It’s the fruit of a reunion after fifty-six years. Irish Distillers, the maker of some of the world’s most enjoyed whiskeys, joined forces again with Dublin’s seventh-generation Mitchell family to unveil its “re-imagined “ Blue Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey.
The Spot Irish whiskey range began in the early 1900s when celebrated wine and spirits merchants, Mitchell & Son, began maturing whiskey from the local Jameson Distillery in Bow Street in their underground cellars in Dublin City Center. Blue Spot gets its name from the blue daubs or ‘spots’ of paint used to earmark the barrels containing whiskey to be matured for a minimum of seven years. Green spot ( revived in 2017) is aged ten years and yellow (revived in 2012) for twelve. Triple-distilled Red Spot whiskey, last made in the mid-1960s, was re-launched in 2018, using Sicilian Marsala and Bourbon casks.
The new Blue Spot is aged in Madeira casks in homage to the traditional style going back to the 1930s. The Irish Distillers’ Midleton Distillery has been sourcing Madeira wine seasoned made in north Portugal casks for 20 years. Once seasoned in Madeira, the casks are shipped back to Midleton and filled with pot still distillate and left to mature and be distinctly flavored with stewed apples, hazelnuts, and sweet spices. These Madeira casks, along with ex-Bourbon and ex-sherry casks, are then hand-selected and married together to achieve the perfect flavor balance.
Says Kevin O’Gorman, Master Distiller at Irish Distillers; “ It brings a piece of Dublin’s rich whiskey history back to life… I am incredibly proud to celebrate with Jonathan and Robert Mitchell on this historic day as Blue Spot takes its place alongside Green, Yellow, and Red Spot, reuniting the whole family once again.”
“A former confectioner to Her Majesty”-turned-whiskey bonders” the Mitchell family has produced an international rugby referee (Bobbie) and Noel Mitchell, who in the early 1900s went to the US to try out as an American football player. Jonathan Mitchell, Managing Director at Mitchell & Son, adds: “It’s been a privilege to shed light on the history of whiskey bonding in Ireland and the role our family had to play in it as we relaunch Blue Spot.”
A non-chill filtered, cask strength release that will see ABV varying annually, Blue Spot will be available in the US from February 2021.