Green Spot Château Léoville Barton

Green Spot Château Léoville Barton Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Bordeaux Wine Casks
46% ABV
$65
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Château Leoville Barton is hte latest addition to the Spot whiskey family. This whiskey represents the coming together of two historic families, two stories of Irish endeavor and enterprise who together are the inspiration for this special edition whiskey.

Initially matured in a traditional mix of ex-Oloroso sherry and ex-Bourbon barrels the whiskeys were then transferred into the ex-Bordeaux wine casks for between 12 and 24 months. This imparted distinctive, floral flavors of varying intensity, resulting in a perfectly balanced whiskey. Celebrating an Irish heritage, the collaboration between Green Spot and Château Leoville Barton is not just the coming together of two unique stories; it is the fusion of two unique histories that as one deliver an exceptional whiskey.

Nose: It is the contribution of the French oak which drives the initial aroma adding some crisp woodland notes to the spicy Single Pot Still character. The wine seasoning brings a delicate touch of floral perfume and a hint of ripe berries such as raspberries and strawberries; these are in addition to the orchard fruits typical of Green Spot.
Taste: The familiar mouth coating effect is a very satisfying balance of oak and spices. Some vanilla sweetness works in harmony with the dry wine influence, while the fresh orchard fruits and French oak combine effortlessly with barley grains to complete the complexity.
Finish: The rich French oak character is slow to fade leaving the wine and spices of France and Ireland with the last word.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Crisp apples, green grapes, wine tannins, and cedar wood.
Palate: Wet toothpicks, black pepper, orange blossoms, and a nice vanilla cream sprinkled on Granny Smith apples and peaches.
Finish: Tannic with lingering black pepper.
Comments: As I’ve shared this whiskey with others it tends to be polarizing. Those that drink a fair amount of Irish don’t like it as much as those that are relatively new to the spirit. I like it okay but it doesn’t stun me like Yellow Spot and the Redbreasts do. It is a nice diversion from the regular but not something that I would go out of my way to seek out.
Rating: Stands Out

Jameson Cooper’s Croze

Jameson The Cooper’s Croze Irish Whiskey
43% ABV
$70
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Our 5th generation Head Cooper, Ger Buckley, knows everything there is to know about wood, casks, butts and barrels. To celebrate his passion for Coopering, we have created The Cooper’s Croze, the first of the Whiskey Makers Series to launch in the U.S. Focusing on the profound influence the wood yields on a whiskey’s character, The Cooper’s Croze uses virgin American oak, seasoned bourbon and Iberian sherry barrels.

The whiskey’s namesake – the croze – is named after Ger’s favorite tool, an implement used to make the groove into which the head of the cask or barrel is positioned.

Tasting Notes
This non chill filtered whiskey effortlessly carries the charred virgin oak character with vanilla sweetness from the seasoned bourbon barrels and rich fruit flavors and a fine balance of floral and spice notes from the sherry barrels.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Sweet vanilla cream and hints of sherry fruits.
Palate: Creamy, fruity, sweet, and grassy.
Finish: Light and mildly woody with lingering vanilla notes. It turns spicy and bitter late in the finish.
Comments: This is the first of the “Whiskey Maker’s Series” that I’ve seen in Atlanta. It’s clearly Jameson and a tasty Jameson but not anything exceptional up against Jameson’s regular line up. At $70 this is pretty pricey with not much payoff. Average retail prices but if it was in the $40 range it would stand out a bit more.
Rating: Average

Glendalough 13 Year Old

Glendalough Single Malt Irish Whiskey Aged 13 Years
46% ABV
$90
Website
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What the Bottler Says:
While we’re talking numbers and lucky numbers… Did you know 13 is Ireland’s luckiest number? For us it means a glimpse at Ireland’s heroic age, a new golden age and a perfect age for an Irish single malt whiskey. This very special whiskey herald’s a second coming of Irish single malt that’s been a long time coming. After almost a century of blends defining Irish whiskey, Glendalough brings you a 13 year old single malt that has put in the hard yards. The style of whiskey that first made Irish whiskey great. The style of whiskey your great grandad drank. And a stylish whiskey whose time to be great is once again. It comes to you with hints of spice, creamy vanilla, biscuity malts, and that unmistakable clout of dedication that embodies the outstanding spirit of Ireland.

TASTING NOTES:

The nose is deep butterscotch, honeycomb and rich lemon meringue balanced with citrus fruits and just a hint of a clove spice.

The taste. Jumps to the front with an intense vanilla fudge luxurious sweetness and almost rock candy mixed with touches of fruit – lemon citrus, peach and dried apricot.
This is followed by deep spices; red peppercorn and light cloves. A truly velvety mouth feel that just hovers on the palate.

The finish. The spice is left lingering with under-layers of robust malt characteristics and deep oak notes. And again vanilla fudge reoccurs with a finish that lasts an eternity.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Rich, with dark notes of stewed cherries, raisins, cinnamon, and caramel.
Palate: The flavors are very forwardly sweet. Heavily sugared dark chocolate covering a chocolate orange.
Finish: The finish is a mid length with vanilla cream and polished oak.
Comments: Wow, I’m really impressed with this offering. $90 a bottle is steep for the age but Irish Distillers’ offerings in that age range are all near that price point. I find this to be a very interesting and pleasing offering from Glendalough’s sourced whiskey stock and something that you should try if you are an Irish whiskey fan.
Rating: Must Try

We would like to thank Glendalough for sending us a bottle for review.

