Irish Distillers collaborates with Chateau Montelena

Irish Distillers has collaborated with famed Napa Valley wine estate Chateau Montelena on a single pot still Irish whiskey finished in old Zinfandel barrels.

Named Green Spot Chateau Montelena, Irish Distillers claims this is the first single pot still Irish whiskey to be finished in French oak barrels that once housed Zinfandel.

Matured until the combination of wine, whiskey and oak “has reached the perfect balance”, this is the second in the Wine Geese series following the launch of Green Spot Château Léoville Barton in 2015.

The Montelena whiskey was initially matured in American Bourbon and Sherry casks and then finished for a year in French oak Zinfandel barrels.

According to its makers, this rare cask finish leads to “pomegranate, cranberry and maraschino cherry on the nose, a dry note to the silky mouthfeel and the finish combines classic long pot still spice flavours with a delicate wine influence”.

The whiskey was made at the Midleton Distillery by Kevin O’Gorman, head of maturation and long-serving head blender, Billy Leighton.

“Green Spot Chateau Montelena is the celebration of three famous Irish institutions – Midleton Distillery, Mitchell and Son and Chateau Montelena – working in harmony to craft a new and innovative Irish whiskey that will appeal to whiskey and wine drinkers alike,” said O’Gorman.

“We found that the black-skinned Zinfandel grapes are full of ripe, spicy berry flavours, which imparts a distinctive and refined fruitiness to the wine and also the casks in which they matured.

“The result is a rich pot still whiskey with classic Green Spot red apples, pears, vanilla and liquorice complemented by the dry and fruity Zinfandel wine,” he added.

Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena added: “It has been a pleasure to work with team at Midleton Distillery on this exciting project. We were brought together by a shared heritage and common respect for excellence in craft that has been wholly realised in Green Spot Chateau Montelena.”

Bottled at 46% ABV, Green Spot Chateau Montelena will be available in limited quantities in the USA, Canada and Ireland.

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