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The Mitchell & Son wine merchants started their business in 1805. At first, they set up a bakery and confectionery on Dublin’s Grafton Street. But with the rise of demand for Irish Whiskey in the Victorian Whiskey boom era, they soon entered the Whiskey bonding business.
What they did is purchase newly made Whiskey under bond to mature and bottle it themselves, before selling it under their brand. By doing so, they evaded paying the excise tax.
By the early 1900s, they were selling more than 100 casks of their special recipe out of their storefront each year. They would keep track of the different versions by dabbing a colored spot onto the outside of the casks and pour bottles fresh for customers in the store.
Usually, the Whiskey was matured for five years in casks by the distiller and later blended, then matured by the merchant for at least five more years, depending on the "Spot" brand name. The name comes from the practice of marking the different ages of casks with a different color.
This simple act of marking barrels with spots of colored paint would not only signify their age potential but would become the namesake for this coveted Whiskey, bonded and bottled by the Mitchells – a 7th generation family business.