Knappogue Castle has been buying select casks of whiskey, first from Tullamore and later from Bushmills, and aging them at its facility in County Clare between Galway and Limerick since the late 1960s. The castle itself dates from the 15th century and was purchased by Mark Edwin Andrews (who served as Assistant Secretary of the US Navy under President Harry Truman) and his wife (a renowned architect) in 1966. His son Mark Andrews III eventually took over the whiskey company and began exporting to the United States.
The Knappogue Castle 14 Year Old Single Malt Twinwood is aged in ex-bourbon barrels for twelve years then finished in Oloroso sherry casks for another two years before bottling. At 92 proof it's a little stronger than the 12- and 16-year old varieties (each 90 proof). Knappogue Castle 14 has strong fruit-forward notes of peach, apricot and apple, along with a noticeable aroma of vanilla that is customary from the bourbon barrels. Much of the richness comes from finishing in the Oloroso sherry casks, a real point of distinction from the 12-year old variety (along with an extra two years of aging, of course). This single malt is smooth and rich rather than spicy, and its finish is very pleasant without being overbearing. It also goes very well with tri-tip steak (pictured). Knappogue Castle 14 Year Old Single Malt Twinwood retails for $60-75, although it can frequently be found on sale for $50-60.
Knappogue Castle 14 Year Old Single Malt Twinwood: 93 POINTS
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