A happy St Patricks day to all. While normally I don’t post anything on a Sunday, I thought as it is St Patricks day I would share a quick review of one of my favourite Irish drops; the Green Spot Chateau Leoville Barton.
So here are our facts; triple distilled Single Pot Still (mixture of malted and unmalted barley in the mashbill), ex-Oloroso sherry and ex-Bourbon for 7-10 years before finishing in Bordeaux ex-Burgundy casks for 12-24 months, though the whiskey is non-age statement. The Leoville Barton is a first in Irish Whiskey, namely the first Single Pot Still to be finished in ex-Bordeaux wine casks. The Bordeaux Burgundy casks bring an extra dimension to the whiskey however, altering it in all the best ways and alongside the extra dash of French Oak showcase the large flavour and tonal changes for the better. Anyway, time to get our nose in that glass.
We are greeted with a blanket of slow moving honey, bringing with it a tide of roasted apricots, glayva, red apple peel, slow cooked stone fruits and stewed plums. Behind it flows a river of raspberry jam, a touch on the prickly side, and then a shore of glazed strawberries and maraschino cherries, a good blending of natural and confectionary sugar. Marzipan and Neapolitan ice-cream make the base of the whiskey, sprinkled with berry fudge. From on high falls a light sprinkling of ginger and clove, with the zest of orange and lemon to set the whole dram off in a big way, just a lake of toasted fudge, melted chocolate and jam open and ready to fall into.
When we take that first mouth-watering sip we note the silken mouthfeel, as though drinking smooth jazz, with heavy spice of white pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg into burnt strawberry jam, red grapes and light star anise over a wooden spoon. Touch of boiled sweets come through, and we see the citric zest from the nose regrowing into full fruits, before being dehydrated into beautiful slices. The finish is a slow burner, with the spice of the French Oak quite noticeable in heavy though well placed tannins, a lightly prickly mouthfeel, lavender, cloves, and raspberry liquorice before a final touch of burning incense that heralds the end of the dram and begs another sip.
Single Pot Still whiskey has always been of interest, and although more than Midleton are putting out their own, Midleton still remain comfortable as producers of the best Single Pot Still. The Green Spot Chateau Leoville Barton is one of their most interesting expressions as well, utilizing various casks to make a truly different expression that feels familiar and new at the same time. As a note, this drop was given to me in a warm glass, definitely the way I would recommend nosing and drinking the whiskey. While by itself it is still fantastic, with a bit of heat behind it the dram opens fully and is more expressive than ever. A happy St Patricks day to you all, hopefully today you can raise a glass of something Irish somewhere across the world and join in celebrating. Sláinte to you all.