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Thread: Irish Whisky

  1. #21
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    Re: Irish Whisky

    Excellent! I'll bring my BB spiked with the Bush 16 to Chi in April.

    Gary

  2. #22
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    Re: Irish Whisky

    Yes, when I say pot still, I mean "pure pot still" in the Irish sense.

    It's funny, because I often think that Bushmills has a pure pot still flavour, even though it's malt. Auchentoshan, the triple-distilled scotch whisky, does not have this.

    I am not a huge fan of Bushmills, but they have released some very good single cask bottlings. And, one of my favourite malts ever is the Bushmills 1975 Millennium.

    Also interesting, as Bushmills was bought by Diageo and is no longer part of Irish Distillers Group, they still have a deal in place in which they swap malt for Midleton grain, so they can both deliver their old lines.

  3. #23
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    Re: Irish Whisky

    I hadn't ever known the definition of "pure pot still." Very interesting. I've always found it interesting that only the Americans mash different grains together. Everyone else makes "single grain" whiskeys, although it's possible that scottish and irish grain whiskey contains a mixture of grains, it not really mattering much since the high proof eliminates virtually all of the grain's distinctive character. Typically, grain whiskey is made from the cheapest grain available and in recent years that has been corn (maize), but I just learned recently that most have switched to wheat.

    Anyway, the fact that the mash for pure pot still is made from a combination of malted and unmalted barley makes it at least a little like a bourbon mash, although not exactly since both are the same grain. Still, since "pure pot still" has been an effort to get back to a product like the traditional Irish "moonshine," known as poteen, it suggests a precursor to the American approach.

  4. #24
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    Re: Irish Whisky

    That's absolutely right, Chuck, and in fact there is more evidence for your view, since, before Midleton was built in 1973 (thereabouts), pure pot still was made (in Dublin at the old plant) with a mash of, to be sure, malted and unmalted barley, but also including some unmalted rye, wheat and/or oats. The latter three were used in very small amount (less than 5% of the mash). After Midleton was built, they stopped adding rye, wheat or oats. Still, one can see in this regard a close connection to what emerged as U.S. practice. I assume that pure pot still was made in this way all over Ireland, including what is now the North (e.g. Bushmills originally made pure pot still too, is my understanding). Therefore, it's the old Scots-Irish influence at work (sorry, because I know you have doubts about that) because large-scale immigration from Eire did not occur until the mid-1800's and by then the convention for U.S. mashes had long been set.

    Gary

  5. #25
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    Re: Irish Whisky

    I agree Bushmills has an Irish flavour, not a Scots Lowlands flavor, even though it is triple distilled, all-malt whisky like Lowlands. Even though, that is, there are no unmalted grains used in Bushmills' pot still whisky.

    I wonder what explains this. Maybe it is characteristics of Irish barleys. That, or particular maturation conditions, or maybe the yeasts used, I don't know.

    Gary

  6. #26
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    Re: Irish Whisky

    Quote Originally Posted by brockagh View Post
    It's funny, because I often think that Bushmills has a pure pot still flavour, even though it's malt. Auchentoshan, the triple-distilled scotch whisky, does not have this.
    I agree 100% with this statement! The first time I ever had Auchantoshan 10yr I thought "is this Irish"? After having the Auchantoshan 10yr HTH with Bushmills 10yr there is a distinct differance IMHO.

    And I agree that Bushmills has some of that metallic "pot-still" character even though Bushmills doesn't make Pot-Still whisky by it's traditional definition.

  7. #27
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    Re: Irish Whisky

    I went to the Liquor Store to buy some Bourbon and was a little distressed to see that they did not have a very exciting selection. They did have a bottle I have never seen here before...the Bernheim Wheat...I must admit I was tempted...but choose the Tullamore Dew 12 instead. If I go back in a few weeks and the Bernheim is still there then I will probably pick it up just to see what all the fuss is about. I do look forward to the Tullamore 12; I will have to try it side by side with the regular Tullamore.
    Todd

  8. #28
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    Re: Irish Whisky

    Quote Originally Posted by T47 View Post
    I do look forward to the Tullamore 12; I will have to try it side by side with the regular Tullamore.
    I've heard that the 12 is very different (read - better) than the Tullamore NAS. Have tried the 'Heritage' and was really impressed! Haven't tried the 12 unfortunatly...

