View Full Version : Paddy Irish
I was lucky enough to be in Ireland recently and tasted five different Irish whiskeys. The one that surprised me was Paddy. Michael Jackson does not like it at all. Since it seemed to be available in most pubs where I was in 4 towns I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. It has a nice flowery nose and taste and goes down very smooth. As I understand it Paddy is a brand that is not exported. If you are in Ireland and like Irish whiskey I suggest it. It will cost you about the same, or sometimes less, than the cost of a pint of Irish beer.
Greg, did you try draught Guinness stout there? Some people tell me Guinness in Ireland is completely different from draught Guinness here, others tell me it is the same. I had a pint once at Shannon airport (as close as I got to Dublin) and it seemed the same as here but maybe that was not a good test.
Although Paddy is not available in stores here (that I've ever found, anyway), lots of serious Irish bars seem to have it, in Chicago anyway.
And, in a bizarre turn of events, they have Paddy at the Duty Free shop at O'Hare. This means that, although it is not sold here, someone shipped it all the way here to sell to people flying overseas. ?!?!?!?
Of course Gary, if you listen to what they say there, Guinness isn't Guinness if it crosses over water.
Thanks -- the information about export came from an Irish liquor shop and clearly is not accurate. At least I found Paddy in Irish pubs in the Netherlands as well.
Though I wrote about whiskey to be on topic you asked about beer.
I was first told by a high level product development person at Diagio that Guiness would not be the same in Ireland. While we had not tasted U.S. Guiness in quite awhile I can say that it in NO way matched my memory of U.S. Guiness. However, having just tried Guiness on the European continent last night -- I'd say what is available on the continent is either the same or very close.
As an example, my wife truly loves most stouts while I like some but not others. In the U.S. she prefers Murphy's to Guiness. In Ireland we tried them back-to-back and she clearly prefers the Guiness.
A dram of Paddy with Guiness went down very smoothly with no ill effects, by the way http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
Re Guinness - it usually tastes better in Ireland because it doesn't rest in the pipes for very long as it is being served all the time.
Also, I believe that there might be different gasses used to give it its head in different countries, although I am not sure if this is true.
They don't tell you this, but in Ireland they pour about 75 percent of it and leave it rest for a minute or two before topping it up and serving it. This is really now just a tradition as it no longers affects the pint. It was originally done because the head and the body came from different taps. One was cooler and one was warmer.
Re Paddy - I personally don't like it, but it is very popular in Ireland. It is mainly grain and is best served over ice or with a mixer, I think.
Do you know how Guinness draught was served before the nitro system was invented? I have heard different things about this. One person told me there was very little draught, it was mostly bottled beer. Other people say the beer was cask-conditioned (like real ale) but do not seem clear whether hand pumps were used. Some people also note the service from two casks, apparently one contained flat beer (to form the 3/4 of the pint first poured), the second cask contained more lively beer to top it with the head. There must be people in Ireland who recall how Guinness was served then but I've never got the real lowdown on that. I wonder if traditions varied in different parts of the Republic and Ulster, maybe in some areas they used handpumps, in some two casks or only bottles, etc. I still enjoy Guinness and as you say when the turnover is high it seems to taste best.
Yes, one contained flatter beer and the other contained more lively beer. One was cooler than the other.
It was generally delivered to pubs in casks which were bottled and corked by the publican.
Dry Irish stout like Guinness was invented when the british started taxing malt, so unmalted barley was added to the mix to bring down the cost. This is very similar to traditional pure pot still Irish whiskey.
Thanks, but how did they dispense from the casks then, by thumb taps?
It sounds like the publicans sold stout in two forms: in bottles they put up themselves and in draft in pint glasses.
From which cask did they do the bottling? The flat one presumably else they would encounter a foaming problem.
I wonder if draught Guinness today bears any relation in taste to the one drawn from the high and low casks..
The double cask draw sounds like the idea of porter doesn't it (idea of drawing from multiple casks)..?
Speaking of which, how did Guinness porter differ from stout service?
