St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and with perfect timing, Castle Brands sent us several samples of Irish Whiskey to share with you. They’re also running a contest with the grand prize being a trip to Ireland–follow the link at the end of this post.
We had the chance to try both the 14 and 16 Year Knappogue Castle Twin Wood Single Malt Irish Whiskies. These whiskies are named after the 15th century castle in County Clare, Ireland bought by Mark Edwin Andrews who restored the castle in the 1960s. The castle is now owned by his son, Mark Andrews III who continues to blend Irish whiskies under the castle’s name.
The Knappogue 14 Year was triple distilled in copper pot stills and aged for 14+ years in Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks. It is non-chill filtered, bottled at 46% ABV – 92 proof.
The color was light amber with a subtle nose of apples, ripe pear, baking spices such as cinnamon, and black pepper. The palate was surprisingly approachable considering the proof. The velvety mouthfeel had salinity starting with notes of leather and smoke, lemon peel and pear. The finish was full of vanilla and apple notes with nice tannins from the Sherry casks.
The Knappogue 16 Year was again triple distilled in copper pot stills. After 14 years in Bourbon casks, the whiskey for Twin Wood was selected by the Master Distiller for twenty one months of further aging in Oloroso Sherry casks. It is only lightly chill filtered and bottled at 40% ABV – 80 proof.
The color was a darker golden amber. Right away, we both thought this would be a great whiskey to enjoy with a cigar. The nose opened up from campfire to stewed apples and raisin notes with orange peel. The initial sweetness was characterized by cooked stonefruit, black licorice and tobacco. It finished with a buttery sweetness that left us salivating.