A Thirsty Thursday with Knappogue Castle Whiskey!

(Editor’s Note: Y’all know I love me a good drink. While its rare I can enjoy whiskey due to gluten concerns, I knew we’d be in good hands when I asked Melanie from LA Explorer to head out for a tasting with Knappogue Castle. Read on to hear what she thought! xo, Mary)

I love a good cocktail, especially when it’s made with whiskey. There’s just something about that rich, smokey flavor that enhances a drink perfectly. So, naturally I was super excited when Mary asked me to attend a Knappogue Castle Single Malt Irish Whiskey tasting on her behalf. The tasting was held at The Normandie Club, a hip bar in the heart of Koreatown, and celebrated the West Coast debut of the famed whiskey.named after a 15th century castle in Western Ireland.

We started with tastings of the three signature varieties, 12 year old, 14 year old and 16 year old. Though separated by a mere two years each the flavors were vastly different. The 12 year old was soft and subtle with a slightly fruity flavor while the 14 year old was quite strong and spicy. And the 16 year old? Absolute perfection. Silky smooth with just the slightest hint of spice it went down like smoked honey.

After the tastings it was time to move onto cocktails and I enjoyed one shaken and one stirred.

The shaken cocktail featured the 12 year whiskey with lemon, orgeat, a splash of cognac and egg white to give it a nice froth. It was a sweet tart concoction that had just a hint of spice.

The stirred cocktail featured the 16 year old whiskey with a splash of cognac and homemade butterscotch syrup. The result was a slightly smoky drink with just a hint of sweetness that ably enhanced the pure flavor of the whiskey. It was incredibly good and I would gladly order it again.

The tasting served as my introduction to Knappogue Castle Single Malt Irish Whiskey and you can definitely count me as a new fan. This high end whiskey, made with pure Irish spring water and malted barley, is a welcome addition to the West Coast and I can’t wait to see it featured in more cocktails.

(Melanie Kaminski is the Editor of the blog, LA Explorer, where you’ll learn of her explorations around Southern California and beyond. Visit her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.)

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