Indulgent, opulent, silky and rich, this is Irish whiskey nearing perfection. In direct comparison to its younger sibling (Green Spot), the twelve-year-old expression has more wood influence, more spices, more "dark" aromatics, and more depth and intensity. Conversely, it boasts less "bright", youthful fruitiness. Green Spot's signature tropical fruit notes have receded into the background and given way to surprising levels of mellow maturity. Actually, if I were to have this blind, I'd deem this older than its stated twelve years of age - it noses more like a fifteen to sixteen-year-old whiskey.
I can't for the life of me make out a specific Malaga influence here, apart perhaps from a winey note in the far distance, which I would've attributed to regular sherry casks if I hadn't known any different.
All in all, this is an obvious and delightful upgrade of Midleton's seven to eight-year-old modern classic, the Green Spot, and is well worth the premium it requires to purchase a bottle, IF (and that's a big "if") you cherish dark, woody, cask-heavy flavors over spirit-driven florals and fruitiness. I for one, definitely prefer this older version. No flaws whatsoever. In one word: immaculate.