Knappogue Castle 1951 is one of the oldest and rarest commercially available Irish Whiskeys on Earth. Distilled in 1951 and aged in sherry casks for 36 years, the Whiskey has an almost legendary status.
Knappogue Castle 1951 is a pure pot still Irish whiskey made at the now defunct Tullamore distillery, which permanently closed in 1954. Somehow a variety of the casks were gotten a hold of by various individuals, including Mark Edwin Andrews. Andrews had returned to Ireland from America to live in Knappogue Castle in County Clare. He was able to source a number of casks from various vintages and after 36 years in casks, he released the 1951 commercially in 1987.
Since then, the legend and status of the Knappogue Castle 1951 has only grown and it’s still regarded as one of the finer Whiskeys ever made. But from what we understand, it boasts an impressive display of flavor profiles. The Whisky is rich with notes of soft honey, ripe greengages, clean barley, and oats. The distillery describes it as “about as complex and beguiling as Irish whiskey gets.”
The 1951 comes from Knappogue Castle, which produces a range of other Irish Whiskeys as well. The three expressions, 12, 14, and 16, have all received gold medals at some point and are rated in the 90s by various publications.
Andrews purchased the 15th century castle that is the namesake of the brand back in 1966. At the time, the structure was in ruins, but he and his wife restored the building in an effort to return it to its original state of glory. Around the same time, Andrews began bing casks of Whiskey from around Ireland. Many years later, his son, Mark Andrews III, would brough Knappogue 1951 to the United States and other international markets.