St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and this year we are going to be enjoying some fine Irish Whiskey. We reviewed three Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskeys a while back and we are proud to say we will be sharing the expressions with friends and family this St. Patrick’s Day. Please see our full reviews below of the Knappogue Castle 12, 14, and 16 year whiskeys as well as some recipes and let us know what you will be drinking this St. Patrick’s Day. Cheers!

Knappogue Castle 12 Year

Name: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey

ABV: 40%

Proof: 80

Our Rating: 88%

Notes: On the nose Knappogue Castle 12 Year has pleasant fruit and spice notes. At first sip I could taste some fruit, pineapple and peaches, with a nice black pepper spice. There is a nice clean and crisp fruit flavor throughout with this whiskey. The black pepper is definitely noticeable but not overwhelming. I thought the finish was long, with a fair amount of spice, some fruit and almond flavors, and very smooth. There is no smoke flavor with this one but plenty of fresh fruit and spices. It is a pretty straight forward whiskey. There was a bit of  a thin mouth feel with this whiskey which I didn’t experience with the 14 and 16 expressions. Knappogue Castle 12 Year is aged 12 years in American oak bourbon casks and uses pure Irish spring water, which I believe gives it such a crisp taste. Overall, this is a good whiskey and one I would recommend to a friend. As with their other expressions the price is right and can be picked up for $40-$45.

Knappogue Castle 14 Year

Name: Knappogue Castle 14 Year Review Twin Wood Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Bottled By: Knappogue Castle

ABV: 46%

Proof: 92

Our Rating: 97%

Notes: On the nose this has a very fragrant aroma of fresh citrus fruits and smoke. The first sip bursts with flavors of grapefruit, peat, limes, apricots, cherries, and a light smoke flavor. You can taste the barley in this one and it adds a nice flavor to the whiskey. This whiskey has just the right amount of spice to it. The finish is long, sweet, and filled with fruit flavors of lemons, apricots, cherries, and a zesty citrus flavor that slowly fades away. The flavor profile of Knappogue Castle 14 year is complex and fruity. What I enjoyed about this whiskey, is the fact I could taste numerous different flavors, some of which seemed to come and go. For around $60 you cannot go wrong with trying this one. Knappogue Castle 14 Year is aged in two different types of barrels, bourbon and sherry casks. Like the 16 year I reviewed previously, I really enjoyed this whiskey. This is one that I would definitely recommend to a friend. It is priced right and has a great flavor profile. Knappogue Castle 14 Year should be enjoyed neat in my opinion.

Knappogue 16 Year

Name: Knappogue Castle Sherry Cask Finished 16 Year Irish Whiskey

Bottled By: Knappogue Castle

ABV: 40%

Proof: 80

Age: 16 years

Our Rating: 97%

Notes: On the nose this has a very mellow aroma of walnuts, vanilla, and cherries. The first sip is as mellow as the nose and equally enjoyable and has some wonderful sweet flavors of vanilla, caramel, and fresh fruit. As it opened up more I got hit with a burst of flavors; corn, wine, anise, and some wonderful familiar oak flavor that I really enjoyed. The finish is long and mellow with the same sweet fruit and oak flavors that were present in the beginning and seemed to linger perfectly. There is no bite or burn with this one. Knappogue Castle 16 Year is an excellent whiskey that would be perfect for special occasions. I thought the flavor profile was excellent. This whiskey should be available for $100 at most retailers which I think is a fair price for what you get. Knappogue Castle 16 Year is twin wood, aged it two types of barrels. After 14 years in bourbon casks, it spends a final 21 months aging in Sherry Casks. Mark Andrews III, son of the founder of Knappogue Castle, developed this latest aged whiskey as a tribute to the brand’s heritage. Twin Wood, a refined 16-year old whiskey only recently bottled, spent the final 21 months maturing in casks specially infused for Knappogue Castle with Oloroso Sherry. This sherry-cask finishing has added complexity and notes of nutty, sherry maltiness to Knappogue Castle’s characteristic, smooth, mellow taste. There are only 1900 signed and numbered bottles ever produced. If you have the chance to try some, it is definitely worth it.

Blarney Stone

2 oz. Irish whiskey

1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 or 2 limes

Reed’s Ginger Beer or ginger beer of your choice, chilled

lime twist for garnish

Add whiskey and lime juice to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 30 seconds. Strain into and ice-filled highball glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with lime twist.

Irish Smash

6 fresh mint leaves

1 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup

2 1/2 oz. Irish whiskey

1 mint sprig, for garnish

Place the mint leaves in the bottom of an Old-Fashioned glass. Add the simple syrup and muddle well. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the whiskey. Stir briefly. Garnish with the mint sprigs.