Here is a recent article I found at BeerAdvocate.com. It seems people have been complaining about Guinness Draught in the US having changed recently, so the webmasters took to some pubs in Boston to check it out...
Tasting reveals Guinness ain't what it used to be
Rumblings that Guinness Draught (a so-called light Irish Dry Stout at 4.2% abv) has changed have been brought to our attention from beer drinkers across the US over the past month. To investigate we sent a crack tasting team to hit The Druid, The Burren, and The Sligo Pub – popular watering holes in the Cambridge/Somerville, MA area.
The team, comprised of myself, Todd Alström (BeerAdvocate.com), and Dann Paquette (celebrity brewer), had our first pint of Guinness at The Druid. At first glance, the pint looked familiar, with its creamy nitro-poured head. However, a closer look revealed a very bright dark ruby color – unlike previous pints of Guinness, which were opaque, near black – allowing no light penetration. The aroma was a bit floral and sweet, as was the flavor. Where was the trademark dry and roasty character? Where was the trademark black opaque body that Guinness has always prided themselves on? Has Guinness Draught been dumbed down even further?
To be sure, we hit The Burren in Davis Square, known for its Irish patrons and flowing Guinness. Two Guinness were ordered, same ruby color. Dann asked the bartender to look at the pints. She did and exclaimed that she was surprised to see that they were not black, and agreed that it’s different. This proved, that at the very least, we were partially sane.
We took our pints to the corner of the bar and decided to ask two gentlemen what they thought of their pints of Guinness. Both were true Irish, long time Guinness drinkers, and absolutely shocked when they examined their pints. They too agreed that Guinness is no longer the same pint it used to be, added that it’s crap in the US, and one of the gentlemen actually forfeited his pint to the bar.
Next, The Sligo Pub. Same thing. Not black, and a much sweeter beer – not unlike other popular nitro-poured ales. In fact, it’s very much like a nitrofied red ale, and the roasty character has been replaced with a generic sweetness for the masses. Satisfied that Guinness had changed, we left our half-full pints at the bar.
It’s also been noted that the Guinness brewery at St. James Gate in Dublin, Ireland creates what they call a Guinness “essence,” which is shipped to contract brewers throughout the world. Sources claim this essence is then blended with a clear beer base (like the Smirnoff Ice base perhaps?) and packaged. And though Guinness is adamant that the Guinness Draught kegs coming into the US are from Ireland, the thought of shipping hundreds of thousands of kegs to the US each year is ridiculous. To boot, keg labels merely state “product of Ireland” vs. “brewed in Ireland” – a result of the essence being manufactured in Ireland, and the rest put together elsewhere?
For the past two years BeerAdvocate.com has tried to contact Diageo, the massive parent company behind Guinness, to confirm or deny all of this, but all of our efforts have gone unanswered. We’ve been forwarded emails from angry Guinness reps in the US, but they’ve been merely robotic denials with no substance and overly defensive tones – as if we struck a truth nerve or something.
If Diageo / Guinness would like to go the record about the production of Guinness, we’d be open to conducting an interview with an actual brewer from St. James Gate. Until that time … we’ll be drinking real Stouts.
Link to the article. (http://www.beeradvocate.com/news/stories_read/f-449075/)
Most interesting, I haven't noticed this here (Toronto). I wonder what this is all about? It would surprise me they would change an age-old hallowed recipe.
I have looked this up and found this quote "Casks of freshly brewed porter would be packed onto barges adn would reach maturity on the voyage, redy to be drumk on draught or bottled by the company's agents." It doesn't really answer the question, though.
Some older people don't like it on draught or with the widget and order it in the old pint bottles. These are harder and harder to get in pubs, though.
A pint of plain and a ball of malt is still a common enough order in pubs in Ireland. The ball of malt is usually a Powers, though, rather than a Paddy. These things are regional, of course.
It is also true about the concentrate being made in Ireland and added to locally made lager brews around the world. This was the case when I was doing some work in the James Gate plant in Dublin.
Thanks for these insights. Probably some of the older hands at Guinness would know the details of stout and porter service in the 1950's. It is interesting how, once an era passes (in this no less than other matters) it can be difficult to reconstruct it.
