This whiskey is a mouthful in more ways than one.
We call Knappogue Castle Twin Wood Single Malt Irish Whiskey simply Knappogue Twin Wood (pronounced nah-POGUE, to rhyme with Irish "brogue"). Sure, Knappogue sells more than one whiskey, but as they're all Irish and all single malt we can safely leave those terms out.
The Knappogue Castle brand, named for a fifteenth century castle in County Clare, is not nearly as old as its name suggests. The property was bought and restored by the distillery's founder, Mark Edwin Andrews, as recently as the 1960s. It was there that he amassed a rare collection of pure pot still whiskey produced at the B. Daly Distillery in County Offaly, which used to produce Tullamore Dew. The founder's son, Mark Andrews III, bottled this whiskey after it had aged for 36 years exclusively in sherry casks, calling it simply Knappogue 1951.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of this rare and still available bottling, Andrews created the Knappogue Twin Wood, which is also aged in sherry casks. The name Twin Wood derives from the fact that it first aged for fifteen years and three months in bourbon casks before maturing in sherry casks for the final nine months, then bottled in 2010. As a result, we found the golden liquid to be multilayered and ultra-smooth.
Overall, the flavor is not peaty like a Scotch whiskey, and the malted barley shines through pleasantly. The balanced woods show up on the palate, then linger in the aftertaste, which exhibits not the slightest hint of a burn. Save it for special occasions, as only 1,900 bottles were produced. We recommend sipping it neat or on ice.