A fabulous pure potstill whiskey, exalted by connoisseurs as one of the finest Irish whiskeys available. Vibrant and very characterful, Green Spot must be tried by serious fans of Irish Whiskey.
Green Spot is a pure pot still Irish whiskey, produced specifically for Mitchell & Son of Dublin, by Irish Distillers at the Midleton Distillery, Cork, Ireland. It is the one of the only remaining bonded Irish whiskeys, and is currently the only brand specifically produced for and sold by an independent wine merchant in Ireland.
Mitchell & Son wine merchants, were established in 1805; however, it is uncertain exactly when Green Spot was first produced. It is known though, that by the 1920s Jameson’s Bow Street Distillery was supplying Mitchell & Son with at least 100 sherry hogheads of pure pot still whiskey per annum.
Half of the casks used had previously held oloroso and other darker sherries, while the other half had held lighter finos. This was to prevent the wine from overpowering the whiskey. The whiskey was allowed to mature in the casks for five years, before being vatted and allowed to blend and mature for a further five years. It was then bottled and sold as a ten-year-old.
The blend was originally known as “Pat whiskey”, and the labels carried the logo of a man on a green background. This soon lead to the name “Green spot”.
When Jameson moved production from Bow St. to Midleton, the make up of the whiskey altered for the first time in living memory. This coupled with low stocks of maturing whiskey led Mitchell & Son into an agreement with Irish Distillers, whereby the whiskey would be matured by the distillery in their own casks, with Mitchell & Sons having sole rights to market, sell and develop the whiskey.
Current Day Production
The current Green spot is slightly younger than the original. It is a blend of seven and eight year old pot still whiskey, 25% of which has matured in sherry casks.
Only 500 cases, (approximately 6000 bottles) are produced each year, most of this is sold through Mitchell and Son’s shop in Dublin. As a result, it is difficult to obtain outside of Ireland, except in specialist retailers.
Nose: The first thing to strike you is the density of the nose; nothing light and flowery here. The pot still appears older than its eight years thanks to a pleasant dustiness (something similar to old Redbreast), and the influence of the sherry. All this is mixed with a curious menthol sub-stratum. Some evidence of bourbon wood around too, but rather overshadowed by this highly unusual cough-sweet, malty effect.
Taste: Sweet, rich and full bodied from the very start. It quickly fills the mouth with a glorious spiciness. All the time it somehow remains soft, though the tastebuds are constantly tweaked by a harder pot still maltiness. Wonderfully complex and busy.
Finish: Very long, dry and malty to start then sweetens and some late spice adds to all the fun. The very last, dying rays are rather cool on the throat, as if the menthol on the nose has returned.
Comments: This is a tremendous whiskey, sometimes giving a sweet-honey feel more associated with Perthshire malts from Scotland. But the pot still is confident enough to confirm this as Irish with a maturity greater than the age of the whiskey used. If you see it, grab it. It’s too much of a high class one-off to ignore.
Tasting Notes by Jim Murray (reproduced from the Mitchell & Son Website)