Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey

Summer is still upon us, so I don’t often feel like sitting down to sip a nice, warming glass of whiskey. But one recent night, after a long walk with my dog, it just seemed like the thing to do.

Knappogue Castle 12-year-old single malt Irish whiskey.

Knappogue Castle 12-year-old single malt Irish whiskey.

So I went to my liquor cabinet and there it was: Knappogue Castle 12-year-old single malt Irish whiskey. I had totally forgotten I even had this stuff because I hadn’t bought it. It was sent to me after I responded to a press release sent by the New York-based distiller. Let that serve as a disclaimer: I did not pay for the whiskey I am about to review.

Without further ado, let’s talk whiskey.

Taste

I think what I like best about this whiskey is how mellow it is. Before you even take a sip, you get a delightful whiff of alcohol. It almost burns your nostrils. But then you take a sip and it’s wonderfully smooth, though it does warm your esophagus as it goes down. The first thing you taste is vanilla and a hint of cinnamon, and it finishes with very smooth oak and ginger flavors. I’m a fan.

Profile

This clocks in at 40 percent ABV. According to the distiller’s website, “As a single malt Irish whiskey, it is crafted exclusively from unpeated, malted barley before being triple distilled through both pot and column stills. After distillation, it is aged for a minimum of 12 years in ex-bourbon casks before being bottled at 80 proof.”

How to drink it

That’s up to you. As I type this, I’m drinking it neat from a rocks glass. But if you prefer it cooled down a bit, you could serve it on the rocks or with a splash of water. Pick your poison. The only thing I would suggest is that you not mix it. This is really good, complex whiskey and mixing it would keep you from enjoying all the delicious and subtle flavors.

Value

Admittedly, this is pricey. You can buy a 750ml bottle directly from the distiller for $49.99 and Binny’s lists it for $39.99.

Metasip grade: A

This is a great sipping whiskey. It’s incredibly easy drinking and as sessionable (can you tell I’m usually a beer drinker?) as a whiskey can be. My only quibble is that it’s a little too pricey to be an everyday drink.

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