We have been fans of the “Spot” series of Irish single pot still whiskeys since Green Spot reached U.S. shores in 2014. The most recent to arrive is Gold Spot, produced to celebrate the 135th anniversary of the Mitchell Family’s expansion into the whiskey bonding business. As they explain:
In 1887, Mitchell & Son, a family of Irish Merchants, expanded into the whiskey bonding business, whereby they sent empty wine, sherry and port casks via horse and cart to the local Jameson Distillery on Bow Street in Dublin. These were then filled and returned to the Mitchell’s cellar warehouse underneath Fitzwilliam Lane. Here, beneath the streets of Dublin, each cask was marked with a ‘spot’ of paint which identified how long it would be matured for; Blue for 7 years, Green for 10 years, Yellow for 12 years, and Red for 15 years; hence the name Spot Whiskey.
Gold Spot was not part of the Mitchell and Son initial aging scheme. It is an entirely new release, aged 9 years in a selection of bourbon, port, sherry, and Bordeaux wine casks. It is a bit surprising to find the inclusion of so many different casks, particularly in such a relatively young expression. Additionally, it is the first Spot whiskey to be aged in port pipes. The whiskey is non-chill filtered and boasts a high 51.4% abv. Let’s give it a try.
The nose is complex and shows the range of casks used to age the whiskey. Caramel, vanilla, and baking spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg) come first, followed by notes of red delicious apple and dates, and finally doughy bread. The palate is bold and even more complex than the nose. Rich caramel, toasted marshmallow, and big baking spices hit right away, coating the mouth with the whiskey’s lovely, oily texture. Light wood tannins, red wine, and fruit notes arrive next, particularly apple and raisin along with a little peach cobbler. The finish is fairly long as the fruity notes give way to crème brûlée. Altogether, this is a worthy addition to the Spot line and one of its best, showing itself as bold, complex, and delicious.
A / $105