Knappogue Castle 1951 36 years is a Pure Pot Still (now called Single Pot Still) whiskey that was distilled in 1951 at the original Tullamore Distillery. We’ve covered a lot of whiskeys from dead Scotch and Bourbon distilleries here on TWJ, but this is the first time a dead Irish distillery has been covered and to say that I was excited to try this would be a gross understatement. I’ve been a fan of Irish Whiskey for well over a decade and the opportunity to try something historical from the Emerald Isle is a big fat check on the old whiskey bucket list.
The original Tullamore distillery was founded in 1829 in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland by Michael Molloy. In 1953 Powers, a huge whiskey brand at the time, bought Tullamore and closed the distillery. This means the whiskey in this bottle was made a scant 2 years before the distillery’s closure. After closing Tullamore the brand was made at the Midleton distillery.
In 2010 William Grant & Sons bought the brand and began building a brand new distillery in Tullamore as a way to truly bring the brand back home. The distillery opened in Sept 2014 so Sept 2017 is the earliest we will be seeing whiskey come out out of that distillery; at this time 100% of the whiskey under this label is still coming from Midleton.
Enough history, now on with the Knappogue Castle 1951 36 years review!
Knappogue Castle 1951 36 years Info
Region: Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland
Distiller: Tullamore Distillery (original distillery)
Mashbill: 100% Barley (malted & unmalted)
Cask: Refill Sherry
Age: 36 years (’51 – ’87)
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Price: N/A – Auction, Specialty Shop or Private Sale
Knappogue Castle 1951 36 years Review
Caramel, spice, malt, musty, copper, spiced candy oranges and a “charred candy”-like aroma. A touch of copper and sulfur add some interesting notes and dimension.
Dried fruit, caramel, touch sherry, dark earthy flavors and and a nutty ashy quality. It’s not wildly complex on the palate, but it’s nice and balanced.
Long sherry fueled finish paired with ash, nuts, malt and oak.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Nicely balanced, medium body and a round full feel.
Knappogue Castle 1951 36 years is a tasty style of Irish Whiskey that’s been lost to history with the closing of Tullamore in 1953, but whose single pot still style has continued on through modern times. Bottled from a single ex-sherry cask this whiskey carries a nice dense dark aroma, but when it comes to the palate and finish things slow down a bit and lighten up a bit.
While tasty, the palate and finish of the Knappogue Castle 1951 36 years are a bit limited and light and don’t continue the richness that was setup by the aroma. Regardless it’s still a good whiskey and something I’d be happy to come home to a glass of any day of the week.
SCORE: 87-89/100 (B+, not consumed at home)
Knappogue Castle 1951 36 Years Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 87
- Palate - 89
- Finish - 89
- Balance, Body & Feel - 88
Knappogue Castle 1951 36 years is a tasty piece of Irish Whiskey history. Well worth a taste if you can get it.