Green Spot (whiskey)
|Manufacturer||Irish Distillers (Pernod Ricard)|
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|Introduced||Circa 1920: Bonded Merchant|
|Discontinued||Blue Spot, Red Spot,|
|Related products||Yellow Spot, Redbreast Pot Still|
Green Spot is a single pot still Irish whiskey, produced specifically for Mitchell & Son of Dublin, by Irish Distillers at the Midleton Distillery, Cork, Ireland. It is one of the few remaining bonded Irish whiskeys, and along with Yellow Spot (see below) are currently the only brands specifically produced for and sold by an independent wine merchant in Ireland.
Mitchell & Son wine merchants were established in 1805; however, it is uncertain exactly when Green Spot was first produced. It is known though, that by the 1920s Jameson's Bow Street Distillery was supplying Mitchell & Son with at least 100 sherry hogsheads of pot still distilled whiskey per annum.
Half of the casks used had previously held oloroso and other darker sherries, while the other half had held lighter finos. This was to prevent the wine from overpowering the whiskey. The whiskey was allowed to mature in the casks for five years, before being vatted and allowed to blend and mature for a further five years. It was then bottled and sold as a ten-year-old.
The blend was originally known as "Pat whiskey", and the labels carried the logo of a man on a green background.
The Mitchells sold a range of whiskeys under their ‘Spot’ brand name. This name originated from their practice of marking casks of different ages with a daub or spot of coloured paint. There was a Blue Spot, Red Spot and Yellow Spot, but Green Spot emerged as their most popular whiskey and is one of the few “whiskey bonder brands” to survive to modern day.
When Jameson moved production from Bow St. to Midleton, the make up of the whiskey altered for the first time in living memory. This, coupled with low stocks of maturing whiskey, led Mitchell & Son into an agreement with Irish Distillers whereby the whiskey would be matured by the distillery in their own casks, with Mitchell & Sons having sole rights to market, sell and develop the whiskey.
Current day production
The current Green Spot is slightly younger than the original. It is a blend of 8-9 year old single pot still whiskey, 25% of which has matured in sherry casks.
500 cases (approximately 6000 bottles) are produced each year. Most of this is sold through Mitchell and Son's shop in Dublin. As a result, it is difficult to obtain outside Ireland, except in specialist retailers.
Single pot still whiskey
Green Spot is one of the few single pot still whiskey brands produced today (along with Irish Distillers' Redbreast and Yellow Spot). Note that all single malts are also purely from a pot still, but single pot still whiskeys use partially unmalted barley, so they cannot be technically called a single malt. Also, single malt whiskeys were generally distilled twice, whereas single pot still whiskeys were generally distilled three times.
As of May 2012, Mitchell & Son have re-introduced the Yellow Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. The original Yellow Spot was last bottled in the 1960s. Yellow Spot contains single pot still whiskey that has been matured for 12 years in three oak cask types:
- American bourbon barrels,
- Spanish sherry butts and
- Spanish Malaga casks.
It is set to be produced annually in batches of just 500 cases, the same production level as Green Spot. Yellow Spot is bottled at 46% ABV. Most Irish whiskeys (including Green Spot) are bottled at 40% ABV.
- Strengell, Teemu. "Triple distillation in Scotland". Whisky Science blog. Blogspot. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
- Link to Mitchell & Son site
- Whisky Advocate Article 2012-05-31 on Yellow Spot Reintroduction
- Pernod Ricard recreates Yellow Spot Irish whiskey, Harpers Wine and Spirit Trades Review