Thank you for your evidently authentic reference to the expression "ball of malt". Some time ago on this board we discussed the origin of the American expression highball, and I hasarded the thought that it simply meant a ball of malt drunk with water, i.e., tall in a glass. No need for fanciful explanations about metaphors from railroad terminology (hoisting a ball high on a pole to signal a fast train). The term is simply an old Celtic one that the Scots-Irish and plain Irish must have brought to America, either that or they brought just ball of malt and adapted it to local circumstance. Anyway about stout and porter the good thing is there any many excellent examples of these types of beer available today. Most are made by craft breweries, e.g. Porterhouse in Dublin and London whihc I assume you know, its Wrassler stout is based on an early 20th century recipe from a long-disappeared brewery. I had a Guinness last night and was inspecting it for colour and taste - I must say it did not strike me as reddish or sweeter than normal but on the other hand it seemed less good than normal, with little flavour. I wonder if the company may be blending some Kilkenny/Smithwicks into it. Either that or perhaps the extract is being used for the export brews although I don't think so, Labatt made the extract version for years here for bottled sales (still does) and it doesn't taste different to the normal Guinness profile. I used to enjoy bottled Guinness in the U.K. when it was unfiltered but I believe all that is over and done with, even in the Republic. The only Guinness I still really like is Foreign Extra Stout, the 7.5% strong version that is closest (from what I have read) to 19th century bottled Guinness. It is widely available in the Caribbean and other areas of former colonial influence and you can get it now in England in shops that specialise in bottled beer or carry a wider than normal selection. As for Irish whiskey, I enjoy Powers but the best Irish to my taste is Green Spot. It is hard to find and even when you do batches seem variable, the bottles currently being brought to Canada seem oakier and harsher than bottles I bought in London some years ago, but when at the perfect pitch this is the best Irish whiskey I know (and one of the best in the world). I like the regular Jameson and some others too (e.g., Connemara even though it is really more a Scottish-type whisky).
Yes, the Foreign Extra Stout is not widely available in Ireland. It contains a blend of "fresh" and "stale" stout. I have not tried it in a long time.
The Porter House does some excellent stout, espeically their oyster stout, which actually uses oysters in the brew.
Beamish also does a nice stout. In fact, originally, Beamish and Crawford was much bigger than Guinness.
Green Spot is excellent. They are releasing two new limited edition Green Spots, but they are being a bit greedy. There's a 10 yr old for EUR 250 and a 12 yr old for EUR 700. Crazy prices.
If you every get the chance to taste some old pot stills, like the Midleton 25 or the Knappogue Castle 1951, you should take it. They are truely superb with many bourbon notes. These are also very expensive, though.
Many thanks, one of my goals is to taste a pre-1970's Irish pot still. Actually the bar at New York New York, the hotel in Las Vegas, has a bottle of Knappogue 1951 but when I was last there conditions were not right for me to taste it, i.e., it was late and my palate was tired. Randy Blank, one of our esteemed members, has it on his agenda to taste this in the future since Vegas is an occasional destination for Texas-based Randy and his wife; we await your comments eagerly, Randy.
Interesting about the premier Green Spots coming out but at the same time I have some concern about this and not just on price. I think Green Spot traduces its nature when too old. I liked it when it was younger than even the present, regular version: it had a "juicyfruit gum" taste, fresh and fruity without oaky aftertaste, so good the drams just went down like that, like a good real ale. However I hold open the possibility of a superior, older product, e.g., 12 year old Connemara is very good although I still feel the Cask Strength version of Conny is the best, it has the purest taste to my mind.
I was at a neighbors house last night and he offered me a drink. not being antisocial I said yes,but as he did not have any bourbon, and as I am not a great fan of scotch, I had a Bushmills Single Malt. It was very very good. I got home and looked up irish whiskey, and find it a bit confusing. Apparantly some Irish is pot stilled, and some is column stilled. It is made out of grain,malted grain, or light grain whiskey. It is aged in bourbon barrels, and sherry casks and port casks. it can be distilled twice or three times. So I guess my question is what are the standards for Irish Whiskey, and where does one start. Bourbon is so much simpler
So I guess my question is what are the standards for Irish Whiskey, and where does one start.
