Knappogue Castle 15 year old, 43%

Price: $100 Issue: Spring 2009 Reviewer: John Hansell

To fully understand this new offering, let me offer a little Knappogue Castle background. The first few vintages of Knappogue (not counting the original 1951 vintage, which was from the B. Daly distillery) were from Ireland's Cooley distillery--including 1990, 1991, and 1992. Then the whiskeys were sourced from Bushmills. The 15 year old, reviewed below, is from the original Cooley stocks. Consider it an encore performance. Knappogue Castle's first non-vintage, and the oldest since the original 1951 vintage release. The whisky is from three different vintages -- 1990, 1991, and 1992 -- which were married together. I am pleased to see an older expression, because I have always felt that the previous releases, generally 10 years old or less, needed a little more time to blossom. Sweeter notes of peaches and cream, pineapple upside-down cake, banana bread, and vanilla wafer are balanced by a spicy, resinous dry finish. A textural whisky that coats the palate. My favorite of the post-1951 vintage Knappogues.