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Whiskey That Hits The Spot - The Irish Spot Whiskey Range

The Spot Whiskey range Irish whiskey

Image by The Whisky Ardvark

The Spot whiskey range is distilled at the Midleton distillery under contract with Irish Distillers, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. But Green Spot, an Irish single pot still whiskey, is an old brand first introduced around a century ago. The original Mitchell family still owns the brand, but it has had its share of ups and downs, including its discontinuation in the 1980s.

In this article, you will learn about the history of the Spot Whiskies and the Mitchell & Son company. We'll cover the current expressions and the types of casks used to mature the whiskies, as the company's signature is to mature or finish whiskies in wine casks - allowing them to stand out from the ground. These whiskies have been designed to hit the right spot.

Let's start digging.


Mitchell & Son

Mitchell & Son is among the few remaining wine merchants and whiskey bonders in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The company began in 1805 as a tea, confectionary and cake shop on Grafton Street, which later became 'Confectioner to Her Majesty'. By 1887, the company started importing fortified and still wines, which left them with empty casks perfect for maturing whiskey. The company purchased single pot whiskey from the nearby Jameson Bow Street distillery, which was only a 20-minute walk across the river. As a whiskey-bonding business, Mitchell & Son rolled their empty sherry, port and wine casks to the distillery to be filled and returned to the company's cellar warehouses underneath Fitzwilliam Lane.

Image by Marker Watch

The barrels were marked with colour paints, which indicated their expected years in the warehouses: blue for seven years, green for ten, yellow for 12, and red for 15 years. This practice inspired the name Spot Whiskey.

The whiskies were offered to the public in the 1920s (some say 1933) after years of maturing below the streets of Dublin. The brand survived the war years but didn't gain back its popularity. To make matters worse, Irish Distillers chairman Kevin McCourt stopped supplying whiskey to bonders, including the Mitchell family business, in 1976. When the decision was made, Mitchell owned a ten-year supply of whiskey maturing in its cellars, and ultimately, the last bottlings of the original Green Spot whiskies hit the market in the 1980s.

In the early 2000s, Mitchell & Son relaunched the Green Spot in collaboration with Irish Distillers Midleton distillery, this time without an age statement. The distillery was established in 1975 and is currently a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. Since then, the brand has regained its popularity as a single-pot Irish whiskey, with the original full range of spot colours made available again for the first time in almost 50 years.

The company has stayed true to its tradition of using still and fortified wine casks to mature or finish whiskies, dating back to when the Mitchells first filled their empty wine barrels in the 1880s.

old green spot whiskies

Image by The Whisky Ardvark / Whiskybase


Green Spot Pot Still Whiskey

The flagship Green Spot single pot whiskey, a non-age statement expression, was first released under the new label in 2012. Before this, the whiskey had only stated 'Irish Whiskey' on the label. It has been aged between seven and ten years in a combination of sherry casks and first-fill and refill bourbon barrels. The core range Green Spot is the only one in the range that is bottled at 40% ABV.

The Green Spot 'Wine Geese' series was launched in 2015 to celebrate Irish heritage and families migrating to other parts of the world to make wine. All the expressions in this series are bottled at 46% ABV.

The first expression in the series, Green Spot Château Léoville Barton, was launched in 2015. It has been aged in a combination of oloroso sherry and bourbon casks and finished for 12 to 24 months in ex-Bordeaux wine casks.

The second wine cask edition, Green Spot Chateau Montelena, was added to the range in 2017. This expression has been matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks and finished for 12 months in French oak Zinfandel wine casks from Napa Valley, California.

The third edition of the Wine Geese series was launched in 2023 as a limited edition. The Green Spot Quails' is finished for 16 months in Pinot Noir wine casks from Quails' Gate Winery, located on Okanagan Lake's shore in British Columbia, Canada.

Green spot Irish whiskies

Image by Mitchell & Sons / The Whisky Ardvark


Blue Spot 7-Year-Old Cask Strength

This long-awaited expression finally made its appearance on the market in 2020. The seven-year-old cask-strength expression Blue Spot was reintroduced to the Spot whiskey range for the first time since 1964. The whiskey has been aged in bourbon, sherry, and Portuguese Madeira casks.

blue spot whiskey 7 year old cask strength

Image by Mitchell & Sons / The Whisky Ardvark


Yellow Spot 12-Year-Old

Released in 2012 with the rebranding of the range, the Yellow Spot is the first of the modern age-statement whiskies released by Mitchell & Son. The whiskey has aged for no less than 12 years in a combination of American bourbon barrels, Spanish sherry butts, and Spanish Malaga casks. Note that the Malaga cask-aged whiskey in this expression has spent its full term maturing in the wine casks.

yellow spot whiskey 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Image by Mitchell & Sons / The Whisky Ardvark


Red Spot 15-Year-Old

Added to the core range in 2018, the Red Spot has been aged in a combination of American bourbon casks, Spanish sherry butts and Sicilian Marsala wine casks. The Marsala casks were filled with whiskey initially aged for five years in ex-bourbon casks.

Red Spot Irish whiskey 15 Year Old

Image by Mitchell & Sons / The Whisky Ardvark


Gold Spot Whiskey - Special Editions

The first ever Gold Spot, originally called Spot 135, was launched in 2022 as a nine-year-old expression to celebrate Mitchell & Son's 135th anniversary. The limited edition is aged in a combination of bourbon barrels, sherry butts, Bordeaux wine casks and Port pipes and bottled at 51.4%.

A 13-year-old Gold Spot The Generations Edition was released in 2023 to accompany the nine-year-old. The new expression has spent the last 16 to 17 months in Valpolicella Riciotto Italian wine casks from Secondo Marco winery. The Generations Edition is bottled at 46%.

Gold Spot Irish whiskey 9 and 13 year olds

Image by Mitchell & Sons / The Whisky Ardvark


Single Cask Expressions of Spot Whiskies

Since the resurrection of the Spot whiskies in the early 2000s, some bottlings have been released as single-cask expressions, bottled exclusively for specific markets or companies. From Mitchell and Son themselves and the now Pernod Ricard-owned The Whisky Exchange to Irish Whiskey Magazine and a few whiskey bars, these expressions have been matured in different casks and bottled at natural cask strength at various ages. These include some of the more unusual cask choices released as ten-year-olds under the Greek wine cask series in the early 2020s.

Irish spot whiskeys single cask releases green spot yellow spot

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Thank you for reading The Whisky Ardvark. Please check out some of our other informative articles listed below.


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