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Drink Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old

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: 

Knappogue 12 yo carries the distinct Bushmills influence with its full, lingering palate and dry finish with a delicate floral touch. It is a simple, uncomplicated malt, well-made and well-served. It doesn’t have the fruitiness of a few similar single malts but it does have complex spice notes, lightly tannic. A bit of oak comes through, and something faintly meaty.

Flavours are coal-fired peat, liquorice, stewed pears, fresh white grapes, crumbly baklava, dark chocolate, silk, nutmeg, lemon peel, autumn sunshine, winter sunshine, warm rain on the windowsill, clean linen, and a breath of wind at the open gates of the past…

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Review 1: 

The Irish whiskey industry has been revitalised over the past few years by a returning interest in all things Irish. Many producers have now sought to develop lighter, more complex expressions.

Knappogue Castle 12 is a little light and subtle for my tastes, but it is clean and pleasing, a solid all-purpose dram. It is balanced and well-mannered, but lacks the charm of some of its compatriots.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Review 2: 

Knappogue Castle 12 is a simple, uncomplicated malt, well-made and well-served. It doesn’t have the fruitiness of some single malts but it does have complex spice notes, lightly tannic. A bit of oak comes through, and something faintly meaty. I like this whisky very much, but I can’t say much more about it.

Phrases such as “warm vanilla fudge apple pie with cobbler crust” are thus spared, for with reviews like that, a whisky like Knappogue Castle 12yo would likely be compared to a breast massage from a professional dominatrix. But even if I had the pen and wit of my perennial favourite columnist, Calum Murray, I’d eschew such a phrase.

Knappogue Castle 12yo doesn’t need all that. A simple solitary malt glass is all it needs. Here, a long slow sip will do you nicely.

Knappogue Castle 12yo is a near perfect dram.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Review 3: 

Knappogue Castle 12 is a simple, uncomplicated malt, well-made and well-served. In the low 40s of the ABV scale, this is a whisky that’s high on elegance. It does not have the fruitiness of a few similar single malts but it does have complex spice notes, lightly tannic.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Review 4: 

Knappogue Castle 12yo is a little light and subtle for my tastes, but it is clean and pleasing, a solid all-purpose dram. It is balanced and well-mannered, but lacks the charm of some of its compatriots.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Review 5: 

Knappogue Castle 12yo has the distinct Bushmills influence with its full, lingering palate and dry finish with a delicate floral touch. It is a simple, uncomplicated malt, well-made and well-served. It doesn’t have the fruitiness of a few similar single malts but it does have complex spice notes, lightly tannic. A bit of oak comes through, and something faintly meaty. I like this whisky very much, but I can’t say much more about it. Phrases such as “warm vanilla fudge apple pie with cobbler crust” are thus spared, for with reviews like that, a whisky like Knappogue Castle 12yo would likely be compared to a breast massage from a professional dominatrix. 

Written by Mark Adams

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