Single malts are the royalty of whiskeys, and Knappogue Castle adds an Irish single malt to this exclusive club. Our single malt vintages are distilled in copper pot stills using only malted barley, aged in oak casks, then bottled according to the year of distillation. To preserve the integrity of our vintages, a limited number of the finest casks are selected.
Famously smooth and flavorful, Knappogue Castle Single Malt is made with pure Irish spring water and malted barley. "Malted" means that the barley has been germinated and then had its growth halted by heat. Famous for producing exceptionally smooth whiskey, malted barley is then dried in ovens without the use of peat. This process enables the crisp, clean flavor of malted barley to come through without smoky overtones.
The "wash" is distilled one batch at a time in traditional onion-shaped copper pot stills. This centuries-old tradition produces whiskeys of incomparable quality. The first output of distillation is 40 proof. These "low wines" are distilled a second time to increase strength and purity with the center cut of the second distillation used to make single malt.
The "heads" and "tails" are removed to enhance the quality of the spirit. The center cut is then distilled a third and final time, ensuring unparalleled smoothness. After the final distillation process, the spirit is colorless and about 130 proof.
The spirit is then placed in oak casks, stored at a relatively consistent temperature, and aged until the right balance of flavors and mellow appeal is achieved. Each year, a portion of the alcohol known as the "angel's share" evaporates, decreasing the cask strength. This delicate distillation process, along with the moist and temperate Irish climate, yields the distinctive flavor of the Irish single malt.
An expert "noser" samples and selects casks of the finest quality and distinct flavor profile to bear the Knappogue Castle label. The whiskey is then adjusted to a standard 80 proof with pure Irish water. Knappogue is only lightly chill filtered, and, unlike many whiskeys, no coloring is added. The whiskey chosen as Knappogue Castle is then bottled on a vintage basis.
Charcoal sketches of distilling process by acclaimed Irish artist Raymond Piper commissioned by Mark Edwin Andrews. Courtesy of the Andrews Family.