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Posts from the ‘Whiskey’ Category


Review: Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey

Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey is a brand that has been around since 1886 when John Power and Son Distillery began bottling this whiskey with a gold label.  Until then casks of whiskey were sold to merchants and bonders who would bottle the whiskey.  The Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey produced today is a blend of triple distilled pot still whiskey and grain whiskey.  Both are matured in American oak casks, non chill filtered, blended, and bottled at 86.4 proof.  The previous version was chill filtered and weighed in at 80 proof.  To see my thoughts on Powers Gold Label 80 Proof, check out yesterdays review.      Read more »


Review: Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey 80 Proof

Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey 80 proof is no longer produced for the US market.  It appears it is still available for sale in Ireland.  In December 2013 Powers Gold Label was rebranded and reformulated with new packaging and an increased 86.4 proof.  This was accomplished by eliminating the use of chill filtration.  This was the second reformulation of the brand which started life as a single pot still whiskey but was reinvented as a blend of pot still whiskey and grain whiskey many years ago.  I was lucky enough to have an unopened bottle of the 80 proof to compare with the new 86.4 proof Powers Gold Label.  Look for that review tomorrow.  James Power founded his distillery in 1791 at John Lane near the western gate of Dublin City.  By 1821 his son John changed the name to John Power and Son. In 1886 Powers began bottling their whiskey with a gold Label on the bottle, becoming the first Dublin distiller to bottle their own whiskey.  Soon this became known as Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey.  In 1975 distillation moved to Midleton Ireland with the merger of John Power and Son, John Jameson and Son, and Cork Distilleries Company.  Powers Gold Label is made from a blend of triple distilled pot still and grain whiskey.  Both are aged in American oak casks, chill filtered, blending, and bottling at 80 proof.   Read more »


Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey is made with pure Irish spring water and malted barley.  It is triple distilled from a single barley malt in copper pot stills and aged for a minimum of 12 years in bourbon oak casks.  The brand is named after the Knappogue Castle that was originally built in 1467.  Knappogue translates to, Hill of the kiss.  In 1966 Mark Edwin Andrews purchased the castle which at the time was in ruins.  He and his wife, a prominent architect embarked on an ambitious task of restoring the structure to it’s original state of glory and grandeur.  At that time Mark also began buying casks of fine pot still whiskey from top distilleries in Ireland.  The casks were further aged and bottled under the Knappogue Castle label.  In 2003 Castle Brands acquired the brand and in 2010 they launched Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey. Read more »


Review: Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey

Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey is named for the town and distillery where the whiskey was first produced, and the initials of Daniel E. Williams, who worked his way up from stable boy of the distillery to become the owner.  The Original Tullamore Distillery was opened in 1829 by Michael Molloy in the heart of the town of Tullamore.  The Tullamore Distillery closed its doors in the 1950’s and the brand was sold to John Power and Son in the 1960’s.  With the merger of John Power and Son, John Jameson and Son, and Cork Distilleries, production was moved to the New Midleton Distillery.  In 2010 the Tullamore brand was sold to William Grant and Sons.  After 60 years, production returned to the town of Tullamore with the opening of the brand new Tullamore Distillery.  Tullamore DEW is produced with all three types of Irish Whiskey, single grain, single malt, and pot still.  The whiskey is triple distilled and aged in three different types of oak barrels.  Traditional refill, ex bourbon, and ex sherry.  While whiskey produced at this distillery matures, Tullamore DEW continues to be made with single grain and pot-still whiskey distilled at the New Midleton Distillery, and single malt whiskey distilled by Bushmill.     Read more »


Review: Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is a non age statement pot still Irish whiskey comprised of Pot Still whiskeys aged between 7 and 10 years.  The whiskey has matured in a combination of new bourbon barrels, refill bourbon casks, and sherry casks.  Green Spot was originally created by the Mitchell family who in 1805 commenced trading in the heart of Dublin as purveyors of confectionary, wines, and fortified wines.  In 1887 the family expanded into the whiskey bonding business.  They sent empty wine, sherry, and port casks via horse and cart to the local Jameson Distillery.  These casks were filled with whiskey and returned to the Mitchells cellar warehouse where the whiskey matured for many years.  The Mitchells sold a range of whiskey under the Spot brand name.  This name originated from the practice of marking casks of different ages with a spot of colored paint.  There was Blue Spot, Red Spot, Yellow Spot, and their most popular Green Spot.  A limited number of bottles are produced each year, and until recently Green Spot was only available in Ireland.  Read more »


