Thanks to /u/Throzen for pouring this as a mystery.
I’m a big fan of Irish whiskies. What caused that? Mostly Green Spot, if I’m being honest. Each time I’ve had it, I’m impressed. And I’ll scream my eccentric thoughts from the belfry every chance I get. I’ll even write a review or two on it.
The people at Mitchell & Son haven’t just sat back on one or two releases either. They’ve been slowly ramping up, and while it’ll be a bit before I get a sample of Red Spot (not for a lack of trying), I am not without one of the thumb printed whiskies in my wheelhouse.
Yes, there’s Green Spot Chatêau Montelena. This is second in the “Wine Geese” Series, with the first being Green Spot Léoville Barton. This time around they sourced the casks used to finish it from Napa Valley. Specifically Zinfandel casks which the previously-aged-in-ex-sherry-and-ex-bourbon casks whiskey sat in for a finish time of 12 months.
Well all that checks my boxes: Odd cask, Irish whiskey from a company I like, and a previous version (or three) that I liked? Let’s get to it, shall we?
Price: $99.95 CAD at the LCBO
Colour: 2.5Y 8/8
Nose: Butterscotch, corn, fresh linen, char
Interesting nose. This was poured blind, and my wife was poured a sample first. Her only hint was this: “It’s missing something we typically attribute to this region”
The nose is a lot of linen and corn, with some char. At first it’s reminding me a bit of a bourbon, but that’s not totally correct. More so a generic Speyside as time goes on. It doesn’t have the strength of bourbon flavours.
Taste: Lemon, brine, caramel, cocoa, smoke
Hmm… Yes, this is missing something. I can’t tell what though. I’m starting to wonder if it’s Old Pulteney or Oban, what with the brine or the light smoke. Maybe it’s missing the coffee in a Speyside?
Whatever it is, it’s not there. Like I feel this should work but doesn’t. Quite light flavours.
Finish: Smarties (Canadian version), cereal, brown sugar, orange
Short finish. Very sweet, lots of cereal and orange, not really aligning with the previous flavours enough. Takes quite a few sips to pull it all together.
It could be good, but it goes by in a flash, and anything to it is next to impossible to pick up.
Conclusion: Not too flavourful, feels like it’s missing elements. Every flavour took a long time to rip out, like taking a ball from a dog. And less fun too.
What my wife meant was this was an Irish that was missing any dough or yeast aspect. And she’s completely right. But it’s also missing any element that screams sherry or red wine. It’s muted, too young, and doesn’t live up to other Green Spot releases.
They can do better. And I hope they do in the future. Grab this is you’re a completionist, or perhaps if you like muted whiskey. I’ll be passing.
Guess: 40-46%, Highland, 10 years, Old Pulteney maybe?
Actually: Green Spot Chatêau Montelena
World Whiskey review #336, Ireland review #88, Whiskey Network review #1591