St. Patrick’s Day is upon us yet again and I’m coming to the party late. However, I hope I’ve arrived in time to save you from green beer or an Irish car bomb. If you want to drink something truly Irish this year, how about a nice glass of Irish Whiskey. I’m serious. You’ll enjoy the heck out of it and you’ll finish the night without green teeth or on the floor (last claim not guaranteed).
The word whiskey is an Anglicization of the old Gaelic word uisce beatha meaning “water of life”. Further, it’s been said that Irish Whiskey is the oldest form of whiskey in existence, dating back to somewhere around 1000 AD and Bushmills being the oldest whiskey distillery in the world claiming continuous distillation since 1608. So what makes a whiskey an Irish Whiskey? Simple
- Irish whiskey must be distilled and aged on the island of Ireland
- The contained spirits must be distilled to an alcohol by volume level of less than 94.8% from a yeast-fermented mash of cereal grains in such a way that the distillate has an aroma and flavour derived from the materials used
- The product must be aged for at least three years in wooden casks
- If the spirits comprise a blend of two or more such distillates, the product is referred to as a “blended” Irish whiskey
Okay, enough stealing from Wikipedia. I’m hoping by now you’re at least convinced enough to try a few sips instead of a green beer. Go read the article if you’re interested in more cool details about Irish Whiskey. But now that you’ve come this far, how about a bit further with some Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey tasting notes?
Knappogue Castle 12yo (40% ABV) – This whiskey presents with a light straw color and delicately sweet floral aroma. The flavor is tremendously clean, lightly sweet with a touch of vanilla. Ending with a quick clean finish this is a fantastic light and refreshing Irish Whiskey.
Knappogue Castle 14yo Twin Wood (40% ABV) – Very lightly honey colored with definite hints of the sherry casks in the aroma this whiskey grows on you quickly. The flavor is wonderfully smooth with a long, mellow finish highlighted by notes of stone fruits and very subtle spices. There is no smokiness to be found and I feel this whiskey speaks of it’s origins very clearly. A great sipping whiskey that needs no ice or water.
Knappogue Castle 16yo Sherry Finish (40% ABV) – Rich honey color and distinct aromas of stone fruits and specifically dried cherries start you off with this dram. The flavor is sweet and fruity with a relatively quick finish. The smooth flavor brings back the stone fruit notes with an underlying current of vanilla and Christmas spices that stays with you through the finish. This is a sipping whiskey that I had a very hard time sipping. I swear, this stuff must evaporate quick at this elevation. :)
If you’re still insisting on a green beer then I can only ask that you enjoy it, have a great time and be safe.
† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.