Whisky Focus - Blue Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Blue Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

19th November 2020
Irish Distillers reimagine the Mitchell family's Blue Spot, a 7 year old, cask strength, single pot still Irish whisky matured in a combination of Bourbon Barrels, Sherry Butts and Madeira Casks.

Irish Distillers has once again teamed up with the Mitchell family to unveil its reimagined Blue Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, a 7 year old, cask strength whiskey which has matured in a combination of Bourbon Barrels, Sherry Butts and Madeira Casks.

With the most recent existing record of Blue Spot dating back to 1964, the launch will signal the end of a 56-year wait among the global whiskey community for the re-introduction of Blue Spot, reuniting the historic Spot Family for the first time in over half a century.

The story of the legendary Spot Irish whiskey range began in the early 1900s when celebrated wine and spirits merchants, Mitchell & Son, began maturing whiskey from the local Jameson Distillery in Bow Street in their underground cellars in Dublin City Centre. Blue Spot takes its name from the blue daubs or ‘spots’ of paint that the Mitchells used to mark the barrels to signify that the whiskey in those casks were to be matured for a minimum of seven years.

Building on the foundation of bourbon and sherry casks, the reimagined Blue Spot includes whiskey aged in Madeira casks, inspired by the historical inventory of Mitchell & Son and typical of the Spot style of whiskey. The Midleton masters, in collaboration with the Mitchell family, were influenced by archive documents dating back to 1935 showing Madeira wine casks imported to Ireland which, once emptied, would have been used to mature whiskey.

The team at Irish Distillers’ Midleton Distillery have been sourcing Madeira wine seasoned casks for over 20 years. These casks are carefully handcrafted in a cooperage in the north of Portugal and then sent to the island of Madeira. Once seasoned, the casks are shipped back to Midleton and filled with pot still distillate and left to mature, allowing the Madeira wine influence to impart wonderful flavours of stewed apples, hazelnuts and sweet spices. These Madeira casks, along with ex-Bourbon and ex-sherry casks are then hand-selected and married together to achieve the perfect flavour balance. Bottled at cask strength, the result is a luxuriously rich and characterful whiskey.

Kevin O’Gorman, Master Distiller at Irish Distillers, comments: "It is with absolute pleasure that we reintroduce Blue Spot and bring a piece of Dublin’s rich whiskey history back to life. Over the years I have had the honour of collaborating with the Mitchell family, who for generations have celebrated the influence of fine wines on Irish whiskey, as we have reintroduced expressions to the beloved Spot range. I am incredibly proud to celebrate with Jonathan and Robert Mitchell on this historic day as Blue Spot takes its place alongside Green, Yellow and Red Spot, reuniting the whole family once again."

Blue Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is a non-chill filtered, cask strength release that will see the ABV varying annually, Blue Spot is available from this month at the RRP of €80 in Ireland, UK, France, Canada, Northern Ireland and Global Travel Retail, and in the USA from February 2021.

You will find Blue Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

Blue Spot 7 Year Old Review

Bottled at 58.7% ABV, non chill-filtered.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A light mix of pineapple, kiwi, green banana and lime zest followed by Pot Still spices, baked apple, hazelnut and toasted wood.

Taste: A smooth mouthfeel with a subtle mix of fruit, a hint of clove oil and cracked black peppercorns. Sweet spices, vanilla and cinnamon add to the wood’s nutty contribution.

Finish: A lasting and distinctly palatable balance of exotic fruits and spices.

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