Both Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky are grain-based spirits. Many modern Irish whiskeys are lighter or more accessible in style than their Scottish counterparts, thanks to the differences that have developed in distilling techniques.
With a whiskey industry that prospered for hundreds of years, Ireland helped establish a taste for whiskey throughout the western world. Legendary producer Bushmills was issued what is now the oldest license to distill spirits in 1608, and within decades Ireland boasted more than 100 distilleries.
But wars, taxes, regulations, business consolidation and, for a time, U.S. prohibition took their toll. Today, the number of Irish distilleries is down to single digits, though each produces a number of different brands and styles. New worldwide interest in top-shelf spirits has prompted Irish whiskey-makers to explore both new and traditional styles, improve the quality of everyday blended whiskeys, and offer single-malt and small-batch versions for enthusiasts. Increased demand and great quality have inspired producers to open several new distilleries in recent years, and the Irish Whiskey Association estimates more than a dozen new distilleries are in various stages of planning around Ireland.
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A single pot still incarnation of Powers whisky, named for the now-defunct old Powers distillery. This is a very classy whiskey made using a combination of bourbon and oloroso-sherry-cask-matured spirit.
Powers Gold Label is a classic Irish whiskey, introduced in 1791 by John Power & Son. Once a single pot still whiskey, it's long since been a blend of pot still and grain whiskeys. Powers have reintroduced single pot still Irish whiskey to their range, however, with their John's Lane Release.
Powers John Lane Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey has a sharp aroma of honey and spices that gives way to notes of leather, charred wood, milk chocolate and apricots on the palate. The finish is chewy and bold, with touches of herbs, fresh citrus and honeyed oak. The whiskey was named the Irish Whiskey of the Year in 2012 by Jim Murray's Whisky Bible.
Crafted at the Midleton Distillery, Powers John Lane Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is named after the original Powers Distillery, which was situated on John's Lane in Dublin. The whiskey is made exclusively from malted and unmalted barley, which is triple distilled through pot-stills in traditional Irish fashion. Following distillation, a portion of the whiskey is matured in first fill ex-bourbon casks, while the remainder is aged in casks that were previously used to mature Oloroso sherry. After a twelve-year beautyrest, the whiskey is bottled 92 proof.
Powers is a brand of Irish whiskey. Historically a single pot still whiskey, the flagship Powers Gold Label brand was the first Irish whiskey ever to be bottled. In recent years, several single pot still variants have been relaunched under the Powers label.
During this period, when the Dublin whiskey distilleries were amongst the largest in the world, the family-run firms of John Power, along with John Jameson, William Jameson, and George Roe, (collectively known as the \"Big Four\") came to dominate the Irish distilling landscape, introducing several innovations. In 1886, John Power & Son began bottling their own whiskey, rather than following the practice customary at the time, of selling whiskey directly to merchants and bonders who would bottle it themselves. They were the first Dublin distillery to do so, and one of the first in the world. A gold label adorned each bottle and it was from these that the whiskey got the name Powers Gold Label.
When Alfred Barnard, the British historian visited John's Lane in the late 1880s, he noted the elegance and cleanliness of the buildings, and the modernity of the distillery, describing it as \"about as complete a work as it is possible to find anywhere\". At the time of his visit, the distillery was home to five pot stills, two of which with capacities of 25,000 gallons, were amongst the largest ever built. In addition, Barnard was high in his praise for Powers whiskey, noting:
In 1961, a Coffey still was installed in John's Lane Distillery, allowing the production of vodka and gin, in addition to the testing of grain whiskey for use in blended whiskey. This was a notable departure for the firm, as for many years the big Dublin distilling dynasties had shunned the use of Coffey stills, questioning if their output, grain whiskey, could even be termed whiskey. However, with many of the Irish distilleries having closed in the early 20th century in part due to their failure to embrace a change in consumer preference towards blended whiskey, Powers were instrumental in convincing the remaining Irish distilleries to reconsider their stance on blended whiskey.