Review: Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley which is sourced predominantly from farms within the Munster region surrounding the distillery.  The spirit is triple distilled in copper pot stills and then aged a minimum of 12 years in a combination of once used bourbon and once used Oloroso Sherry barrels.  The Master Blender at Midleton Distillery then blends the whiskey before bottling at 80 proof.  At it’s peak single pot still Irish Whiskey accounted for 80% of the whiskey produced world wide.  Today the Midelton Distillery is the only distillery producing single pot still Irish Whiskey.  Redbreast takes its name from the Robin Redbreast which sings continuously through the dark Irish winters.  It was originally produced by Gilbey’s with whiskey distilled by the John Jameson Distillery.  Gilbeys stopped production in 1985 and sold the brand to Irish Distillers the following year.  In 1991 Redbreast returned and it is one of several brands of single pot still whiskey crafted at the New Midleton Distillery.  Some of the others include Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Midelton, and Power.  Redbreast is the worlds best selling single pot still whiskey.  So what is single pot still Irish Whiskey?  There are basically four types of Irish Whiskey.  Single Malt, a whiskey made from malted barley at a single distillery.  Single Grain, a whiskey made from a single grain and distillery.  Blended, a whiskey made from a combination of malt and grain not necessarily from the same distillery.  Single Pot Still, a whiskey made from a blend of malted and unmalted barley in a copper pot still. Read more »


Review: Slane Irish Whiskey

Slane Irish Whiskey was released in 2017.  The Slane Distillery is housed within the 250 year old horse stables on the Slane Castle estate.  This small village is located on the north bank of the river Boyne.  A $50 million project launched in 2015 by Brown- Forman to construct their own distillery continues.  Currently both the malt and grain whiskey used to produce Slane Irish whiskey are sourced from an undisclosed distillery.  The whiskey is aged in virgin, and seasoned casks raised by hand at the Brown-Forman cooperages, and Oloroso sherry casks from Jerez Spain.  Brown-Forman produces Jack Daniels and Woodford Reserve, so I have no doubt most of these seasoned first refill barrels once aged those fine whiskeys.      Read more »


Review: Concannon Irish Whiskey

Concannon Irish Whiskey was released in 2012.  It is a blended Irish whiskey made from soft pure spring water from the mountainside of Slieve na gCloc, and locally harvested spring malted barley.  The grain whiskey portion is made from corn.  Concannon Irish whiskey is distilled in small long necked copper pot stills.  The spirit is first aged for 4 years in bourbon barrels and later aged for four months in barrels previously used to age Concannon Petite Sirah wine.  Fourth generation Vintner John Concannon created Concannon Irish whiskey in collaboration with Cooley Distillers, as a special tribute to his great grandfather James Concannon.  James sailed from Ireland to America in 1865 when he was 18.  In 1874 James and his wife traveled from Maine and settled in the Livermore Valley of California where he founded Concannon Winery in 1883.  The bottle I am reviewing was distilled at the Cooley Distillery.  Since Beam acquired the distillery and renamed it Kilbeggan Distillery, they reduced the number of brands they produce Irish whiskey for.  This resulted in several brands death, since there were so few distilleries producing Irish Whiskey.  Concannan Irish Whiskey has survived but I don’t know the current source of their Irish whiskey. Read more »


Review: West Cork Bourbon Cask Blended Irish Whiskey

West Cork Bourbon Cask Blended Irish Whiskey is made from a blend of 75% Grain Irish Whiskey and 25% Malt Irish Whiskey that are both aged in first fill bourbon casks.  The West Cork Distillery was founded in 2003 by three close friends Denis McCarthy, Ger McCarthy, and John O’Connell in Union Hall West Cork Ireland.  The whiskey is triple distilled in copper pot stills.  The stills are only half filled in order to allow maximum copper-spirit interaction.  Most of the mashing fermentation and distillation equipment was handcrafted on site by the team at West Cork Distillers. Read more »


Review: Paddy Irish Whiskey

Paddy Irish Whiskey was first produced in 1779.  It was originally made by Cork Distilleries and named Cork Distilling Company Old Irish Whiskey.  In 1882 the Cork Distilleries hired Paddy Flaherty as a salesman.  Paddy visited the pubs of Cork buying whiskey for customers.  He had such a presence at these pubs the whiskey became better known as Paddy’s Irish Whiskey.  In 1912 the distillery officially changed the name of it’s whiskey to Paddys Irish Whiskey.  In 1966 Irish Distillers was formed when a merger took place between John Powers and Son, John Jameson and Son, and Cork Distilleries.  In 1988 Irish Distillers joined Pernod Richard.  The Paddys brand was acquired in May 2016 by Sazerac, the makers of Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Corazon Tequila.  Sazerac also acquired the rights to Michael Collins Irish Whiskey in 2015, and plans on bringing that brand back to life.  For now Paddys will still be produced at Irish Distillers in Midelton Ireland.  Paddys is currently the worlds fourth best selling Irish Whiskey, no doubt helped with its decision in February 2010 to start shipping to the US.  Paddy Irish Whiskey is a blended whiskey that is triple distilled and aged up to 7 years in oak barrels.  Read more »