Thursday, June 16, 2022

Review / Gold Spot 9 years old


This new whiskey from Irish Distillers is a special bottling to commemorate the 135th anniversary of partners Mitchell & Son entering the whisky bonding business. The iconic Irish wine and spirits merchant has worked alongside the company on their Spot single pot still range, where they traditionally matured whiskeys in vaults under the streets of Dublin. The Gold Spot has been aged for a minimum of nine years. It features an intriguing marriage of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks with ex-Bordeaux red wine barrels and ex-Port pipes. The Gold Spot 9 years old is released at 51.4% ABV (102.8 Proof) in a historical hat tip to whiskies from Mitchell's archive. 

The Gold Spot joins the four core expressions in the Spot Whiskeys range. For many years since the 1960s, Green Spot was the only bottling on sale. This has now been joined by the Yellow Spot 12 years old in 2012, Red Spot 15 years old in 2018 and Blue Spot 7 years old in 2020. The names refer to coloured spots that were painted on maturing barrels in the Mitchell & Son bonded warehouse in Dublin. Each colour signified a different age of whiskey.

The Gold Spot 9 years old was unveiled at Whisky Live Dublin last week (June 10) and is available now via www.spotwhiskey.com and from Mitchell & Son stores in Ireland. Limited distribution across selected world markets will take place from mid-July. These include France, the UK, the USA and travel retail. The exact number of bottles has not been revealed. Each will cost €120/ £105/ $126 US.

Our tasting notes

The colour is deep gold and the nose is highly fragrant and packed with fruity aromas. Peach and apricot mingle with caramelised pineapple and red apple. These are joined by further aromas of golden syrup, honey and vanilla sugar. Pinches of cinnamon, powdered ginger and white pepper along with a suggestion of orange zest round things off nicely.

The nose is very enticing and the palate does not disappoint. It is a little hot and peppery to begin with but once this subsides the whiskey is delicious. The juicy tropical fruits are again at the forefront - think of peach patisserie and apricot jam married with caramelised pineapple and juicy sultanas. It feels like a heady combination. Crisp red apple and some milk chocolate also sit in the background. Further sweetness is added with a lovely note of golden syrup and runny honey.

Structure is provided by robust underlying cereal notes and a building savoury quality. A malty and biscuit-like characteristic underpins this and it is joined by gripping notes of freshly sawn oak, baking spices and hints of dried tobacco leaf and gingerbread. Further hints of custard powder, vanilla and burnt caramel come through later.

The finish is long and becomes more peppery and woody with time. The juicy fruits and sweeter elements slowly fade to give these savoury characteristics the opportunity to shine. The malty biscuit-like notes also hold themselves together to give great depth and complexity.

What's the verdict?

The Gold Spot 9 years old is delicious. Simply put it is a great addition to the Spot family of whiskeys, albeit a limited one. If you like your Irish whiskeys big, bold and expressive then this is for you. The fruitiness and sweetness are well integrated with the more savoury, woody and spicy notes. The result is a multi-layered tasting experience that gives something new almost everytime that you take a sip. Grab a dram or a bottle when you can and before it disappears. Superb and sublime.


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