Knappogue Castle has long shunned traditional age statements, instead vintage dating its whiskey with a year instead of telling you how long it’s been sitting around.
That is changing, as Knappogue is finally moving from vintages to age, in order, as the company says, to better communicate to the customer how old these whiskeys are. After all, “1998” could mean a whiskey that is 2 or 12 years old, depending on when it went into the bottle.
Knappogue 12 Year Old Single Malt is the first product under the new rules, and it’s a winner. The nose is strong and heady, belying the light yellow color that all Knappogue tends to have. The body is rich with malted grain, almost woody, with nutty caramel notes, before fading into a lightly flowery character with a touch of citrus on it. Some smokiness seeps in on the finale, which is otherwise clean and refreshing.