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Score

Knappogue Castle 12 year old, 40%

Price: $42 Issue: Fall 2010 Reviewer: John Hansell

Past bottlings were distilled at the Bushmills or Cooley distilleries (excepting the rare, original 1951 Vintage, which was from the old B. Daly distillery). This one is triple distilled, so think Bushmills. (Cooley distills their whisky twice.) In the past, I've noticed a lot of flavor development in Bushmills from 10 to 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 smattering 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.)