Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Whiskey Wednesday: Knappogue Castle

I've been drinking quite a few Irish Whiskies of late. My latest try is Knappogue Castle, an independent bottler of vintage whiskies. Knappogue Castle was founded by an American aficionado of Irish Whiskey, Mark Andrews, who grew the bottling project into Castle Brands, a publicly traded spirits company that also owns McLain & Kyne, which bottles Bourbon under the Jefferson's Reserve and Sam Houston labels.

As with wine, a vintage whiskey is one that is produced in a single year. Most distillery whiskies are not vintage as they include a mixture of whiskies of different ages. Most independent bottlers, in contrast, bottle vintage whiskies.


Knappogue Castle 1993 (Bushmills), 40% alcohol

The Knappogue I am trying today is a single malt made by Bushmills in 1993 and was bottled in 2001, so it is approximately 8 years old. The nose is very interesting, some green grapes, peaches and nectarines, though all the fruit is fairly muted. The flavor is quite light and malty, almost Glenfiddich-like with the fruit returning late in the palate and on the finish.

I quite enjoyed this whiskey. It's light with a bit of fruit, a nice before dinner drink. I bought this as a mini bottle for $2 at Hi-Time Wine but haven't seen the 1993 as a full bottle on the shelf anywhere. The 1995 version, also a Bushmills and still available in full size, runs anywhere from $35 to $50.

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