William Mitchell began his enterprise as a baker and confectioner in Dublin’s Grafton Street in 1805. In 1887, the business expanded into the wine and spirit trade, purchasing distillate from whiskey distilleries to mature in their own disgorged wine casks as was common practice at the time.
A spotted past
Mitchell & Son (as the company had become) obtained distillate from Jameson’s Bow Street Distillery, maturing half in casks that had held Oloroso and dark sherries, and half in casks that had held lighter Fino sherries. After five years, the whiskey was married together for an additional five years in neutral oak. The result was originally bottled as ‘Pat Whiskey’ but was soon changed to ‘John Jameson & Co. 10 Year Old Green Seal’, eventually becoming known as ‘Green Spot’. The name was derived from Mitchell’s practice of marking casks of different ages with different coloured paint spots. The range included Blue Spot (7-year-old), Yellow Spot (12-year-old) and Red Spot (15-year-old), although Green Spot remained the most popular expression and the only variant to remain in continuous production to date.
Supply & demand
In 1971, Bow Street Distillery was closed by owners Irish Distillers, alongside its other Dublin sites, and production consolidated into Midleton Distillery in County Cork. This change forced Green Spot to be altered for the first time in its history, but the brand survived the tumult with demand for Green Spot unwavering. Today’s Green Spot is no longer a 10-year-old expression but made with single pot still whiskey aged between seven and ten years matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks. In 2012, Yellow Spot 12 Year Old was reintroduced to the range following a fifty year absence after the discovery of an original bottle at a Dublin museum. Like Green Spot, the 12-year-old expression is matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks, with the unusual addition of Malaga wine casks. In 2018, another classic was reintroduced to the Spot Whiskeys series, with the release of Red Spot, aged at least 15 years in bourbon, sherry and Marsala wine casks.
Mitchell & Son at Auction
Find rare, vintage and limited edition expressions from Oban in The Whisky Shop Auctions
View all lots