Showing posts with label Bushmills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bushmills. Show all posts

Knappogue 12 Years Review

Country: Ireland
Brand: Knappogue Castle
Type: Single Malt Whiskey 
Age: 12 Years
ABV: 40 %
Sample Provided By: Derek, USA. Thanks!  
Date: 12/12/2013

Colour: Pale Gold

Nose: Crisp and Clean as could be expected from a Triple-Distilled Whiskey. Lots of Cereals, Vanilla, Coconut, light Oak, Honey, Mandarin, Banana, Butter-scotch and a hint of Cinnamon. The Alcohol is not yet fully integrated.

Palate: Sweet, Fruity and slightly Thin with Vanilla, Coconut, Banana, Pineapple, Caramel, Milk Chocolate, Butterscotch, light Oak, Cinnamon, Grains and some Floral Tones.

Finish: Middle-Long. Sweet at first but Dry towards the end with Vanilla, Honey, Butterscotch, Sweet Barley, Banana Ice Cream, light Oak and light Spices like Pepper and Cinnamon.

No need to add Water to the Knappogue Castle 12 Years.   

Rating: 84

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

General Remarks: In the 1960's an American by the name of Mark Edwin Andrews started to buy Pot Still Whiskey from Irish Distilleries. This Independent Bottler aged these spirits and bottled them under the Brand Name " Knappogue Castle", named after the Irish Castle that he owned. The 1951 is the oldest expression matured by Mark Edwin Andrews that is still available. Today the Brand Name is owned by Castle Brands Inc., established in 1998 by the founders son Mark. This company also owns Brand Names like Gosling's Rum and Jefferson's Bourbon. Traditionally, the Knappogue Castle spirits were all vintage expressions. But in 2010 the company launched the Standard 12 Years. This Whiskey only contains Malted Barley, ages in Ex-Bourbon Casks, is naturally Coloured and only lightly Chill-Filtered. The Knappogue is Triple-Distilled, most likely at Bushmills. It sells at around 40 US Dollars.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: Let me start by saying that the Knapogue 12 years is utterly drinkable. I also think that the Nose is richer than your average Irish Whiskey! But on the Palate and in the Finish it reminds me more of a Fruit Liqueur. The Banana feel is really strong throughout. If that's your flavour profile, you will love this whiskey. It seems a perfect starting whiskey for people who generally feel that the taste of whisk(e)y is too strong. In short, a well made Single Malt with a Fruity and Amiable Flavour Profile. But not exactly what I'm looking for in a Whisk(e)y!

Jan van den Ende                                                       December 2013

Bushmills Irish Whiskey Review

Country: Ireland
Brand: Bushmills Original
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Young Grain, Alcohol, Vanilla, Grassy tones and Green Oak are the first impressions. After a while I get Brown Sugar, Citrus, Toffee, Apples and Pears and Toast with Butter and Peach Marmalade. Instead of Butter you can think of Whole Whipped Cream as well. Hints of Malt and Honey. There is a slight Metallic feeling to the Nose as well that I could do without. It's not strong enough though to consider it a serious off-note.

Taste: A tiny bit harsh with Sweet Grains, Oak, Vanilla, Licorice, Cardamom, Nuts, Pepper, Caramel, Citrus and some Floral Notes.

Finish: Short and quite Sugary with tones of Pepper, Oak, Grains, Green Apples, Cardamom and Vanilla. It is saved by a last minute Peach Note. It leaves your mouth quite dry after a minute or two.

I added a few drops of Water but won't do that again. It somehow becomes a muddy river of Grains and Spices with a Metallic Finish. My firm advice therefore is to enjoy this dram neat.

Rating: 78.5 

Nose:  20.5 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish:  19 - Overall: 19.5

General Remarks:  The Old Bushmills Distillery is located in the Antrim County in Northern Ireland. Since 2005 it's owned by the Diageo Group. In 1608 a licence to distill was granted by King James I which makes Bushmills the oldest licensed Distillery. That's why the year 1608 is printed on the label. The Distillery produces a whole range of Bushmills expressions including the Original or White Label as it's often referred to, the Black Bush, the 10, 12, 16 and 21 Years Single Malts and the Special Edition 1608, released in 2008 to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Legal Distilling at Bushmills.The Original is a Blend of Malt and Grain Whiskies, is Triple-Distilled and is matured in American Oak Casks. 

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Conclusion: Too much young Grain, Alcohol, Metal and Cardamom around to really enjoy this dram neat. Despite the fact that you can pick up some nice Peach and Whipped Cream on the Nose with the Peach returning in the Finish. The whisky leaves you with a quite dry and slightly uncomfortable mouth-feeling after a couple of minutes. This is probably more suited as a basis for Long-Drinks although I'm not really an expert in that field. I conclude that the Bushmills Original is not a bad whiskey but not a bottle I would care to buy on a regular basis.

Jan van den Ende                                                              October 19, 2012