Review: Green Spot Irish Whiskey

Green Spot Irish Whiskey
Green Spot Irish Whiskey

Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is one of those great spirits that people often talk about but few have ever really tried. Produced in very small quantities at the Midleton Distillery (the same distillery that makes Redbreast Irish Whiskey), Green Spot Irish Whiskey used to only be available in Ireland and the UK, and often very difficult to find.  Seeing the dramatic increase in the Irish Whiskey category in the United States over the past few years, Pernod Ricard (owners of the Green Spot brand) decided to bring this legendary whiskey stateside.

Green Spot is considered a “single pot still whiskey“, a term which refers to the style of whiskey, not the number of times it has been distilled. Single pot still whiskey is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley which is triple distilled in traditional copper pot stills within a single distillery. This is the traditional style of Irish whiskey which used to be dominant in Ireland. Many of the current Irish whiskeys on the market are blends of lighter grain whiskeys and pot stilled or malt whiskey. Green Spot has no age statement but we are told that it is a blend of Irish whiskeys ranging in age from 7 to 10 years old aged in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, refill bourbon barrels (which have already had a round or two of Irish whiskey in them), and sherry casks.  

Green Spot Single P0t Still Irish Whiskey (40% ABV / 80 proof, $50 a bottle) – light amber in color, the contribution from whiskey aged in sherry and ex-bourbon barrels is pretty clear. The nose is light and ever so slightly floral with bartlett pear, apricot, honey, caramel, toasted grain, and light oak spice. While the nose is light, it does have a nice level of complexity, and if you are willing to really work at it, there are some nice aromas here. The entry is slightly less sweet than the nose with pear, apple, and apricot combining with oak, salt, and clove spice. The honey and caramel in the nose really aren’t very pronounced in the entry and really serve as a subtle undertone to the other flavors. The midpalate is all about the oak and clove spice with most of the fruit notes from the opening dialing back considerably or dropping out. It’s really only the apricot fruit note that is able to sustain with the spice through the midpalate. The finish is of medium length, slightly spicy, and a little dry finishing fairly clean and well in line with what you’d expect from an Irish whiskey. Green Spot has a nice mouth feel that is soft and round, and matches the flavor experience very well.

There is a reason why Green Spot has been highly sought after – it’s an extremely solid Irish Whiskey. It’s hard when you have a spirit that has such a mythos behind it not to have fairly unrealistically high expectations. While Green Spot is excellent Irish whiskey, it’s not the kind of whiskey that blows you away, and that’s really the whole point of the style. Green Spot is a quintessentially Irish whiskey that isn’t trying to be anything else. Green Spot manages to present flavors in the lighter end of the Irish whiskey spectrum while balancing those flavors with good spice notes and a solid mouthfeel. Pernod Ricard hasn’t gone too crazy with their pricing; at $50, the avid Irish whiskey fan will be getting their money’s worth with Green Spot.