Yellow Spot 12 Year Old

Difford's Guide

alc./vol: 46%

Proof: 92°

Vintage: Non-vintage

Aged: 12 years

Product of: Product of Ireland (Eire) Ireland (Eire)

Relaunched in May 2012 after 45 years of extinction, this Irish single pot still whiskey is triple distilled in copper pot stills from a mash of malted and unmalted barley. It is aged 12 years in three types of cask: American oak ex-bourbon barrels, Spanish oak sherry butts and Spanish malaga casks.

The 500-litre sherry butts are sourced from three bodegas, where they are seasoned with sherry for two years. The malaga casks are sourced from a bodega where they are seasoned with Malaga wine for two years. Incidentally, malaga is a sweet fortified wine made from Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grapes produced in the environs of the Spanish city of Málaga.

Yellow Spot Irish whiskey was originally produced by the Mitchell family who commenced trading as whisky brokers in 1805 at 10 Grafton Street, Dublin. In 1887 the company moved to nearby Kildare Street and it is around this time that the Mitchells started bonding (maturing) whiskey.

In the days before distillers bottled their own whiskey, it was normal practice for new un-aged whiskey spirit to be sold to bonders, such as Mitchell & Son. They would import sherry and wine from Spain which they would bottle and then send the empty casks to be filled with pot still whisky at Jameson’s Bow Street distillery. These casks would be left to mature at Mitchell’s old Fitzwilliam Lane bonded warehouses before being blended together.

The Yellow Spot name was derived from the Mitchell’s practice of marking their maturing casks of whiskey with a daub of coloured paint to determine the age potential of the whiskey. Blue Spot denoted an eight-year-old grade of whiskey, Green Spot a 10, Yellow Spot a 12 and Red Spot a 15. All four ages of whisky were bottled with their labels carrying a corresponding coloured spot.

In the 1960s a combination of rising costs, the demise of Irish whiskey and Jameson’s move from Bow Street led Mitchell & Son to revert back to simply producing the original Green Spot, and then to contract production of the blend to Irish Distillers, owners of the Jameson brand and the Midleton distillery, where Yellow and Green Spot whiskies are now made.

Four generations later, Mitchell & Son is still in the wine and spirits business under the stewardship of Jonathan Mitchell and his son Robert. Irish Distillers now owns the Yelllow and Green Spot brands but Mitchell & Son retain the sole rights to market the whiskey in Ireland.

Yellow Spot is bottled at 46% alc./vol. without chill filtration.

Review and Tasting

Sampled on 28/05/2012


Clear, golden yellow.


Buttery cigar box wood and vanilla custard with clove spice, peach skin, overripe banana and green tea.


A good wack of pot still spice with clove and dry spice oak tamed by vanilla custard, milk chocolate and apple fruit. Slightly sweet.


Dry with lingering black pepper spice, oaky tannins, cedarwood and another dollop of custard.

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Update information/image

Product Information

Closure: Natural cork stopper

More about Yellow Spot 12 Year Old

Produced by: Midleton Distillery
Owned by: Pernod Ricard Group