A Look at Yellow Spot Whiskey
Yellow Spot, along with its younger brother Green Spot, have the enviable title of the last original bonded whiskies of Ireland. What is bonded whiskey I hear you ask? Great question. If you find yourself walking around Dublin, Cork or any one of our great cities you may see “Bonder” or “Whiskey Bonder” written over the doors to some older pubs. These are relics of simpler times for whiskey producers when the bonded market reigned supreme. Distillers would produce whiskey but leave the task of aging and bottling to the whiskey bonders. Essentially, anyone who wanted to produce their own style of whiskey could.
The onset of globalisation in the late 1960s saw everything change. The whiskey producers of Ireland scrapped the bonded whiskey market in search of a more consistent and recognisable product to flaunt around the world. Bonded whiskey virtually disappeared overnight in Ireland, except for Green Spot, bonded by the Mitchell & Sons wine merchants of Dublin as it has been for over 120 years. Sadly though, Yellow Spot didn’t make the cut and disappeared for over 45 years until its rebirth in 2012.
Made from both malted and unmalted barley, Yellow Spot is a Single Pot Still whiskey. This provides Yellow Spot with all the typical spice, thickness and complexity we’ve all come to love and expect from a Single Pot Still dram. Yellow Spot has an inherently Irish character in a loving hark back to the Dublin of old. Aged for 12 years in a variety of casks: ex-Bourbon, Malaga & sherry, we see each cask having its own say on the final flavour.
For us at The Whiskey Trail, Yellow Spot has been a firm favourite since its rebirth. An unapologetically daring whiskey demonstrating the varying styles Single Pot Still is capable of achieving (compared to John’s Lane or Redbreast). We’re looking forward to many more years of falling in love with Yellow Spot over and over again! For more on the spot whiskies, check out our blog on Green Spot Chateau Léoville Barton Edition, a wonderful example of wine casks at play with whiskey.
The nose itself is heavy on spice, with elements of black pepper and nutmeg entwined with the sweetness provided from the red wine casks.
One swig and immediately Yellow Spot announces its arrival, an explosion of flavours is apparent. The spiciness of the whiskey is hard to ignore, a spice acquired through a combination of unmalted barley and an abv of 46%. There’s also notes of milk chocolate, coffee, as well as red apples and toasted oak.
Then comes a long and luxurious finish with the dry mouth feel of red wine accompanied with barley.
Where to Drink: Yellow Spot 12 Year Old Whiskey
Pop into O’Neill’s Pub & Townhouse which has had a distinguished presence on Pearse St. and has been a neighbourhood bar for well over 100 years. It is hard to believe that over a century has passed since the rooms above O’Neill’s were used to shelter rebels such as Michael Collins, Dan Breen & Sean Treacy during the War of Independence (1918 – 1922). This attractive and lovingly maintained pub has been run by four generations of the same family who continue to offer a warm and cheerful ambience throughout the seasons and here you can happily watch the world go by.
Every Whiskey Tells a Story, What Will Yours Be?Sláinte from The Whiskey Trail