Review: Yellow Spot

History

Old Midleton Distillery in County CorkSee this post for the history of Midleton distillery. In an effort to expand their pot still whiskey portfolio, Midleton Distillery is introducing the highly anticipated Yellow Spot to the US market in February 2015. Yellow Spot, like it’s younger brother Green Spot is a bonded brand of Dublin wine merchant’s Mitchell and Son. Bonded whisky hails back to a time when whisky ┬ámerchants would fill their own casks with spirit from local distilleries and sell it under their own brand name. The colored spots came from a practice of marking selected casks with paint to denote how long the whiskey should be aged. Yellow Spot was discontinued in 1961 and recently made a reappearance in 2011 in Ireland. It is a pot still whiskey which is a marriage of 12 year or older malaga, oloroso sherry and bourbon casks. Purportedly the recipe was recreated by studying two old bottles of Yellow Spot. One bottle was found in a little museum in Dublin and the other was sent over from a lady who found an old bottle tucked away at home. The new Yellow Spot is not identical to these old bottles, but it was greatly inspired by them. There are only around 1500 cases of Yellow Spot allocated for the USA market. If you can’t get your hands on one this year don’t be disappointed, this is only the beginning of the Irish whiskey single pot still movement. Midleton Distillery is committed to releasing two new pot still expressions every year until 2020.

Tasting Notes

Yellow Spot WhiskeyNose: exotic fruit, dried mangoes, raisins, vanilla, honey, black pepper

Mouth: juicy, buttery, peach, stone fruits, sherry sweetness, red apples, ripe grapes, citrus

Finish: mild spice, dried red fruits, lime

Score: 87/100

Verdict: If you’ve had Redbreast then you’ll be familiar with the style of this whisky. It smells like dried mangoes, tropical fruits, raisins, vanilla and honey. The layers of sweet tropical fruit are very inviting. This whisky has a buttery texture and coats the mouth with juicy peaches, stone fruits, red apples and ripe grapes. There’s a good amount of sherry sweetness and a flavor that is similar to fortified wines which must be from the malaga casks. The finish is somewhat dry with mild spices and dried red fruits. I really enjoyed this whisky and it’s further proof to me that pot still whisky can compete with single malts. Yellow Spot is more complex and rich compared to Green Spot which makes me yearn for the release of the 15 year old Blue Spot. If you have even a passing interest in Irish pot still whisky, then you should definitely keep your eyes peeled for Yellow Spot’s US release in February 2015.

Special thanks to Ciar├ín O’Donovan for the sample

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