I recently had the great pleasure to receive the whole Knappogue Castle Whiskey range to sample, so without further ado, let’s start this “Knappogue” review series with the youngest of those Irish babies, a 12-year-old expression bottled at 40%.
In 1966, Mark Edwin Andrews purchased Knappogue Castle, a 15th century castle in Ireland, which was then in ruins. He and his wife, a prominent architect, then embarked on an ambitious program of restoration, in an effort to return the structure to its original state of glory and grandeur. It was around this time that Andrews began buying casks of fine pot still whiskey from top distilleries in the country. The casks were further aged and bottled under what is now the Knappogue Castle label. His last bottling, a 1951 vintage aged 36 years, is revered by connoisseurs as the oldest and rarest commercially available Irish whiskey on the market. Many years later, his son, Mark Andrews III, would bring Knappogue 1951 and his father’s legacy to the United States and other international markets.
“Knappogue Castle 12 year old, our signature expression, is an exceptional single malt made exclusively from malted barley. Triple distilled one batch at a time in traditional, onion-shaped copper pot stills, the whiskey is then aged in bourbon oak casks for twelve years. The delicate distillation process, along with the moist and temperate climate, yields the distinctive flavor of this remarkable Irish single malt”
Nose: Mellow & Juicy with green apples, brown sugar, honey-glazed melon slices, porridge bowl and some delicious floral notes of primavera, sandalwood and orange blossom. There’s something very fragrant in this nose, sweet & fresh at the same time, which can feel a bit antagonist but works very well there.
Palate: An easy-drinking whiskey showing mellow notes of orchard fruits, peaches, pot still spices (no shit Sherlock…), white pepper, cloves, bitter orange, nougat and herbal honey. Vegetal/Floral notes appear stronger towards the end with heather and rose water amongst other more subtle aromas. Again, a very perfumed expression that you would almost like to spray on your neck on a summer night 😀 (or maybe it’s just me being weird… )
Finish: a sweet aftermath with jasmin, wood spices and roasted walnuts.
Overall, excellent value for money for this approachable Irish whiskey that would do in many occasions. Flavourful, easy to drink yet not boring.
Pssst! Find the Recipe Here!