Knappogue Castle, 12 Year Old

Maker: Castle Brands, New York, New York, USAKnapp Castle

Distiller: Unknown (Bushmills?)

Style: Single Malt Irish

Age: 12 y/o

ABV: 40%

Appearance: Medium gold

Nose: Green apple, oak, malt, tangerine, oriental lily, alcohol

On the palate: Lush and floral. Sweetness, butterscotch candy, French lavender, oak, caramel.

Finish: Malty and honeyed. Alcohol, oak, butterscotch, a bit of vanilla.

Parting words: I was pleasantly surprised by this whiskey. Knappogue Castle is not something that I hear a lot of praise for or even chatter about. For most of the history of this brand, it was released in vintages sourced from various distilleries, but in 2010 a switch was made to simply bottling at twelve years old. The current one is likely from Bushmills, but its floral character makes me think of Jameson a little. It also has a sweetness and depth of flavor I don’t get from Bushmills.

The fruit, flowers and citrus are exquisitely balanced by the bourbon cask oak and the result is an elegant Single Malt Irish whiskey that is never boring. My only quibble is the low proof. I would love to be able to taste this at cask strength, or at least 46% ABV. Knappogue Castle 12 y/o is highly recommended.