Whiskey of the Month:

Power's (Gold Label)

A blend as whiskey of the month? Why not!

Power's was once the "other" Dublin distillery, John Jameson's being the more famous. They looked at each other across the Liffey and for nearly two centuries did their best to do the other one out of busisness. These were the days when Dublin whiskey was the drink of Kings and anything from beyond the Pale was just that.

Power's used to sell their pure pot-still whiskey by the crock to be bottled by individual retailers. The bottles had to display white labels on which was the name Powers and the name of the bottler. When some shop keepers started diluting their expensive Power's with other whiskies, the distillery reacted by bottling at source. These distillery bottlings were distinguised by a classy gold label - thus was born Powers Gold Label.

In 1966 Powers joined their old rivals Jameson's and the Cork Distilling Company to form Irish Distillery. Soon afterwards the Dublin distillery fell silent as all Irish whiskey made its way South to the new purpose build whiskey factory in Midleton.

To-day Powers is a blend - although Irish Distillers don't like this term. Their spin is that the Scottish blend as they source their whiskies from all over the place. Irish Distillers make all their own stuff, so its a "vatting". This is of course a load of old bollocks. Blending is the art of mixing grain whiskey with either/and pot-still or single malt. All the Pernod Ricard spin doctors are doing is trying to talk up their game.

Power's then is a blend, though a very classy one. A huge percentage (nearly 70% in fact) of the whiskey in the bottle is pot-still. What you get then is a superb value for money drink which costs no more than the dreadful Jameson.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Brittle and spicy with a splash of vanilla. Warm and inviting, so far so good.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant and a touch oily.

Taste: Wow, this is great. There is that huge pot-still kick, but wrapped in cotton wool. The grain doesn't really make itself felt, it rather tones down some of the pot-still's high notes. Honey and heather ride in on the second wave...

Finish: Spicy. Triggers off taste buds for a hell of a long time.

Comments: If you are in one of those all too common Irish bars, with ten types of lager and only a couple of whiskies, then the sight of the gold label will lift your heart. Ireland's best selling whiskey and not without a reason. If you have to buy only the one bottle of Irish ever, than this should be it. You'll also have change from 15 to buy a couple of packets of Tayto crisps.

See also Blends

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