St. Patrick’s Day may have come and gone this year, but that’s no reason to ignore the Irish whiskey portion of your local liquor store. Especially now that Green Spot is finally on U.S. shelves.
Green Spot, a pot-stilled whiskey, has long been one of Ireland’s best-selling spirits, a product of Mitchell & Sons and part of an overall line of “spotted” whiskeys, including Yellow, Red and Blue. (The spot logo comes from the old Irish method of giving livestock different dabs of paint so farmers could tell the difference.)
While Yellow Spot is still being produced (although it’s notoriously hard to find), Blue and Red have been discontinued. Green Spot has survived, and not by accident. It contains 7- to 10-year-old whiskey and is mentioned by aficionados in the same breath as Redbreast (which, if you’ve had it, is fine company indeed).
Before this year, if you wanted a bottle, you’d have to go to Ireland—a somewhat steep price to pay. But Pernod Ricard, which distributes Green Spot and Redbreast, has brought the wonderful elixir to our shores. And it’s available in Las Vegas—although the Total Wine shop on Stephanie has sold out, my sources tell me you can still grab a bottle at the Summerlin location.
I snagged two bottles from my California connection, and after making my way through half a bottle, I can give you my thoughts. First off, the nose is one you can enjoy forever with fruits aplenty, a direct result of Green Spot’s sherry-aged component. I smelled apple the strongest.
Taste-wise, this is one of the smoothest, subtlest whiskeys I’ve ever had. Not only is it full of flavor, there’s no almost no alcohol burn whatsoever. The first word that came to mind in my first sip was “butter,” not for the smoothness, but for the almost buttery, luscious taste.
I wouldn’t call the taste complex by any means, but then again some whiskeys are meant to be everyday go-tos you simply enjoy without muss or fuss. And if your goal is just a good sipping whiskey that makes you anticipate every sip, you’re not going to do much better than Green Spot.
Green Spot is available for about $50 a bottle, but this is one of those products where price is immaterial. It’s a long-sought-after product. There are limited supplies. If you’re a whiskey fan and you stumble on a bottle, you’re going to buy it. But I’m here to tell you: You won’t sweat the price once you take that first sip. Welcome to America, Green Spot. Hope you’ll stay awhile.