Review: Knappogue Castle Single Malt Irish Whiskey 14 Years Old (2013)
Knappogue Castle is one of the blue chips of the Irish whiskey world, producing well-aged spirits and a variety of rarities, including the ongoing “Twin Wood” series of limited edition whiskeys.
Twin Wood is Knappogue’s terminology for Irish that’s been matured in Bourbon casks and finished in Oloroso sherry barrels. The 14 years are spent in the Bourbon casks before the whiskey moves on to the sherry finishing.
14 years is a long time for Irish to spend in any kind of wood, but Knappogue Castle has a surprisingly light gold color. It’s got an ample nose, however. A big malty character dominates, mingled with exotic raisins, coconut, and orange character driven by the sherry.
The body is complex and unique. Again, lots and lots of malty grain here, plus plenty of oddities: banana, smokestacks, caramel candies, orange peel, coconut husks, and licorice, all in a bit of a jumble. I like a lot of the flavors in the whisky, but ultimately I’m still not sure about the way they all come together. It’s fun to tipple on but tough to get a handle on where it’s going.
B+ / $60 / knappoguewhiskey.com