The Irish whiskey tradition is every bit as proud – and sometimes convoluted – as their Scottish neighbors to the east. Distilled at the New Middleton Distillery for Irish Distillers, an arm of the Pernod Recard, and distributed by Mitchell & Son of Dublin, keeping track of the Green Spot from barley to bottle can be an adventure in and of itself. Regardless, Green Spot is a bonded whisky and one of the few remaining pot still whiskies left in Ireland, deriving its name from the practice of marking casks of different ages with a spot of colored paint to tell them apart. At one time a 10 year old whiskey, the current iteration is made up of whiskies aged 7-10 years. The whiskey has been steadily popular over the past century and more. An older sibling, the Yellow Spot, is aged in Malaga wine casks.
OOLA was founded in 2010 by owner and master distiller Kirby Kallas-Lewis in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. They remain small but have won several awards for their various gins and vodkas. They also produce whiskey and their Whiskey Discourse series is designed to combine different whiskies to see how they interact under different influences. Other entries experiment with smoke and cask finishes. OOLA Three Shores is included in our All-Canada World Whisky Day by reason that it is made up of one part OOLA Waitsburg Bourbon, one part unknown scotch from the Highland region, and one part Canadian rye. So part of it’s still Canadian! They are sourced separately but aged together for at least a year in American Oak.
Pike Creek is a relatively newer Canadian spirit that first saw light of day several years ago when the spirit was finished in Port casks and released by Corby Distillers along with Lot 40. After a couple of years, reportedly due to sourcing issues, the Port casks were replaced with rum barrels. This attention to finishing is in part due to their master blender, Dr. Don Livermore, whose PhD is appropriately enough in wood science. This focus on the wood gives the distillery another element to make their whisky stand out. Pike Creek has been labeled by some reviewers as a “high-end” whisky, and maybe that is true when compared to regular Canadian blends, but we sure hope this attention to details becomes the new normal.