Whisky Advocate

Review: Knappogue Castle, 12 year old

July 23rd, 2010

Knappogue Castle, 12 year old, 40%, $42
Past bottling were distilled at the Bushmills distillery or Cooley distillery (excepting the rare, original 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 times.) In the past, I’ve notice a lot of flavor development in Bushmills from 10-12 years old. This Knappogue 12 year old is a fresh, clean, smooth Irish whisky, displaying a nice creamy texture. I’m finding honeyed vanilla, toasted marshmallow, and lots of fruit (citrus, pineapple, coconut, and peach). A soft, dry oak finish shores up the sweetness and adds a peppering of spice. A pleasant, entry level Irish single malt.

(Additional note: Knappogue Castle has historically been a  whisky with a vintage, not an age statement. While it will be nice to have some consistency here, I will miss the subtle differences that each of the previous vintage offerings provided.)

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 84

6 Responses to “Review: Knappogue Castle, 12 year old”

  1. John Hansell says:

    Now, let’s not all go crazy and comment at the same time here. You have all weekend. 🙂

    (I also corrected my rating, which I accidentally typed as an 83.)

  2. Steffen Bräuner says:

    Allright, when will we start to see more cask strength (or just stronger unchillfilltered stuff) from Ireland
    I know they do exist I had some single cask Bushmills in a pub called The Bull and Castle in Dublin and they have been far the best irish whiskey I ever had


  3. John says:

    I agree, Steffen. Cadenhead bottle some very good single cask, cask strength Cooley. I’d like if Cooley did more of it.

    The Bushmills 12 Distillery bottling is a nice step up from the Bushmills 10, so was hoping this would be similar. Have not tried it yet, though.


  4. Pat B says:

    The only Knoppogue Castle I have tried is the 1995 vintage and I must say I quite liked it. The context may have been very favorable (party with friends) but I found good spice and sweetness. I would try the 12YO based on the earlier expierence and John’s comments.

  5. Red_Arremer says:

    Sounds cool but considering the price point, is there any reason to take this one over Black Bush or Bushmills 10?

  6. Gary says:

    I am a fan of Knappogue castle and will definitely give this a try

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