch, apple fritters, shoe-black, leather and oak; fresh berries
- Taste: wow! extremely fruity, strawberry and crisp pear; almonds, oily patisserie, and oak
- Finish: medium-bodied with honey, brioche, and ending on beef jerky
Compared to the green spot (bordeaux finish), the nose is much more delicate, the body fruitier and more integrated. This is a very nice vatting of casks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they used marrying casks to create it, maybe those french oak wine casks. The higher ABV is a huge blessing here, it helps enormously with the mouth-feel.
One down-note is that this a 2022 bottle, but the cork has some adhesion problems. Oh well, it happens.
For more information on Gold Spot, check out their website.
Midleton Blue Spot 7 Year Old / 58.9% ABV
The last of the Midleton lineup, Blue Spot is a 7 year old Irish whisky matured in ex-Bourbon, Sherry and Madeira casks. It’s bottled at cask strength, and non-chill filtered.
- Color: russet (1.3)
- Nose: salt spray, blacktop, caramel, roasted pear, honeysuckle, and petrichor
- Taste: rich sherry, crème brûlée, cedar, baked cheese, some raspberry, and icing sugar
- Finish: long, a little banana, vanilla ice cream, a hint of smoke, and molasses
This is punchy, and informative as to what Midleton’s house style of distillate is like; rich and fruity. There’s interesting elements at work here to pick out, from different subtle woody notes, to the fresh berries and pears of fruit, to some rich, sweet fortified wine from the cask selection.
This is definitely one of the top Irish whiskies I’ve had the pleasure of trying to date.
For more information on Blue Spot, check out their website.