Introducing Knappogue Castle® 12 Year Old.
Continuing an Andrews family tradition of exceptional quality
Irish Single Malts. Our Passion is for Perfection.
Knappogue Castle announces the first time release of its 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey. A new package design reflects the change from vintage dating to age designation. As the original vintage dated whiskey, Knappogue is undertaking this change to bring greater clarity to the age of the product.
"We found that some consumers didn't realize how long Knappogue Castle Single Malt was aged, therefore missing a very important part of what we do to make it smooth, bright and spicy" observes Mark Andrews, son of the brand's founder. "We want to be perfectly clear about the age of Knappogue Castle Single Malt. Now, there's no need to calculate how long it was aged because we're stating it boldly on the front label. The age of the product is something we're proud of along with the fact that no color is added" says Mr. Andrews. "Although our standard offering will be the 12 year old single malt, we will continue to have special bottlings of rare and unique distillations which will most likely bear a vintage date."
Mellow, well rounded, well balanced, medium intensity; a bright, elegant fruit and mildly spicy taste with a medium-long, clean finish.
Pale golden color, derived entirely from long maturation in bourbon oak casks.
Very well balanced, clean fresh citrus and floral notes, complex mellow aromas of malt, perfumy oils, honey/vanilla with medium intensity. Touch of toasted wood also.
Really mellow and well rounded, very well balanced, medium intensity, sweetish complex taste incorporating the aromas above.
The 1995 Knappogue has more bourbon barrel wood character than the 1994, which serves to increase the taste complexity and makes the whiskey that bit more mellow and rounded. Malt whiskey purists will sometimes argue that malts are best matured in old, many times used casks to minimize the wood influence on the malt, thus allowing the "true distillery character" to be clearly tasted. However, others will argue that the interaction of the pure malt spirit with the wood extractives available in a fairly fresh cask will serve to add to the overall taste experience—since it adds to the complexity of the taste—and this would be my own view. I think the Knappogue Castle 1995, with its greater wood influence, is a nicely judged advance from the 1994 in terms of its overall taste experience.
Teasingly delicate with a mouthwatering intertwining of fresh cut grass and distant zesty, lemony hints. Slightly floral but amazingly crisp and clean. The oaky vanilla notes do nothing to lessen the clarity of the aroma: there is a vivid sharpness to the aroma that is highly unusual for a whiskey of this age.
Soft, malty arrival on the palate that is at first sweet and then an on-rush of lively barley notes buzz around the tastebuds. The oak forms a stunning backdrop of weightier tones, though the freshness of the malt is never once displaced. That zestiness on the nose is apparent adding a slight marmaladey, bittersweet feel to the proceedings. Absolutely salivating.
Medium length and almost unbelievably clean despite the subtle cocoa notes which reveal the advancing years of the whiskey. A slight, almost shy, oiliness helps keep the sweeter malt notes locked into the roof of the mouth extending the finish that few extra vital seconds. Again, the balance—like on the nose and initial taste—is completely in sync: the barley and oak are in total harmony.
Overall, I think this is the most sophisticated Knappogue of them all. This is an enormously refreshing whiskey that can be enjoyed at any time of the day: from a pre-lunch pick-me-up to something to savour just before bed. Most startling is the clarity of the whiskey for a near 10-year-old where the barley and oak just seem so well adjusted together. There is not a single off-note to be detected and its mouthwatering qualities are awesome.
An uplifting, lively nose; lightly malty and grassy and exceptionally clean. A very delicate richness reveals an enchanting thoroughbred.
Intense malt vies for supremacy with a surge of controlled spice. The dominant cloves are well contained and are met with a mouthwatering sweetness that is rather brittle yet fresh—like a new toffee apple.
Soft spices suffuse with the cream-toffee sweetness. Gentle, with a tantalizing hint of cocoa and toast. Lush, oily and exceptionally long on the finish.
This is a malt of exceptional character and charisma. It is almost squeaky clean but proudly contains enormous depth and intensity. The chocolate finish is an absolute delight.
At opening is toasty, malty and remarkably compelling. With air contact, an oily/seed-like aroma emerges in the second pass that mixes well with the dry cereal surface perfume. In the third pass, a barely discernible touch of tobacco leaf/smokiness is detected. Following six minutes of aeration—in the fourth and final sniffing—what dominates is the stone-dry, toasted grain/malt tandem.
The palate entry is mildly sweet and grainy, but by mid-palate, the sweetness grows significantly more intense as the texture coats the tongue.
The aftertaste is long, grainy and oily.
This bottling owns far more grip and structural grace than the 1991. Bravo and keep them coming.
The opening aroma is gentle but intensely malty. With aeration and a swirl or two, the second pass sees substantial aromatic expansion as pleasing waves of fruity cereal, flowers and spirit emerge and push past the malt. By the third pass, the base spirit really makes itself known in a citrusy/rind-like way. After nearly 10 minutes of exposure to air, the bouquet begins an easy, unhurried decline as the fruity notes become dominant and the spirit and mashy cereal components fade.