Glendalough 7 Year Old

Glendalough Single Malt Irish Whiskey Aged 7 Years
46% ABV
$50
Website
Glendalough-7YO
What the Bottler Says:
The 7 seas bridge 7 continents that some say were made in 7 days. Even the light we see them in splits into 7. It’s the world’s favourite number and some say, a lucky one. But that’s not why we’ve released the first of our single malts as a 7 year old. Here at the Glendalough Distillery, we’re not superstitious, we find it brings bad luck.

As ever it’s all about the man on our bottle, St Kevin. Before he built his “City of 7 Churches” at Glendalough, Kevin spent 7 savage years in the wilderness. You see the number 7 has always been associated with the seekers, the thinkers and the searchers of truth. St Kevin was all of these and more.

He lived off the land around the upper lake, completely at one with nature, he was the kind of outdoorsman that’d put some of today’s action-men to shame. Tested through 7 sharp winters and inspired by the blush of 7 summers, it shaped him to be the man we revere. This whiskey was made in the traditional style its character shaped by 7 years.

Have a look on our bottle, you’ll see 7 silver crosses. These will lead you to each of the 7 churches, should you ever be stirred into going to Glendalough.

TASTING NOTES:

The nose is rich and sweet, a premium single malt Irish whiskey with a touch of cinnamon and more than a hint of citrus fruits – orange zest, lemon infused with vanilla ice cream. A touch of fresh floral notes like meadow flowers.

The taste. A silky velvety smooth palate with the returning orange zest tones to the fore, with rich creme brulee and dark chocolate notes
and just enough cinnamon and white pepper spice to keep it interesting, followed by the beautiful robust malt and oak influenced flavours, almost butterscotch, which mix wonderfully as the warmth expands through.

The finish is luxurious and lingering, the spicy, sweet notes elegantly marry on the finish and stay an eternity. Everything you’d expect from the perfect sipping whiskey.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Raisins, orange marmalade, peach preserves, and a crispness that reminds me of a mix of fresh split hardwood and dewy grass.
Palate: The palate is a bit of a struggle between a stone fruit sweetness (peaches and apricots), a cinnamon and pepper spiciness (Red Hots sprinkled with black pepper), and woody bitterness.
Finish: The finish is slightly hot but a bit of water will tame it. The lingering notes are cayenne pepper, mild tobacco, and bitter wood.
Comments: This is a fun dram to play around with. There is a lot going on and layers to unravel if you find yourself in a contemplative mood. The only detraction for me is that the different parts of the palate just don’t seem to bring themselves together as cohesively as I would like. Even still, this is a nice pour. The flavors and proof bring more to the table than like priced Irish competitors. Glendalough doesn’t say where this whiskey comes from. They are laying down whiskey and distilling gin and poitin too but this and the 13 year old are too old to have been distilled there. My guess would be Cooley. That’s not a bad thing at all. We in the States have been raising hell about bottlers pseudo pretending to have distilled spirits but it hasn’t hit that fervor level in Ireland yet. Regardless of who distilled the spirit it is good. Oddly enough, I’ve enjoyed the Cooley spirits bottled by others like Glendalough and Teeling a lot more than I ever cared for Cooley’s bottlings. So give this one a try when you see it.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to thank Glendalough for sending us a bottle to review.

Clynelish Distiller’s Edition

Clynelish 1997 Distiller’s Edition (2012)
46% ABV
$75
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Crafted on the coast of Sutherland high in the North East of Scotland, the Clynelish Distillers Edition is double-matured in dry, nutty, spicy Oloroso Seco cask wood chosen to balance and complement the signature delicate maritime flavors of Clynelish with a deeper, spicier, more fruity and richer character.

What Gary Says:
Nose: Thick waxy sherry, chocolate & sea salt, hints of anise and clove.
Palate: Viscous waxy mouthfeel, sherry forward, dark fruit (raisins) with a bit of cinnamon.
Finish: Moderately long and drying, with a little pepper spice.
Comments: I only recently tried Clynelish 14 yr single malt, and wasn’t crazy about it. When I saw this on a shelf, I hoped that the double maturation in oloroso seco cask would bring another dimension, and it absolutely did that. Only one extra year of age on this, but where I’m not a big fan of the standard 14 yr, I really like this. It isn’t quite a “sherry bomb”, but the sherry is quite prominent, and I think plays well with the waxy subtlety that Clynelish is recognized for.
Rating: Stands Out

What Richard Says:
Nose: Creamy and rich with strong notes of sweet dark stewed fruits.
Palate: Black pepper jumps forward and assaults the tongue as it enters the mouth. Mild notes of raisins and plums come through but it is not nearly as sweet as the nose would portend.
Finish: Dry and tannic with more black pepper lingering on the back of the tongue.
Comments: I’m not sure where the disconnect is between the nose and palate/finish. It kind of illustrates my disdain for blenders who only nose and never taste. That said, this was a well integrated spicy dram that I thoroughly enjoyed. I agree with Gary that the oloroso worked a lovely magic on this whisky. If you find it for around the $75 price point then consider picking up.
Rating: Stands Out