1994 Knappogue Castle Single Malt Irish Whiskey (700ml)
In the early 1900's, the finest whiskey in Ireland was often sold in casks rather than in bottles. Spirits merchants bought the filled barrels, aged them and bottled the whiskey under their own brand names. In the 1960's, Mark Edwin Andrews, an American with strong ties to Ireland, began buying casks of fine pot still whiskey from the top distilleries in Ireland. He aged them and bottled them under the 'Knappogue Castle' label, named after the castle in Ireland that he owned.
Knappogue Castle 1951, the last of Mr. Andrews’ whiskey that remains available, is a traditional pot still whiskey which means it is made from both malted and unmalted barley. It was triple distilled at the famous B. Daly Distillery in Tullamore and was aged in sherry casks for 36 years making it now the oldest and rarest Irish whiskey in the world. Today, the Andrews family carries on the Knappogue Castle legacy with vintage dated Irish single malt whiskey. For each vintage, a limited number of casks of the finest Irish single malt are selected. Each is distilled with the utmost care one batch at a time. Knappogue is lightly chill filtered and unlike many whiskeys, no artificial colouring is added. Of this whiskey, the Robb Report said, 'No people on the face of the earth are better versed in the finer points of camaraderie than the Irish - a fact that their genial whiskeys underscore. The 1994 vintage of Knappogue Castle, despite its age, is as fresh as the Irish countryside'.
Tasting note: The fifth vintage of Knappogue Castle and the second consecutive one comprised of whiskey from the Bushmills distillery. (The previous three were from the Cooley Distillery.) This one is very clean and quite soft on the palate, with a gentle sweetness throughout (fresh malt, vanilla, and honey). Floral and citrus notes offer a subtle pleasantness throughout. Soft, soothing creamy vanilla finish with hints of confectioners sugar and lightly toasted marshmallow. This is a pleasant, versatile Irish whiskey to have in your bar to serve neat, on the rocks, or in smart cocktails. 40% Alc./Vol. Rating: 85 points
- www.maltadvocate.com (1st Quarter 2005 Issue-Vol. 14#1)
Other reviews... 'beautifully weighted, multi-layered delivery, where the clarity of barley is almost eye watering. Stunning...'
89 points. - tasting note refers to bottling Lot No. L6. Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2008