Distiller: Mitchell & Sons. ABV: 46%. Age: no age statement (8-11 years). Price: $65-80.
St. Patrick’s Day is special for its ability to bring together people from different heritages in celebration, which for me includes sharing stories and drams of great Irish whiskey.
The special edition Green Spot Chateau Leoville Barton is the result of bringing together two families with different Irish heritages. Englishman William Mitchell arrived in Dublin in 1805 and started the family business that ultimately sold the original Green Spot whiskey. Irishman Thomas Barton emigrated to France in the late 1700s and started producing wine in the Saint Julien appellation in Bordeaux. His direct descendants continue to produce Chateau Leoville Barton as the family has for centuries.
This whiskey starts out as the traditional Green Spot, aged primarily in ex-bourbon casks for 7 to 10 years. It’s then matured for an additional 12 months in French oak casks that contained 2005 vintage Bordeaux (approximately 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc) from Chateau Leoville Barton.
On the nose, the wine casks contribute subtle sweet notes of raspberry and blackberry bramble, which complement the underlying green apple and caramel notes well. The French oak adds fragrant wood notes that are distinct from the Spanish oak of the more common sherry casks. On the palate there is more oak, shading into vanilla and spice. The sweetness of the nose continues on the palate as floral notes emerge, but it is balanced by the 46% ABV. The finish nicely brings to conclusion the sweet and spicy notes.
I’ll be proud to pour this dram out for all at my St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year. Cheers! -JTR