The first thing I want to say about this post is that it’s a day late because I didn’t schedule it. So, sorry about that. Not that it matters an awful lot, nobody was expecting this one anyhow, except for me.
The other day, I was sipping on some whisky or other and thinking, in that “anything’s possible” sort of way you really only get from a a runner’s high or drinking. Presumably, other drugs get you there too, but as these are the only two I’ve got any experience with (less so on the running lately), I’m going to stick with it. Anyhow, I was thinking “you know, I have this blog with bourbon in the title and the closest thing I have to a post on actual whisky has to do with a pair of bourbon glaze recipes buried somewhere back in the history.” This let me to the natural conclusion that “Hey! I should blog about whisky too! That’d be awesome!” My lovely, supportive wife raised her glass and said “here here, now shut the hell up so I can watch Buffy. And put some of whatever you’re having in my glass.”
Anyhow, as I set out to write a brilliant, humorous and thoroughly engaging first post on whisky, I realized not only was that not going to happen, but you can’t actually write about whisky without being pretentious. You can’t really be both pretentious and funny because then it’s even MORE pretentious and makes you feel like it’s time to put on a polo shirt and head down to the county club. Pretension just sort of goes with the territory of talking about whisky, which is a bit odd considering that the vast majority of whisky is consumed is through two ounce shots intended to bypass the whole ‘flavor’ thing and get the drinker as pissed as possible in the shortest time possible. Alternatively, the whisky is consumed with a carrier, such as cola, to mask all but the most powerful of flavors.
What’s more, and this is a good one, we once had a “bottom shelf-bourbon” tasting at our place. It was great, everyone brought one or two bottles of something cheap, only most folks brought something more mid-shelf, which includes a lot of what I’d rate ‘drink neat.’ Someone, however, slipped in a bottle of Seagram’s-7. I decided to do the tastings blind and so when the Seagram’s came out, nobody knew it had come out and I heard all kinds of stuff about the mellow nose and hints of vanilla and caramel and how damn smooth it was. Sure it beat Ezra Brooks, and Elijah Craig, but it also beat out Old-Grandad, Four-Rose, Maker’s Mark, and even a bottle of Woodford Reserve.
Needless to say, talking about nose, flavor, and finish is about as helpful in picking a whisky as looking at the label. Unfortunately, if you don’t talk about those things, all you have left is: “It didn’t burn so much and it was pretty sweet.” That’s fine, but not helpful.
In any case, I did do all the hard work of tasting a whisky for this blog (there’s even a picture) and I do want to say something about it. I apologize if it’s pretentious.
To give some history here, I got this bottle at Christmas, a friend brought it over as a gift. I’d never heard of Green Spot before then. It’s a light gold in color with a subtle nose (that is, it doesn’t singe your nose-hairs if you get in there and give a good sniff.) My first reaction was -wow, this is smooth, a bit spicy, and only has a hint of the oily conigers in the finish that you so often get in Irish Whiskys.
In reading the back of the bottle, you’re promised a nose of orchard fruits and spice, with aromatic oils, barley, and toasted oaks. The taste is described as spicy with green apple cloves and toasted oak with a finish of lingering spices and barley.
In general, I concur with the assessment on the bottle. This is a damn fine whisky. I would say that green apple and spice are the dominant flavors here, but not in the apple & cinnamon oatmeal sort of way. If you’re looking for it, the toasted oak is proud and present, but is generally out-matched by the spice and apples. I tried this one neat and wouldn’t recommend ice rocks. I feel like the flavor profile would start to break down as it’s just this side of watered down. I bet a cask-strength would be much stronger with the flavors.
My final recommendation on this one?
On a scale of mixer to neat, I put this one at neat. I’d buy again.
4 thoughts on “Green Spot Irish Whiskey – My first whisky review blog”
Living where I do, learning something about wines pretty much comes with the territory. That said, I can definitely relate when you talk about how hard it is to talk about whiskey( or wine) without sounding pretentious. The vocabulary just lends itself to that. Otherwise, you’re just left with, “I liked the box, and this wine is very low on the cough-syrupy scale.” Great post, Dave, very entertaining. 🙂
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I like the mixer to neat scale 🙂 Did you come up with that?
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I did 🙂