Don't be surprised at the number of new whiskey expressions coming out of Ireland this year.
In support of a national tourism program called "The Gathering" -- which includes visits to Ireland as well as consumption of Irish products as part of a bid to help the nation's struggling economy -- the distillers will be doing their bit.
For example, Knappogue Castle, producer of a super-premium line of single malt Irish whiskies, has just announced the release of 14 Year Old Twin Wood Irish Whiskey.The distiller, Castle Brands, is the maker of Knappogue Castle 1951, the oldest and rarest known Irish whiskey. The new expression's Twin Wood name comes from the fact it combines whiskey aged in two types of used woods -- Oloroso sherry and bourbon barrels.
The single malt portion of the blend spends a minimum of 14 years in the bourbon barrels. It is combined with more Irish single malt aged in casks specially infused for Knappogue Castle with Oloroso sherry.
“We are excited to bring this unique, high quality spirit to the United States,” says Mark Edwin Andrews III, Castle Brands board chairman. "The 14 Year Old Twin Wood continues our legacy of creating single malt Irish whiskeys of exceptional quality.”
Knappogue Castle is named after the 15th Century structure in western Ireland bought by Mark Edwin Andrews II, who restored it in the 1960s. In the process, he amassed a large collection of rare pure pot still whiskey; that he eventally bottled and labeled Knappogue. The last of the collection, labeled Knappogue Castle 1951, is the oldest and rarest Irish whiskey in the world, and still available for by special order.
Knappogue Castle Twin Wood 14 Year was bottled last October. It is non-chill filtered and bottled at 92 proof. The suggested retail price is $119.