Whisky Focus - Green Spot Chateau Montelena Review

Green Spot Chateau Montelena

3rd October 2017
Introducing Green Spot Chateau Montelena, the first Irish Single Pot Still whiskey finished in Californian Chateau Montelena French oak Zinfandel wine casks.

Green Spot Chateau MontelenaIrish Distillers have just unveiled  the Green Spot Chateau Montelena which is the second expression in their Wine Geese series of Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey's.

Once again the folks at Irish Distillers continue their innovative off the beaten track approach to whiskey creation with the use of a non standard cask to add a new dimension to a whiskey we are already familiar with.

The Green Spot Chateau Montelena has been initially matured in a combination of American ex-Bourbon and sherry casks, then a first for a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, it has rather uniquely been finished for one year in French oak Zinfandel wine casks from the famed Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, California.

Irish Distillers tell me that it has been matured until the combination of wine, whiskey and oak has reached the perfect balance.

They say that this French oak Zinfandel wine cask finish has contributed: "pomegranate, cranberry and maraschino cherry on the nose, a dry note to the silky mouthfeel and the finish combines classic long pot still spice flavours with a delicate wine influence, all in perfect harmony".

The new whiskey, the second edition in the Wine Geese series is once again the handiwork of the Midleton Distillery double act, Head of Maturation Kevin O’Gorman and Head Blender, Billy Leighton, it follows the Green Spot Château Léoville Barton which launched back in 2015. Kevin O’Gorman commented on the new whiskey, saying: "that it will appeal to whiskey and wine drinkers alike. We found that the black-skinned Zinfandel grapes are full of ripe, spicy berry flavours, which imparts a distinctive and refined fruitiness to the wine and also the casks in which they matured". I haven't had the chance to taste the new whiskey so I cant comment on its quality but you will find the official tasting note below.

Bottled at 46% ABV and without chill-filtration, Green Spot Chateau Montelena will be available in limited quantities each year in the USA, Canada and Ireland, including Ireland Travel Retail with a RRP of US $65/ 55 Euro.

You will also find the Midleton Distillery Single Pot Still whiskey range including Green Spot available from specialist online whisky shops such as Master of Malt

Green Spot Chateau Montelena Review

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Crisp oak combines with the soft sweetness of vanilla, white chocolate and marshmallow, balanced with signature Green Spot red apples and ripe pears, along with pomegranate, cranberries and maraschino cherries, the contribution of the wine cask.

Taste: Sweet mouth coating takes on a dry note thanks to the effect of the wine cask. Pot still spices subside with zesty citrus leading to ripe orchard fruit and red berries. A touch of marzipan and toasted oak add to the complexity.

Finish: Satisfyingly long with pot still spices in harmony with the delicate dry wine contribution.


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