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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Red Spot 15 year old Single Pot Still Whiskey

I ended the Blue Spot review with a tremendously subtle hint about today's whiskey. And I began that review with multiple paragraphs about the Spots. So let's keep it moving.

When Red Spot arrived in 2018, I was like, "Yeah!" And then I was like, "Oh but I live Ohio." And then I forgot about it because scotch scotch scotch scotch scotch. Three years later, someone was generous enough to split a bottle. And so now, here we are.

This excellent label took one drizzle of whiskey
and went from red to green.
Was this foreshadowing?
Brand: Spot
Spot Color: Red
Style: Single Pot Still
Country: Ireland
Distillery: Midleton
Age: at least 15 years
Maturation: a vatting of ex-bourbon barrels, sherry butts, and marsala wine casks
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Colored? Probably
(from a bottle split)


Plenty of fruit jumps from the nose, though it's more from the casks than the spirit; think lots of dried stone fruits. But it does have a malty layer, somewhere in the middle. Some butterscotch, almond extract and saltwater taffy beneath that. And, of all things, rum cake. It gets quite scotch-like when reduced to 40%abv, specifically like Glenmorangie 18, complete with the active (though good) casks. Vanilla frosting on lemon cake. Dried apricots. Toasted grains and newspaper print.

Simpler than the nose, though well woven, the palate leads with carrot cake (brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon), oranges and a Thai chile bite. The brown sugar, walnuts and chiles push to the fore with time. Diluted to 40%abv, it picks up some good bitterness, and swaps out the oranges for lemons. Gets a decent mix of sweet and sour.

It finishes with notes similar to the palate — chiles, brown sugar and oranges — though it also develops a slight crème brûlée character. Dropped to 40%abv, the finish is all lemons, brown sugar and cayenne.


To answer the caption, no this did not go the way of Green Spot. I sort of spell things out above, but like Yellow Spot, this Red Spot feels like an Irish Pot Still whiskey that would appeal to single malt scotch drinkers, thanks to the active casks, a pinch of malt and some proper maturation time. It's not complex by any measurement, but it's a very nice summer and/or dessert pour, and probably the first marsala cask whiskey I've ever enjoyed. But they lost me with the price.

Availability - USA and Europe, frequently sold out
Pricing - $150-$180, though (again) some American retailers are selling it at 2x that price
Rating - 85

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