Category Archives: Whiskey

Spirit Review: Green Spot Irish Whiskey

green-spot-irish-whiskey Green Spot Irish Whiskey is produced by Irish Distillers Limited for famed wine merchants Mitchell & Son or Dublin, Ireland.  It is one of just a few remaining bonded irish whiskeys, as well as one of the few pure pot still whiskeys produced in Ireland, and is limited to just 500 cases per annum.

Originally produced at the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street, sometime after Mitchell & Son began selling whiskey in 1887, ‘Green Spot’ refers to the tradition of marking barrels of whiskey with a spot of paint to indicate their age.  Mitchell & Son had a full lineup of whiskies, including Green, Yellow, Red and Blue Spot.

Today, only Green and Yellow Spot remain in production, although their formulations and age have changed since production moved to the Middleton Distillery.  Green Spot is bottled at 40% ABV after being aged in 75% American oak ex-bourbon barrels and 25% in sherry casks for 8-9 years, (although there is no official age statement on the bottle). At the moment, distribution is limited primarily to Ireland with the exception of some online specialty retailers, although IDL aquired the rights to distribute outside of Ireland in 2011. No word on whether this will be sold here in the USA as of yet.

Nose: Orange peel, candied ginger, and honey with a slight herbal quality. Green pears and faint sherry notes.

Palate: Very viscous feel. Spicy ginger and cider with very minimal burn. Very clean flavors. The sherry casks seem to disguise some of the heavier oily flavors often present in pot distilled spirits.

Finish: Medium length, with some hints of hazelnuts. Clean and refreshing, while leaving you wanting another sip.

Rating: ★★★★½


Spirit Tasting Class: American Whiskey

This month I will be resuming my series of classes on different spirits at the Bayou Oyster Bar.

This month’s class will be January 15th at 6:00pm, and we will be looking at the history of American Whiskey. We will dig into the main types of American Whiskey, enjoy some cocktails, and take part in a tasting of a variety of some bourbon and rye whiskies.

The class will be limited to 10 people, so if you are interested, or know anyone who is, reserve your spot now at the Bayou Oyster Bar, preferably between the hours of 5:00-7:00pm. It should be informative and a lot of fun, and I hope to see you there. Cheers!

The Death of Irish Independance

This last Friday, Beam Inc, purchased the Cooley Distillery, the last remaining Irish owned distillery, for about $95 million. Cooley owns and produces the Kilbeggan, Connemar, Tyrconnell and Greenore brands, and operates two distilleries, Kilbeggan in County Westmeath and Cooley in County Louth.

Beam said Cooley’s status as one of only three sources for Irish whiskey, and the only independent company, makes the acquisition a compelling chance to get into one of the industry’s highest growth categories. Beam shares rose 35 cents to $50 in morning trading Friday. Its shares are up from a 52-week low of $42.30 in early October.

In the last year, Irish whiskey sales have grown 11.5%. Beam’s acquisition of Cooley will allow them to bring those products to a much wider audience, as well as hopefully to inject some cash in to an Irish economy that has been struggling for the past couple of years. This purchase, coupled with Pernod-Ricard’s €100 Million expansion of the Middleton distillery will hopefully boost Irish Whiskey back into the prominence it deserves.

While it’s sad to think that there are no remaining Irish distillers out there, it takes cash to produce a product, and global spirits companies are able to bring products to a wide variety of people who otherwise would know nothing about them. And hey, you never know, but just maybe we will see a resurgence of smaller craft distillers popping up in Ireland.

Spirit Reviews: Fremont Mischief Whiskey

Fremont Mischief Distillery is another of Seattle’s newest craft distilleries. At this distillery they are producing four products; John Jacob Rye Whiskey, Fremont Mischief Rye Whiskey, Fremont Mischief Gin, and Fremont Mischief Wheat Vodka. Today we will be taking a look at the Fremont Mischief Whiskey.

This whiskey is an 8 year old, 90 proof, rye whiskey. So how can a distillery licensed for only a year already have a product that claims to be aged eight years? As it turns out, both the John Jacob and Fremont Mischief are distilled following the same family recipe, the former being produced in Seattle from Washington grown grain, the latter being distilled in Canada. Both are bottled at their respective proofs at the Seattle location with artesian water from Mt Rainier. So let’s see how this rye whiskey stands up to the competition.

Upon opening the short squat bottle you are greeted with fantastic caramel and vanilla notes, but not much else. A little bit of peppery spice and alcohol aromas, but those are very muted. On the tongue the whiskey definitely picks it up a notch with lots of spicy notes, more caramel, and some oaky notes. Other than that, this whiskey seems a little thin in flavor, and the finish is long and dry, but a little alcoholic with some slightly bitter undertones. Perhaps not the best whiskey to be sipping neat. What this spirit really seems suited for is cocktails, although it is still not quite bold enough to be a go to whiskey in my Manhattans. Overall I think that the eight years in a barrel is more negative than positive as most of the kick seems to have been stripped from this whiskey. While this particular whiskey was not really my cup of tea, I do look forward to trying some of Fremont Mischief’s other products. Cheers!

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Vintage Cocktails #58: The Mother-In-Law Cocktail

A truly forgotten cocktail, this next drink comes to us courtesy of Mr Brooks Baldwin’s grandmother. Given to her by her mother in law just prior to WWI, this recipe was meant to be bottled and served from a decanter as need arose. This was very much the style for many households in the pre-prohibition era, and a style of great convenience as well. As there are no fruit juices present, this concoction would keep for quite a spell. This cocktail appears to be a variation on the also forgotten Zazerac Cocktail, but with enough difference to warrant its own name. The following recipe has been scaled down to 2 maybe 3 drinks.

The Mother-In-Law Cocktail
1 tsp Peychaud’s Bitters
1 tsp Angostura Bitters
1 tsp Amer Picon
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
9 oz Bourbon