Special thanks to /u/Randimosity for the sample of Yellow Spot.
Just off my successful American tour of drams, I thought I’d dedicate part of the most Irish month of the year (February) to Whiskey from Ireland.
Wait, I’ve gotten March and February mixed up, haven’t I? Well fuck. Too late now, it’s Irish February, a bitterly cold month dedicated to the cheery, constantly maligned, and generally good chaps of Ireland.
And mostly their booze.
Anyway, I’ll be going over the only Stop Light name-related whiskies I know of: Green Spot and Yellow Spot.
And if they ever want to complete the full stop light, I’ll even do Red Spot. However until that happens, we’ve just got a double review.
This is actually a re-review of Green Spot. The first one was immediately downvoted to hell, so let’s see if that happens again.
Up first, Green Spot. This single pot still Irish Whiskey is produced specifically for Mitchell & Son by Irish Distillers. If you haven’t heard of Mitchell & Sons, that’s because they are an independent wine merchant.
And that’s kinda screwed up.
Green Spot is produced in short runs (6000 bottles) each year. It’s a blend of 8-9 year old whiskies, of which 25% of which have been matured in Sherry Casks.
Well, green means Go, and I’ve never been one to disagree with traffic laws while drinking, so let’s see how this one tastes, shall we?
Price: Not currently available, however the LCBO does get it once per year, so keep an eye out.
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: Yeast, candied ginger, grass, lime, sourdough, linen
One thing I always notice about the Irish is the red hair and a penchant for pride.
Wait, no… One thing I always notice about Irish Whiskey is the yeast note that is prevalent in the nose. And in some cases, it’s a little… forward.
This isn’t as strong as other cases. It has more of a bread and linen note to it. Quite tasty.
Taste: Lime, chipotle, metal, salty, mace, lavender, cocoa, light caramel
Floral, fruity, spicy, and metallic. And then I stopped licking the metal bannisters, because that’s how I ended up with strep throat and gonorrhoea.
Seriously though, don’t have sex without a condom.
Anyway, this whiskey is quite complex for it’s youth. I think it’s a good side of a proper blender in charge, personally. Different complexity. Nothing that will blow you out of the air: It’s just nicely complex, and the Sherry influence is evident.
Finish: Metal, hops, dough, Sprite, herbal, dry
Boring finish unfortunately. Quite heavy on the more bitter/dry side, and the little bit of lemon/lime is mostly lost. Still nice to sip, just nothing “amazing” to complement the rest.
Conclusion: When I initially reviewed this whiskey I thought of it as one of the better Irish whiskies I’ve had. And I still think it’s quite good, just… well, I’ve since had some better whiskies in general. I wouldn’t pass up a dram, and I wouldn’t be angry to own a bottle either. The finish just doesn’t wow me enough to rave about it.
Oh well. Tastes change.
1001 Whiskies to taste before you die re-review
101 Whiskies to try before you die re-review
And to even out this review of ‘all’ of the offerings in this line-up, I have Yellow Spot up next. Again, like it’s green sister this whiskey is produced annually in batches of 500 cases.
Unlike it’s green sister (Marcia), this one took a break for awhile, being last bottled in 1960s. This is a single pot still whiskey (again, like Marcia), however unlike Marcia (who gets everything, that bitch), this whisky is 12 years old, and aged in three different oak cask types: Ex-bourbon, Ex-Malaga, and ex-Sherry.
Don’t know what type of Sherry, or who had the Bourbon barrels before, however I can shed some light on the Malaga: It means shit in Greek…
Wait, no, that’s malaka. Malaga is a fortified fine from (surprise, surprise) the city of Malaga. It uses Pedro Ximenex and Moscatel grapes. It’s close to a sweeter sherry wine.
So, this is a little different than the other, yet there’s only two in the line-up, and unless a Red Spot has popped out (Which I guess I’d call Aunt Flo), I’m pairing these two up.
Let’s see how the single Sister tastes.
Price: Haven’t seen it at the LCBO before… odd.
Nose: Mango, raspberry cordial, oregano, pizza dough, floral, oats, asparagus
A lot fruitier and sweeter on the nose than the green spot, probably due to the more wine-influence, as well as the ex-Bourbon cask lending the vanilla sweetness.
Don’t lose hope Irish Whiskey fans (both of you): It still has that yeast note there, yet it’s more ingrained. Overall, quite nice.
Taste: Lemon, French bread, mineral, macadamia nuts, dry, toffee
Starts off like other Irish Whiskies I’ve had, however quickly morphs into a more dry and sweet mixture. Quite complex and bold flavours. Where I had to really dig in with the other whiskey, this one is all up front and easy.
Finish: Basil, lime rind, salty, walnut, cotton, pear, umami
Big finish that lasts a good long time. Quite nutty and fruity as well. Tons of flavours. More interesting than Marcia.
Conclusion: Yeah, I know I screwed up the whole Marcia/Jan joke. Why? Because I’m only in my 30s and didn’t have shity sitcoms to watch. I had Seinfeld and Mash re-runs. You know: Good shows.
But let’s take a moment: Marcia’s this perfect person who’s always nice and kissing her half-brother. Jan’s seen some shit. If you’re going to date one of them, and have a crazy time and great conversations, it’s Jan.
These whiskies are no different. Yellow Spot may not have been made up by an expert blending things, however it’s a complex mixture of finishes that are well balanced. It also has a higher Abv, a rarity amongst Irish, and overall was just nicer to drink. If you have to chose, go for the daughter with daddy issues over the ‘perfect’ one.
Unless you’re actually dating women, then ignore what I said unless you’re just trying to find a fuck buddy. Mental issues are rarely fun, and sometimes lead to stab wounds.
World Whiskey reviews #69-70, Ireland reviews #11-12, Whiskey Network Reviews #357-358