Traditionally, Irish whisky differed from Scotch whisky in the use of unmalted barley in its mashbill. It is the presence of unmalted barley in the mash that traditionally gave Irish whisky its distinctive flavor.
Irish whisky has many analogies to Scotch, including:
a) most common Irish whiskies are blends of pot-still and column still whisky, like most common Scotches are blends of (pot-still) malt whisky and (column-still) grain whisky, and
b) the pot still whisky is favored by connoiseurs (or at least whisky snobs) and all-pot-still whiskys (like single malt Scotches) command a premium.
However, I think serious whisky fans tend to take blended Irish whisky more seriously than blended Scotch whisky. Popular Irish blends like Powers and Jameson seem to get more respect than, say, J&B or Johnnie Walker Red.
Some Irish distilleries make whisky from a mashbill of 100% malted barley. I don't know whether this has always been done to a greater or lesser extent in Ireland, or if this is a development of recent decades to cash in on the growing popularity of single malt Scotch. In any event, Irish malts have much in common with the lighter-bodied Scotch malts, especially Lowland malts, although there is one Irish malt (Connemara) that is made with peated malt and is smoky like an Islay. So, if you "are not a great fan of Scotch" but enjoyed Bushmill's malt whisky, perhaps you should re-evaluate Scotch---at least try some light single malts, like Auchentoshan.
FYI, under U.S. law,
<font color="green">"Irish whisky" is whisky which is a distinctive product of Ireland, manufactured either in the Republic of Ireland or in Northern Ireland, in compliance with their laws regulating the manufacture of Irish whisky for home consumption: Provided,That if such product is a mixture of whiskies, such mixture is "blended Irish whisky" (Irish whisky--a blend).</font>
Query whether, under this definition, Irish malts should be labeled "Irish whisky", because malt whisky can hardly be called a "distinctive product of Ireland".
I'm not sure what you mean by, "Where to start?", but one good place is with this article:
One fun way to go at the project would be to pick one of the three Irish distilleries and try its range of products. Another equally fun way would be to try a product of the same type from each distillery (i.e., Powers or Jameson (from Midleton), Kilbeggan (from Cooley) and Bushmill's white label (from Bushmill's)).
Just to add a little. Irish whiskey is basically whiskey that is made and matured in Ireland. Irisih whiskey includes single grain, blends, double distilled single malts and triple distilled single malt (both peated and unpeated), and pure pot stil whiskey (malted and unmlated barley used in mash).
Bushmills has always only made malt whiskey, as far as I know, in pot stills. They get their grain from blending from Midleton. There were also more single malt distillers in the past, like Colraine. Cooley make double distilled malt and column stilled grain.
About 15 years ago, there were very very few varieties of Irish whiskey available. I think Bushmills only produced about three different kinds - Blackbush, Bushmills standard, and Bushmills 10 yr old. There was a resurgence of interest in Irish whiskey, though, and now there are more and more varieites emerging. Bushmills now produces 16 yr old, 21 yr old and many single cask offerings.
Just picking up on you point about Irish vs Scotch blends - Irish blends are always a combination of spirits from a maximum of two distilleries, while scotch blends could be from 10+ distilleries. Also, Irish blends usually contain only a few different whiskeys; for example, Blackbush is just a blend of two whiskeys. Finally, scotch distillers more often use worn out 4th and 5th fill casks in their blends, whereas Irish distillers never use casks over 3 fills.
Most Irish blends from Irish Distillers also contain pure pot still whiskey, in the traditional Irish sence.
Of course, there are many many high quality Scotch blends that don't fall into these categories.
Anyway, of the non-blended Irish, there are only two pure pot still whiskeys on general release - Redbreast and Greenspot. These are the real traditional Irish whiskeys. These whiskeys tend to taste unusual to those who have never tried it, but in my experience, they grow and grow and grow on you.
