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Irish whiskey / Whisky reviews

Knappogue Castle, 12 years old, Marsala cask finish

Hello there! I’m still here, believe it or not. And despite all the new whiskey brands and fancy releases happening out there, today I’m going to talk about Knappogue Castle, an old (ok, at least older than 10 years. Because this is such an incredibly good whiskey.

I haven’t tasted many Knappogue Castle whiskeys earlier but had a sample pack of their standard whiskeys that I opened last year, and I also wrote about it on my previous blog. Then I also learned about this cask finish series made for Celtic whiskey shop and bought a sample from Dick Mack’s. I really liked it but apparently not enough to buy a full bottle then.

Earlier this summer we went on a road trip and took a break in Kenmare, where there is an excellent Off License. As you may know, our road trips can be expensive 😂 – we came back with a bottle of Loch Lomond and one Knappogue Castle, Marsala finish.

Knappogue Castle Marsala cask finish

You can find this and the other bottles from the cask series here. This whiskey has been matured for at least 12 years in ex-bourbon casks and has then been finished in Marco de Bartoli Marsala casks. It’s described as a limited edition but I’ve seen it in the shop for a long time, and there were also a couple of more bottles in the Kenmare Off-License. I wonder if it’s made in batches and every batch is limited but it is an ongoing release? Or “limited” is just a marketing tool?

Anyway, let’s taste it!

Nose

Medium, toffee mixed with red berries, old varnished oak furniture and raisins. After some more time in the glass some apricot jam too. Very pleasant nose!

Palate

Nice rich notes of cherries, blackcurrant and some other berries. Some toffee comes through but it’s quickly drowned by more intense red berry and spicy notes. With some water, that apricot enters the palate too. The finish is medium and has some nice complexity with mixed berries, fruit and spice.

This is a very solid whiskey. I think it lacks some body, but it’s still very tasty. However, I can’t stop thinking of this at some higher strength, more body and texture… I’d love that.

I’m not sure I think this is worth the €95, but I’m also very aware of the prices of Irish whiskey at the moment, it’s the reality and if you want to support Irish whiskey, it’s just to deal with it. And this is a lovely whiskey!

You can buy the Knappogue Castle Marsala cask finish at Celtic whiskey shop, along with the other whiskeys in the cask finish series.

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