Nose: Grassy with notes of a caramel milkshake. The nose is extremely light, even for a triple distilled whiskey.
Palate: Warm buttered Madeira cake with citrus icing. Juicy green grapes. Fresh apples and pears.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. No burn. Reasonable weight.
Finish: Practically non-existent. Some slight fruit notes, but the whiskey is pretty much done once consumed.
The Green Spot is a No Age Statement single pot-still Irish whiskey that has been matured in a mixture of first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels, refill ex-Bourbon barrels, and ex-Sherry casks. All of the whiskey has been aged for between 7 and 10 years, and it has been bottled at 40%. Green Spot is only produced to a volume of approximately 12,000 bottles per year.
There are 2 “spin off” Green Spot whiskeys; the Green Spot Château Léoville Barton which is standard Green Spot finished for 18 months in Bordeaux casks from the Irish-owned Château Léoville Barton; and the Green Spot Château Montelena which is standard Green Sport finished for 12 months in Zinfandel wine casks from Château Montelena in the Napa Valley in California.
Originally one of a family of four “Spot” whiskies (so named as Mitchell & Son would splash a spot of paint on every cask to easily identify which bottling it was destined for – no different really to mum giving each kid a different coloured lunchbox to ensure we never took the wrong one), along with Green Spot (then 10 years old), Red Spot (15 years old) and Blue Spot (7 years old); currently only Yellow Spot and Green Spot are bottled (Edit: Red Spot has recently been re-released as well, although it has yet to make it to these shores). Green Spot is the only one of the four that has been continually bottled, with the Yellow Spot having been re-introduced in 2012. Green Spot is the longest continuously distilled single pot still whiskey around today – both Middleton’s and Red Breast, the only other long-standing pot still brands on the market, have been through (long) periods where no production occurred.
Post World War 2, after world war, civil war, a trade war with the British, a famine, and prohibition in the US, the Irish whiskey industry was in its death throes, so most of the distilleries amalgamated to form Irish Distillers – a move that quite possibly saved the industry from slipping from existence entirely. It was also by that time that Mitchell & Son’s whiskey range had retreated from the four different “spots” down to a catalogue of Green Spot all on it’s own. In 1976 Irish Distillers decided to stop selling independent bond stores and bottlers with its spirit, which was very nearly disastrous for Mitchell & Son whiskey – fortunately Mr Mitchell managed to start a public campaign involving many of Dublin’s high society, which put enough pressure on Irish Distillers that they decided that Mitchell & Son could be the exception to the rule.
Pot Still whiskey is a style of whiskey that is unique to Ireland, and is made up by distilling both malted and unmalted barley together at the same time in a copper pot still. Traditionally, as is the case with Green Spot, the whiskey is distilled three times. Similarly to Single Malt whiskey, Single Pot Still whiskey only contains spirit from one single distillery.
Green Spot is available from a large number of bottle shops in Australia – including the national behemoth, Dan Murphy’s, but is not an entry-level whiskey price-wise (currently selling at around $100 at the end of 2019).
It’s quite a nice dram, although I cannot help but wonder how much better it would be if they’d just up the ABV a smidge – as it stands, it’s light all round except on the finish – where it’s non-existent.