A living relic of the days of the whiskey bonders
A Documentary by Peter Mulryan
An extraordinary range of high quality refreshments
In 1805, William Mitchell purchased no.10 Grafton Street and set up a bakery and confectionary business.
In 1887, Robert Mitchell, a gentleman of not inconsiderable business acumen, expanded the business into whiskey bonding, moving shortly thereafter to new premises around the corner to No.21 Kildare Street. The family first commenced retailing the venerable Yellow Spot whiskey in 1933 at which time one could purchase "John Jameson & Son 10 Year Old Green Seal @ 180/-per dozen"
Bonders supreme and gentlemen too
When the Mitchell Family entered the whiskey bonding business in 1887, it was at the peak of the Victorian whiskey boom and pot still Irish whiskey was at its summit.
There was an insatiable demand for the consistently flavoursome Irish whiskey and the numerous Irish distilleries were at maximum capacity. As was the norm for that time in Ireland, there were hundreds of merchants involved in the bonding trade - purchasing new make whiskey spirit under bond (i.e. excise tax was not payable) and maturing it
themselves before bottling it for sale. As a result, there was an abundance of whiskeys available on the market, many carrying the same Distiller's name, and differentiated only by the name of the bonder and bottler. Due to the suspect practices of certain bonders, the quality varied significantly, and in time, distillers began to bottle their own whiskeys, thereby guaranteeing the quality of the final bottled whiskey. Thus, the practice of selling whiskey to bonders died out and with that, so did most of the bonder whiskey brands.
Family tradition of creating the whiskey of choice
A genuinely family concern, the Mitchell family involvement with fine wines and spirits started with William Mitchell decided to quit his steady employment in England and seek greater fortune on the Isle of Ireland. Soon after the journey, William purchased an exceedingly fine premises on Dublin’s Grafton Street and opened his own bakery and confectionery business.
It was from here that the wine business began even if in a slightly fortuitous fashion.
As the premises became the refreshment of choice for, amongst others, Dublin’s genteel ladies, demand unofficially grew for our “Sympathetic Tipple”; a measure of Port served in a tea cup which permited ladies to indulge in a tipple while at the same time maintaining their decorum! A crafty little number don’t you think!
Whiskey Advocate's Irish Whiskey of the Year
Wizards of Whisky (Gold)
Yellow Spot whiskey was last seen in Ireland in the mid to late 1960s. Created and sold by Mitchell & Son Wine and Spirit Merchants, Yellow Spot was always a 12 year old whiskey which was slightly sweet due to the inclusion of some single pot still spirit which was matured in Spanish Malaga wine casks. Inspired by the original, Yellow Spot is the rare taste of a bonder’s style Pot Still Irish whiskey. Maturation in Bourbon barrels, Sherry butts and Malaga casks creates a superbly complex whiskey with fresh and sweet top notes.
Mown hay & cracked black pepper. Red bell peppers, nutmeg, clove oil & green tea. Sweet honey & peaches from the Malaga casks.
Honey sweetness with pot still spices. Flavours of fresh coffee, creamy milk chocolate & Crème Brûlée. Notes of red apples & toasted oak.
Sophisticated & complex. Sweetness throughout, with a mix of red grape & dry barley upon exit.