In 1966, with the Irish whiskey industry still struggling following Prohibition in the United States, the Anglo-Irish Trade War and the rise of competition from Scotch whiskey, John Power & Son joined forces with the only other remaining distillers in the Irish Republic, the Cork Distilleries Company and their Dublin rivals John Jameson & Son, to form Irish Distillers. Soon after, in a bold move, Irish Distillers decided to close all of their existing distilleries, and to consolidate production at a new purpose-built facility in Midleton (the New Midleton Distillery) alongside their existing Old Midleton Distillery. The new distillery opened in 1975, and a year later, production ceased at John's Lane Distillery and began anew in Cork, with Powers Gold Label and many other Irish whiskeys reformulated from single pot stills whiskeys to blends.
In the 2012 edition of the Whisky Bible, whiskey writer Jim Murray named Power's John's Lane Release Irish Whiskey of the Year and described it as \"certainly one of the top five world whiskies of the year\".
Powers Gold is an old classic but in a stylish new bottle. It was once made in the old John's Lane Distillery in Dublin, but since the 1970s it has been made at Midleton in County Cork. Little has changed in the recipe, however. At one time it was the best-selling whiskey on the Island of Ireland, and there are still pockets around the country where it outsells Jameson. The blend is dominated by generous pot still content which is blended with a small amount of grain whiskey. All ageing is done in ex-bourbon casks which gives the whiskey a nicely rounded character.
John Power & Son was one of the historic producers of Irish whiskey. It was, along with John Jameson, William Jameson and George Roe, one of the big four Dublin distilleries that dominated the worldwide whiskey trade during the 19th century.
In 1886, Power became the first distiller to bottle their own whiskey. Powers Gold Label was among the best selling whiskeys in the world. At the time most whiskey distillers, both in Ireland and Scotland, sold their whiskey by the barrel to retailers and independent bottlers.
The late 19th century was the peak for Power as well as the rest of the Irish whiskey industry. World War I, Irish independence and the resulting Anglo-Irish trade war, Prohibition in the United States, and badly conceived Irish government policies, among others, all combined to precipitate a disastrous downtrend in global Irish whiskey sales.
In 1966, John Power & Son combined with John Jameson & Son and the Cork Distilleries Company to form Irish Distillers Ltd (IDL). Starting in 1975, all distilling operations were consolidated at a new distillery in Midleton, just outside Cork. From 1976 on, Powers whiskey has been produced at the new Midleton distillery.
A blended whiskey, like Powers Gold Label is a blend of pot still whiskey and grain whiskey, the latter produced in a continuous (column) still. A malt whiskey by comparison, requires a mash bill that is 100% malted barley. All pot still whiskies are triple distilled. The Powers Gold Label is a blend of 70% 5-7 year old pot still whiskey matured in ex-bourbon barrels and 30% grain whiskey.
On the nose the fruit notes are pronounced. There is apple, along with tropical notes of green plantain and a touch of mango and some candied citrus zest. On the palate, the whiskey is sweet, smooth with a viscous mouth coating quality and a pronounced palate weight. There are pronounced notes of apple and fresh orange along with some dried herbal flavors, some cinnamon and nutmeg and a hint of almond. The finish is long, spicy and sweet with a lingering banana/plantain note and a hint of sweet almond.
POWERS GOLD LABEL is cut from the heart of the distillate. That means more top and tail gets thrown away than any other Irish whiskey. Left to mature in selected American oak casks, this is where the spicy, bold character takes hold. A complex and honeyed taste is yours for the taking.
Irish whiskey has been bottled under the Powers label for over two centuries. This Gold Label bottling is a blend of triple distilled single pot still whiskey and grain whisky. You can taste notes such as buttery shortbread, pear and milk chocolate. (40%)
Founded by innkeeper James Power in 1791, Powers was one of the first Irish whiskey brands to bottle its whiskey, and Powers Gold Label has long been a top-selling whiskey in Ireland. Their foray into the American market is relatively recent, with Three Swallow being the latest expression sold in the US.
The other reference is to the migration of the Irish swallow, which signals the start of the distilling season in Ireland. Over the years, Powers has used the symbol of either two or three swallows to signify quality, with three indicating a better whiskey. 59ce067264