The standards are Blackbush, Jameson, Powers, Tullamore Dew, Paddy, Redbreast and Greenspot. I am not a great fan of the Paddy or the Tullamore. All these standards are very inexpensive.
thanks for all of the help. I have a lot of tasting to do
By the way Mike - I think the best Irish whiskeys generally available are Powers, Powers 12 yr old, Jameson 12 yrs old, Redbreast, Greenspot...
Those not as widely available are Jameson 15 pure pot still, Midleton 25, Midleton 1973, Knappogue Castle 1951...
much appreicated. last night eating out, i had a blended bushmill, and a blended jameson. that is all the place had. I am having fun trying these out. I have always had bourbon and this is an interesting experience for me. thanks asgain.Will also try some lowland scotch.
I enjoy a glass of Redbreast myself every now and again. I can't say why exactly, but I much prefer the Irish whiskey over Scotch.
I like Irish, American/bourbon and Scotch. I don't know much about Canadian or Japanese, but would love to try them.
My favorate is probably Irish. Generally, it is a thing of real beauty.
I used to dislike bourbon, mainly because I drank the wrong ones, but now I really really enjoy it, while still being very inexperienced.
Some other details:
Currently, there are three operating distilleries in Ireland; Bushmills is in Northern Ireland, while Midleton and Cooley are in the Irish Republic.
Irish Distillers (now part of Pernod Ricard) owns Bushmills and Midleton, while Cooley is independent. For a while, they had a complete monopoly on Irish whiskey production, until Cooley came along.
I've had three Irish whiskeys: Black Bush (Bushmills), Redbreast (Midleton), and Connemara (Cooley). All of them were excellent pours. While BB is a blended whiskey, I can definitely taste some of the pot-still tang that I found in Redbreast. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif
Connemara is a single malt, and, unusual for Irish whiskey, it is made from peated malt. If you like peaty Scotches (e.g. Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin), I'm sure you'll enjoy Connemara. The peat isn't as intense as the Islay Scotches, but it's still quite evident. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif
I have a bottle of Connemara cask strength (60%) waiting to be opened; the standard bottling (I think it's 46%, but I'm not sure now) is what I've had in the past.
I also get a pot still taste off the Blackbush, even though it does not contain any pure pot still whiskey. Maybe it's the triple distillation that does this, but I don't detect it in scotch triple distilled malts, such as the Rosebank.
Blackbush contains 80% Bushmills malt and 20% Midleton grain. It's much better than their 10 year old single malt, in my opinion.
I recently had the Connemara cask strength. I got it in a mini on the way to New York in duty free. It was really excellent. I want more...
The key to Black Bush, in addition to its high percentage of malt whisky, is its sherry cask finish.
Currently, there are three operating distilleries in Ireland;
There was actually a fourth one that got off the ground in the summer of 2003, in Coola Mills just outside of historic Kilbeggan in central Ireland.
Alas, recent developments doesn´t seem to bode well for the future. The site which held their homepage has been suspended and apparently, the person in charge of operations presently doesn´t reply to letters or e-mail.
It would be said if the project would turn out to be stillborn as their most promising ambition was to produce a true pot-still whiskey. Don´t get me wrong, I love Green spot, Redbreast and Jameson 15 yo but they´re all from the same distillery and it would have been interesting indeed to get to compare them with a product of different origin.
Any one else who have heard something that´s in a more positive vein about this distillery?
Yes, I noticed the website disappeared too. I wonder what happened.
There was also a plan to open a distillery in Donegal. Rionnan Walsh was the orgainser. It was to be called Clooghill, or something similar. I have heard nothing of this recently either.
Look up www.celticmalts.com (http://www.celticmalts.com)
Speaking of Paddy, I recently located a tax-stamped bottle. Imported by "Austin Nichols" of all companies....hmmmmm....
Speaking of tax stamp Irish, I have a bottle of Dumphy's in my basement on display. It is a really nice bottle but I don't like their whiskey too much. This is one of my very few 'collectible' bottles.
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