More assertive in the mouth than in the nasal cavity, the taste stage opens up a palate entry with a burst of grainy/spirity warmth. Then, at mid-palate, the grain takes over and adds a touch of zesty spice. The flavor phase makes clearly evident the youthfulness of this whiskey, not as a negative—because not all recommendable whiskey has to be decades old—but more as a calling card to its vivacity and agility.
The finish is quick, moderately malty and dry. Might be perceived as being slight, but I can live with that, because in the end, this whiskey shows enough character, in particular in the mouth, to be easily better than average.
The very pale flax/lemon-yellow/Muscadet-like color is pretty.
Crisp, dry Riesling; extremely winey. Even so, a fabulous development of grassy malt, and an undercurrent of vanilla oakiness adds depth. A citrus youthfulness seems to complete the circle.
Fresh and mouthwatering lends to a light start, immediately followed by a massive malty follow-through, which develops into a honeyed sweetness and a trace of vague fruit notes.
Drier, with a burgeoning vanilla depth and a hint of cocoa.
For a light whiskey, this shows enormous complexity and depth. Genuine balance from nose to finish. Refreshing and dangerously more-ish!
A heady mix of overripe (almost black) banana, big oaky notes. Demerara sugar (slightly molasses, in fact), soft honey, ripe greengages and pepper. On a blind nosing, I might have considered this a rum. Just a few ripe barley notes pop through, but essentially when cold.
Big, booming start. Very rich from the off: attractively oily and mouthwatering, immediately showing an unmalted pedigree to the clean barley and perhaps a hint of oats. However, to the middle, there is a sweet, coppery, estery texture more attuned to Jamaican pot still.
Long, quite hard and brittle—as one would hope from a whiskey of this genre—and some of the deeper vanillas one might expect to find in an old bourbon. Chewy, with licorice and a hint of chicory. It is that estery, vaguely honeyed, oily copper pot rum that hangs on the longest.
A highly individualistic whiskey that refuses to take prisoners. Another year in the cask might have tipped this over the top. We are talking brinkmanship here, with a truly awesome display of flavor profiles ranging from traditional Irish pot still to bourbon via old Jamaican pot still rum. A whiskey of mind-boggling duplicity, tricking the taste buds into reading one thing after another and then moving off on a different tangent altogether. About as complex and beguiling as straight Irish whiskey ever gets. Astonishing and truly a thing of beauty.
“Knappogue Castle Twin Wood , bottled in 2010, is a 16-year-old Irish whiskey with a slight amber tinge to its golden hue, and a much more prominent taste. Triple distilled, Knappogue Castle’s characteristically smooth, mellow flavor is enhanced by the nutty sherried nuances of yeasty oak, apples, and olives. Only 1,900 signed and numbered bottles are being offered, making this an Irish whiskey as individualistic as the 1951 vintage it celebrates.”
Richard Carlton Hacker—The Robb Report, March 2010
With the help of the finest distillers and craftsmen, we bring you Knappogue TWIN WOOD -- the first Sherry Finished Knappogue Castle matured for sixteen years in two types of wood. The result is a perfectly balanced single malt Irish whiskey with a complex, rich taste and a slightly sweet sherry finish.
We took the best of our 1994 vintage distilled single malt and aged it for just over fifteen years in bourbon barrels for our signature smooth taste. This perfect whiskey was then put into casks especially seasoned for Knappogue using Oloroso Sherry. We bottled only 1,900 bottles of this exquisite whiskey in December of 2010. Each individually numbered bottle is a true work of art.
Our Passion is for Perfection. Experience it in Knappogue Twin Wood.
“Entry is polite, drier than the succulent bouquet, and acidic in structure; midpalate features the acid core, which maintains its freshness and posture, and lots of malty grains that come off like Ovaltine and malted milk balls. Yummy aftertaste that returns momentarily to the orchard fruit of the nose then turns intensely grainy.
F. Paul Pacult - Spirit Journal June 2010: ****/Highly Recommended
Each year, my father asked the Master Distiller to select the most promising barrels of Knappogue for his private collection. Throughout the aging process, the Master Distiller would check these barrels and bottle the vintages that had reached the ideal flavor and depth of character. These prized bottles were my father’s private stock and he would share them only with family, friends and closest colleagues.
In my father’s tradition, we continue to bottle a very limited quantity of our Master Distiller’s Private Selection. This 1994 Collector’s Edition is being released in an exclusive limited offering. Triple distilled and aged in bourbon casks, Knappogue Castle Master Distiller’s Private Selection is among the very best you will taste.
Distilled in 1994/Bottled in 2009 Available While Limited Supples Last
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