Maker: Castle Brands, New York, New York, USA (Pernod-Ricard)
Distiller: Cooley, County Louth
Style: Triple distilled Irish single malt, aged in sherry and bourbon casks.
Age: 14 y/o
Michigan State Minimum: $60
Appearance: Light copper.
Nose: Wood varnish, sawdust.
Palate: Full-bodied and mildly sweet, then big oak.
Finish: Apricot custard under a mountain of sawdust.
Parting words: I love Irish Whiskey and I especially love Knappogue Castle. I’ve gushed over their whiskeys before so when I saw this 14 y/o version on the shelf I was nearly giddy with excitement.
So imagine my surprise when I tasted my first sip of this sawdust bomb. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this disappointed in a whiskey, especially an Irish one. There’s a solid custard base here, but it’s nearly completely overwhelmed by the heavy-handed (to say the least) use of oak. It’s reminiscent of the sharp, shop class floor aromas in young micro-distilled bourbons that have been aged in small barrels as a shortcut. There’s no excuse for an Irish whiskey of this age to be this oaky, and there’s no excuse for it to be so poorly integrated either. I could continue to rant about this but in the spirit of mercy I will end my review here. Krappogue Castle 14 Twin Oak is not recommended.