Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 31

Thread: Paddy Irish

  1. #11
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Joliet, IL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    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

    Todd Alström
    03-17-2005

    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.

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,055

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    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.

    Gary

  3. #13
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    144

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    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.

  4. #14
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,055

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    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).

    Gary


  5. #15
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    144

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    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.

  6. #16
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,055

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    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.

    Gary

  7. #17
    Taster
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    charleston sc
    Posts
    98

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    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

  8. #18
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    295

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    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:

    http://66.148.42.205/html/ir_irish.html

    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)).


  9. #19
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    144

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    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.

  10. #20
    Taster
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    charleston sc
    Posts
    98

    Re: Irish Whiskey and Guiness

    thanks for all of the help. I have a lot of tasting to do

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Any fans of Irish whiskey?
    By Ghoste in forum Foreign Whiskey
    Replies: 159
    Last Post: 12-14-2006, 12:31
  2. Irish Whiskey...what else!
    By Jono in forum Foreign Whiskey
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 04-26-2003, 22:04
  3. One Irish, One Bourbon, One Scotch
    By bluesbassdad in forum Foreign Whiskey
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-22-2003, 14:25

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top