Whisky Advocate

Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey Distillery Origin Guide

May 7th, 2009

Recently I was asked if the source of Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey is from Bushmills. I thought it might something of interest to all of you. The answer is, in chronological order by release: no, no, no, no, yes, yes, yes, and no.

To clarify:

The first vintage, 1951, was from the B. Daly Distillery (where Tullamore Dew was once made)
The next three, 1990-1992, were from Cooley
The next three, 1993-5, were from Bushmills
The last one, a 15 year old non-vintage, was once again from Cooley (a marriage of stocks from 1990-1992).

I hope this helps.

13 Responses to “Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey Distillery Origin Guide”

  1. Todd says:

    The 1951 is a stunner and love the 1990-1992 Cooley distillations as well. The first one I tried was the 1991, the scarcest of the trio. I will have to seek out the 15 yo if it is the cousin of those early 90s bottlings. Just curious, was there a vintage 1989 KC made from Cooley distillate as well?

    • John Hansell says:

      Todd, the 1991 was the first release from the Cooley batch (not the 1990 ironically) which probably explains its rarity. AFAIK there was no 1989 release.

  2. Adam H. says:

    Thanks John! This was needed and helpful.

  3. sam k says:

    I attended a blind scotch tasting you hosted many years ago, and you slipped us a 1951 as a ringer. It was an eye opening experience, and the Knappogue was fantastic!

  4. Neil Fusillo says:

    Honestly, the Knappogues I’ve liked the least have been the ones from Bushmills. To me, they just taste like Bushmills with a helping of water added. They still have that characteristic tar flavour that I’ve found prevalent in all the Bushmills malts, and they’re so light as to be less than satisfying.

    • John Hansell says:

      My biggest criticism of some of the Bushmills bottling is that they were relatively young. I have always thought that Bushmills matures a lot between 10 and 12 years of age. Many of the Knappogue Castles were younger than this.

  5. David says:

    Wasn’t the 1995 a 12yo when it was released? And the second 1995 release a 13yo?

  6. John Hansell says:

    David, yes, I think you are correct. I forgot about the 1995 vintage. Thanks for pointing this out. (I corrected my comment above.)

  7. I own a 1987 bottle of Knappogue that was aged for 36 years before bottling. I purchased it at Knappogue in 1998. It is Bottle no 239 and Cask 6. I have not seen this mentioen in the Knapp1ogue articles.
    The label on the back states that it was bottled for the Honable Mark Edwin Andrews of Knappogue Castle.
    Do you know what it worth?
    Thanks Bruce

    • John Hansell says:

      Sorry, but I do not. We don’t get involved with estimating whiskeys. There are auction houses you might want to query. Or you could possibly Google it.

  8. […] triple-distilled. You can see my “secret decoder ring” post on Knappogue Castle whiskey here. Apparently, the held some of the Bushmills whiskey back for additional aging, just like they did […]

  9. […] 1951 Vintage, which was from the old B. Daly distillery). You can consult my secret decoder ring here. This one is triple distilled, so think Bushmills. (Cooley distills their whisky twice, not three […]

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