Green Sport Irish whisky has long been a favourite of ours here at World's Best Spirits. The wonderful softness of the single pot still Irish whiskey plays a great counterpart to another highly rated product from the Midleton distillery, Red Breast.
The latter is a richer whiskey, perfect for sipping after dinner, especially some of the older expressions, and with sister bottling Yellow Spot listed as being 12 year old, Green Spot is unshackled by age and free to play in the world of flavour. With such an approachable palate (as if Irish whiskey wasn't approachable enough anyway...) Green Spot lends itself perfectly to cask finishing, and this has seen the release of the second in a series of wine cask influenced expressions from the house of Mitchell & Sons.
Today Green Spot, and Yellow Spot, are both produced by Irish Distillers, the folk behind Jameson, Red Breast, Method + Madness and much of the Irish whiskey revolution that we have seen over the past decade or so, yet Mitchell & Sons is the name that sits proudly on the front of every bottle of Green Spot.
Mitchell & Sons is Ireland's oldest wine and spirits merchant, who started trading in 1805. Green Spot was originally produced exclusively for the Mitchell family who eventually expanded into whiskey bonding in 1887, filling their empty wine, sherry and port casks at the then local Jameson Distillery in Dublin. Once filled, the casks were taken by horse and cart to be matured in the Mitchell’s own cellars.
The Green Spot name originates from the Mitchell family’s practice of marking casks of different ages with a daub of coloured paint. Blue, red and yellow paint was used, but it is the 'green spot' which lent its name to a whiskey, and whose success saw it being bottled through the 1900s and beyond.
The love for Green Spot from whiskey enthusiasts and experts alike has seen the range expand into wine cask finishes, mirroring the history of the Mitchell family and their vino-brokering background.
The first wine cask finish was produced in partnership with Château Léoville Barton. With whiskey matured in sherry and bourbon casks latterly in Château Léoville Barton's own French oak wine casks it is a fine example of how to mature whiskey in traditionally difficult red wine casks. Château Léoville Barton is a remarkable chateau; still family owned today, and is classed as a second growth Bordeaux wine due to its historic quality and properties, the marriage of whiskey and Bordeaux wine casks worked very well indeed.
The latest edition of Green Spot moves away from France and to the New World. Once again matured in traditional sherry and bourbon casks, this version of Green Spot takes casks from Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley, California, finishing the whiskey for 12 months in French oak Zinfandel wine casks.
The result? Aromas of peach melba, toasted marshmallow and freshly cut red apples. It drinks very well indeed, needing no water (ice would work well) and delivers a packed palate of red berries with white chocolate sauce, vanilla custard and almond milk with sweet overtones.
A real stunner of a whiskey, this is one not to be missed.