They say that a rising tide raises all ships. This is none more evident than in the modern whiskey world. In the US market, the rise in popularity of whiskey as a category has brought about a resurgence of world whiskey styles that have been long undervalued and underappreciated. Irish whiskey in particular remains a curious case of a style that I believe is still undervalued—though catching up—to stalwart styles like bourbon and Scotch. Triple distillation and the use of unmalted barley gives pot still Irish whiskey a uniqueness that can appeal to a wide variety of flavor preferences.
The Spot Series is rooted deep in history, with its origins tracing back to Mitchell & Son Wine Merchants and Whiskey Bonders in the 1800s. As described on the Spot Whiskies website:
Blue Spot’s name was derived from the Mitchell’s practice of marking their maturing casks of whiskey with a mark or daub of coloured paint to determine the age potential of the whiskey. Blue Spot was a 7 year old whiskey, Green Spot (10 year old), Yellow Spot (12 Year Old) and Red Spot (15 year old).
As a colourful history would have it, this revered Blue Spot remained underground until now and its introduction reunites the historical Spot Family for the first time in over 56 years.
Throughout much of the 20th and early 21st centuries, the range was limited to Green Spot alone due to production issues and decreases in demand. This latest global market boom has allowed for the reintroduction of the other colors in the series along with new special editions and limited offerings.
Blue Spot is aged at least 7 years in a combination of ex-Bourbon casks, ex-Sherry butts and Portuguese ex-Madeira casks. It is bottled at a cask strength of 58.7% ABV
|Nose||Rich, overripe fruits, malt, dried pineapple, grassy, apple pie, sweet wine, Nutella, hint of ginger. With water, that classic pot still spiciness is more present along with strawberry jam.|
|Taste||Tropical fruit, cinnamon, clove, bready, banana, fruit punch, hint of chocolate, bramble fruits, creamy vanilla. Water brings out notes of graham cracker, sharper pepper, and more orchard fruits.|
|Finish||Banana nut muffin, oatmeal, mulling spice, waffles with syrup, more vanilla, red berries, a bit of muted citrus. With water, toasted oak, a lot more nuttiness, and some butterscotch.|
|Overall Thoughts||Blue Spot showcases single pot still flavors on full blast. The rich fruitless, spice, and grain-forward notes we come to expect from pot still Irish whiskey is complemented by influence from the Sherry and Madeira casks. I love both nuttiness and tropical fruit influence in whiskey and there is plenty of both here. It drinks just a touch hot, but if you like Irish whiskey and are looking for something that packs a punch, look no further.|