Today, Pernod Ricard USA announced Blue Spot was returning to American shores. The reimagined cask strength Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is re-joining the Spots whiskey range for the first time since 1960.
Irish Distillers has once again joined forces with the Mitchell family to unveil its reimagined Blue Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, paying homage to the bonding tradition from which it was born. With the most recent existing record of Blue Spot dating back to 1964, the launch signals the end of a 57-year wait among the global whiskey community for the re-introduction of Blue Spot, reuniting the historic Spot Family for the first time in over half a century.
“This is a historic moment for the Spots brand and a pivotal time to offer new innovations to consumers looking to expand their at-home bars,” says Mwanza Lumumba, Brand Director, High End Irish Whiskeys at Pernod Ricard USA. “Blue Spot’s positioning painted with a different stroke aligns with the need to offer reimagined expressions that exude individuality and tell a richer story within the Irish Whiskey category.”
The story of the legendary Spot Irish whiskey range began in the early 1900s when celebrated wine and spirits merchants, Mitchell & Son, began maturing whiskey from the local Jameson Distillery in Bow Street in their underground cellars in Dublin City Centre. Blue Spot takes its name from the blue daubs or ‘spots’ of paint that the Mitchells used to mark the barrels to signify that the whiskey in those casks were to be matured for a minimum of seven years.
Building on the foundation of bourbon and sherry casks, the reimagined Blue Spot includes whiskey aged in Madeira casks, inspired by the historical inventory of Mitchell & Son and typical of the Spot style of whiskey. The Midleton masters, in collaboration with the Mitchell family, were influenced by archive documents dating back to 1935 showing Madeira wine casks imported to Ireland which, once emptied, would have been used to mature whiskey.
The team at Irish Distillers’ Midleton Distillery have been sourcing Madeira wine seasoned casks for over 20 years. These casks are carefully handcrafted in a cooperage in the north of Portugal and then sent to the island of Madeira. Once seasoned, the casks are shipped back to Midleton and filled with pot still distillate and left to mature, allowing the Madeira wine influence to impart wonderful notes of stewed apples, hazelnuts and sweet spices. These Madeira casks, along with ex-Bourbon and ex-sherry casks are then hand selected and married together to achieve the perfect flavor balance. Bottled at cask strength, the result is a luxuriously rich and characterful whiskey.
Kevin O’Gorman, Master Distiller at Irish Distillers, notes “It is with absolute pleasure that we reintroduce Blue Spot and bring a piece of Dublin’s rich whiskey history back to life. Over the years I have had the honor of collaborating with the Mitchell family, who for generations have celebrated the influence of fine wines on Irish whiskey, as we have reintroduced expressions to the beloved Spot range. I am incredibly proud to celebrate with Jonathan and Robert Mitchell on this historic day as Blue Spot takes its place alongside Green, Yellow and Red Spot, reuniting the whole family once again.”
Jonathan Mitchell, Managing Director at Mitchell & Son, continues: “It’s been a privilege to shed light on the history of whiskey bonding in Ireland and the role our family had to play in it as we relaunch Blue Spot. The inclusion of whiskey aged in Madeira casks adds flavors that would have been originally introduced into Irish whiskey by the Mitchell family. As the full Spot range comes back to life, we find ourselves bursting with pride for the role our family played in the creation of this treasured range of whiskeys.”
Blue Spot has an ABV of 58.7% and SRP of $85 and is now available in select markets nationwide.