Drink Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old

October 6, 2020
3 mins read

[su_note note_color=”#ffe3e6″]This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com and other Amazon websites.[/su_note]

The age of the Knappogue Castle vintage malts has been sneaking up in the last few years since Bushmills took over the supply contract (early Knappogues were from Cooley). Here, finally, Knappogue has cast off its vintage and replaced it with a 12yo age statement. This Knappogue has beeen bottled without artificial colouring.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Review:

Isolated in the west is a wee peninsula, with a river bounding it on one side, the Atlantic ocean to the other.. It is here that the ruins of a vast fort still stand, but they are well hidden from the main road.. In the valley here is a farm and it is here that Bushmills have the bulk of their maltings. It is here that most Knappogue casks are filled.



Very light and fruity. Gentle citrus with overtones of lime.

Slightly floral. Grows softer with time in the glass.

Is there a slight slightly peaty note in there?


Again, very light and delicately sweet.

Immediately though you get orange and a slight hint of cinnamon.

Very fresh apple.


The sweetness becomes more dominant with time, primarily treacle with a hint of bubblegum.


Long, and quite sweet. I suspect the sweetness came from the wood, but it was very pleasant.

Vanilla, as with other Irish malts, is quite strong.

This is a lovely, light, fresh, fruity malt.. I can’t get enough of it.

I was particularly impressed at the lack of ethanol burn (except for the finish, which was not really ethanol burn, just strong sweetness) and the richness.

Bushmills have done a very good job with this malt.

Bushmills has recently (2008) launched a wider range of Knappogues, all of which are non-chill filtered with natural colour.

The above Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey review was Scotch Broth’s first review in his Whiskey review section.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Review:

Distilled and aged using the finest local barley and natural spring water, the signature creamy velvet texture of Bushmills Malt has been praised by generations and enjoyed over decades. Now with Malt Distiller of the Year awards to its name, Bushmills Malt was named Whisky Distillery of the Year in 2006.

Graceful and eloquent in its finish, Bushmills Malt is matured in American Oak casks which give it a unique, subtle flavour.



Viscous and floral.

Sour apple and citrus. Slight hint of vanilla but nothing too discernable while sipping it.

The nose on this is really quite light. I notice a slight hint of peat, but I think I was just expecting it as all the Bushmills malts have been pretty peaty.


Oh yes, definitely peaty. Very navy rum like.



Slightly sour apple, followed by treacle.

The peatiness and the spiciness are really well balanced.


Long and cooling (thanks to the peat)




This is a very nice, light and peaty malt.

Knappogue Castle 10 Year Old Review:

Again, for the second review in a row, I must say that I am impressed with what Bushmills have done.. This is a lovely, light, peaty, sweet and fruity malt.. I am having trouble keeping my hands of it!

I took time on my palate to enjoy/analyse this malt, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the peat is definitely not artificial as is the case with Laphroaig 10 and Caol Ila 10. The peatiness comes from the natural process of using smoke to dry the barley and is not dominated by the use of artificial smoke flavouring.

I’m very much enjoying this malt, but it’s driving me to distraction..

A 10 Second Summary:


Quite light.

Delicate floral sweetness becoming much harsher with time.


Peaty and tasty. This is quite an old style Irish whiskey.

Lightly sweet, and with short finish.


A tad longer than the 12 year, but not as long as the 10 year.

Quite peppery. Bubblegum and treacle, and hints of salt.

So, technically, I shouldn’t review a third Knappogue, but I’m a glutton for punishment..

Knappogue Castle 10 Year Old Review:

Bushmills Malt is made using the finest barley, slowly dried over fragrant peat fires and double matured in casks for exceptional smoothness and character.

Each year, a limited number of casks are selected for Knappogue Castle 10 Year Old. Selected from the finest casks from our European and American oak storage cellars, each cask imparts its own subtle flavour to Knappogue Castle 10 Year Old.

To create the ideal flavour and character, the casks are combined and gently aged together in our traditional maturation rooms.



Heavily peated.


Very woody and redol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss