Knappogue Castle, producer of a super-premium line of single malt Irish whiskies, announces the release of its 1994 Master Distiller’s Private Selection single malt Irish whiskey. From among the many oak casks aging the single malt of the 1994 vintage only a few casks met the master distiller’s criteria for this Collector’s Edition, just enough to make 1,100 bottles. Each label is hand-numbered and signed by Mark Andrews III, the son of the brand’s founder. Distilled in February of 1994, this exclusive whiskey was bottled last month (December, 2009), just shy of 16 years, and exhibits a mellow, complex taste and medium, pleasing intensity.
This bottling of the Master Distiller’s Private Selection carries on an Andrews family tradition. Each year Mark Edwin Andrews, the first modern-day owner of the 15th century Knappogue Castle in County Clare, Ireland, would ask the master distiller of the neighboring B. Daly Distillery to select the most flavorful and distinct barrels of Irish whiskey and to bottle that vintage once it had reached the ideal flavor and depth of character. These prized bottles became his private stock to share only with family, friends and close colleagues. The last of Mr. Andrews’ whiskey, Knappogue Castle 1951, is arguably the oldest and rarest Irish whiskey in the world and is still available for purchase by special order.
Although strictly allocated, the 1994 Knappogue Master Distiller Private Selection will be available at retailers and on-premise nationwide starting in mid-February. It retails for a suggested price of $99.00.
Mark Andrews’ son, Mark Andrews III, brought Knappogue 1951 and his father’s legacy to the market. He has built Knappogue (pronounced NAH’ pogue – like brogue) into a global brand. Other vintage-dated Knappogue Castle whiskies include 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995. However, the 1994 Master Distiller’s Private Selection has more age, greater complexity, and more finesse, hence its designation as a Collector’s Edition.
Knappogue Castle whiskies are imported by Castle Brands Inc., an emerging developer and international marketer of premium branded spirits within five categories of the spirits industry: vodka, rum, whiskey, liqueurs and tequila. Based in New York City, it is one of the few small public companies in the global beverage alcohol industry. ###