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Irish Distillers brings back Red Spot whiskey

Jameson maker Irish Distillers has reintroduced Red Spot to its range of single pot still Irish whiskeys after a 50-year hiatus.

Red Spot has returned to the Spot Whiskeys range

Red Spot, which was discontinued in the mid-1960s, rejoins Green Spot and Yellow Spot in Irish Distillers’ Spot Whiskeys range.

It has been created using an old recipe handed down by the Mitchell & Son family of wine merchants, who created the original Spot Whiskeys in the early 1900s. The team at Midleton Distillery, where the Spot Whiskeys are produced, “worked closely” with the Mitchell family to bring Red Spot back to market.

The reimagined Red Spot is a triple-distilled, single pot still Irish whiskey that has been matured for a minimum of 15 years in a combination of casks pre-seasoned with Bourbon, oloroso Sherry and Marsala fortified wine.

Five-year-old Bourbon cask-matured single pot still Irish whiskey was put into the Marsala wine casks from Italy in 2004. This liquid was then blended with ex-Bourbon cask and ex-Sherry cask whiskeys.

Kevin O’Gorman, master of maturation at Midleton Distillery, said the distillery “looks forward to one day completing the full Spot Whiskeys range”, suggesting the last discontinued expression – Blue Spot – is also set to return.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with the Mitchell family on the reimagination of Red Spot and bring a piece of Dublin’s rich whiskey history back to life,” said O’Gorman.

“It has been 50 years since the world last saw Red Spot and whiskey enthusiasts have long awaited its return – this is a bold whiskey that packs a punch, has incredibly rich flavours and an extra-long infusion of fruits and spices on the finish that provides a truly unique and colourful ending.”

Bonding history

The Mitchell family commenced trading in Dublin in 1805, selling fine wine and confectionary before moving into whiskey bonding in 1887. The firm would send empty wine and fortified wine casks to the local Jameson Distillery on Bow Street to be filled with new single pot still spirit.

The Spot Whiskeys range derives its name from the Mitchell’s practice of marking their maturing casks of whiskey with a spot of coloured paint to determine the age potential of the liquid.

Jonathan Mitchell, managing director at Mitchell & Son, said: “It has been fascinating to work with Kevin O’Gorman and the craftsmen at Midleton Distillery to recreate Red Spot and a real journey into the rich history of our family and its role in Dublin’s whiskey bonding era.

“Pouring over old recipe books, ledgers and archive material has provided us with the tools to tell the story of Red Spot in a new, yet authentic way – and at almost 100 years since it was crafted for the first time, by my great-grandfather Robert Mitchell, this is a whiskey homecoming for the ages. Indeed, everyone at Mitchell & Son is thrilled to see the red daub adorning a bottle once more.”

Red Spot is bottled at 46% abv and has an RRP of €115 (US$130). The whiskey is available in Ireland from this month and will roll out to the US, UK, France and global travel retail from January 2019.

In October, Irish Distillers – part of Pernod Ricard – announced a €150 million (US$173.7m) expansion of its Midleton Distillery, maturation site and bottling plant.

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