My recent introduction to Irish whiskey began with a brand called Knappoogue Castle. The vintage in question was the 1995 edition, bottled at 40% abv. Before sharing my tasting notes of this single malt, I think it best to discuss some background to this label.
The owner of Knappogue castle began keeping casks of Tullamore in his personal reserve in 1951. He would bottle it over time and distribute to those he cherished most. The last of Tullamore casks were bottled in 1987. The tradition appeared to be over, until his son began bottling product from the Cooley distillery in the 1990s. More recent bottling a originate from the Bushmills distillery.
The colour of the whisky was a very clear yellow. The legs ran quickly and thin.
The nose exhibited the characteristics of pear and honey.
The palate was strong on pear, the spices giving it vibrancy and the citrus creating a juicy texture. Some citrus also appears in the mix. As the tasting continued, I was able to make out some serious roasted nuts.
The finish was very long, but still satisfying. Bitter cocoa is the best I can do to describe the final impression of this whiskey on the finish.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this whisky. It may not be at the same level as the Scottish malts of similar age, I was told this was a 12 year-old whiskey, but it is quite enjoyable as a daily after dinner dram. Worth a look if you’re in the market.