(Ga over de afbeelding om in te zoomen)
Flesinhoud: 700 ml
Yellow Spot has three components each matured a full 12+ years in bourbon barrels, Spanish sherry butts and Spanish Malaga wine casks. (As David Havelin notes in his first-to-the-web Liquid Irish blog posting last night, IDL does not issue finished whiskeys, and this may be the first-ever use of Malagan casks at Midleton.) It is non-chill filtered and is bottled at 46% ABV.
That compares to Green Spot as a 40% ABV, no-age-statement mix of 7- to 10-year-old whiskeys aged in bourbon barrels and sherry butts (about a 3:1 combination). They are very much siblings in the sense that they are alike but distinctly different. A few of us tried them side by side and noted the clear differences between Green Spot's crisp barley-grain "flintiness" and the contribution of the Malagan cask to Yellow Spot's complexity and delightfully nimble finish. You will want to spend time with this dram.
For many years, Green Spot was the sole survivor of an entire line of "Spot" whiskeys issued by Mitchell & Sons. There also were Yellow Spot, Blue Spot and Red Spot, with the names corresponding to a daub of paint applied to the casks to indicate the ages of the whiskeys inside. All but Green Spot disappeared by the 1960s as the Irish whiskey industry was doing all it could simply to survive.
Yellow Spot begins the re-birth of that broader line and honors the paint-spot heritage with it's labeling. Interestingly, it seems entirely appropriate that Malagan wine casks were used in its creation. World demand for Malaga and other sweet wines had dropped steadily in the 20th century until its production was nearly stopped entirely. But just as with Irish whiskey and SPS whiskeys in particular, there is a resurgence of interest in fine dessert wines.
Here are the official tasting notes: Nose: The initial freshly mown hay aroma is given substantial depth by the typical Pot Still spices. Red bell peppers, freshly ground nutmeg, a tincture of clove oil and a splash of green tea, balanced with the sweet soft nose of honey and peaches contributed by the Malaga wine casks seasoned in Andalucia. An exquisite sensory experience. Taste: The mouth coating sensation to be expected from this Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is apparent from the first sip. Honey sweetness with Pot Still spices, slowly gives way to a spectrum of flavours, from the depth of freshly ground coffee, up through creamy milk chocolate to crème brûlée, picking up some red apples and toasted oak along the way. Finish: Sophisticated and complex, the sweetness of the initial sip remains throughout, with a beautifully succulent mix of red grape and dry barley grains at the exit. The pot still spice is very much there, along with a distinct yet subtle fruitiness that to me was evocative not just of red apple but red apple peel with both sweetness and a tannin-like dryness. The toasted oak was folded in there also.