  9. #29

    Re: Irish Whisky

    Hi All, My first post, hope you don't mind me jumping in here. I have read through the whole thread and I was delighted that they’re plenty favorable comments in regards to Irish Whiskey. As an Irish person I love my Irish Whiskey but also very much enjoy Scotch and Bourbon. However I did notice some saying that this was a younger that etc and the fact that Midleton & Cooley produces so many different brands like say Buffalo Trace.

    I think it may have been touched upon by one or 2 posters previously but the Distilling & Maturation process in Midleton is very complex and I'll try to give as brief explanation of Irish Pot Still Whiskey as I can while touching on other factors of Irish Whiskey. I'll try not to bore you all.

    Irish Pure Pot Still Whiskey (a distillation from a single mash of Malted & unmalted Barley)

    Even though Pot Still is considered the Typical Irish Whiskey it was always only one part of the Irish Distilling Heritage of old. What people may not realise is that various types of whiskey were always produced in Ireland until the early 1900's but it all went wrong with the advent of Irish Free State, World War 1, Prohibition, excessive Taxation and unscrupulous profiteering by both Irish & Scottish whisky traders.

    We actually did have a good rep for Single Malt (Peated & Unpeated) and Blends but the Potstill make was the one that grabbed and dominated the whiskey world during the most part of the 19th century. It is hard to believe that Ireland dominated the whiskey trade then as Scotch does now by virtually the same percentages

    Anyway back to Potstill. Redbreast & Greenspot are totally different beasts as was the Jameson 15yo Pure Pot Still (and this goes for most of the other brands).

    The make up of most of the whiskies is very different. Not only are the blend ratios different but the ratio of ingredients are different for all the different usages of Pure Pot Still and the maturation is different.

    Well apologies for the long winded reply

    Redbreast uses a decent amount of sherry matured Pure Potstill however the potstill & grain whiskey used in Powers is matured solely in Bourbon barrels and the same for Midleton (+bourbon matured single malt) but the potstill would more than lightly have a different mash ratio of Malt & Unmalted barley to the powers also different cuts are taken which throws in another dimension. All very complex and confusing for all involved I'd imagine. So even though all these will use different aged whiskies it is not true to consider Greenspot a younger Redbreast.

    Redbreast 12yo compared to Greenspot (circa 8yo) has a totally different character and one could not say these have the same Distillery trait (Well that's what I think anyway). But yes you still know your drinking a potstill which is a different type of character. To me it's like differentiating between a Laphroaig and a Lagavulin OB. Maybe my heart is too close to it and I'm splitting hairs but to me there are totally different.

  10. #30

    Re: Irish Whisky

    In relation to my Likes.....

    I think to really appreciate Irish Whiskey you have to take one step up from regular NAS blends.

    Bushmills

    Bushmills White has too much sweet grain whiskey for me. Blackbush is a great value high malt content blend. However I'm not overly keen on the Single Malt 10yo or 16yo however some of the cask strength & single casks are just wonderful if you can get your hands on them. A cask strength Sherry cask can easily match a Macallan if you ask me.

    Pick of the bunch for taste and Value Blackbush
    Money no object go for a limited edition cask strength Sherry or bourbon barrel.

    Jameson

    I also actually think Jameson NAS is over rated like some. Powers is the best of the NAS Irish blends and paddy is again too grain sweet for me. Jameson 12yo is a great value Potstill blend with great balanced sherry. Jameson Gold is another hard to get Jameson but is due for general release soon. This is an interesting Jameson and comes across drier and woodier that any other offering that Midleton has on offer. Well worth a try for a different slant on Jameson but has the general traits of the 12 & 18yo. The Jameson 18yo is a great dram too and on the line of the 12yo just more refined but for 100Euro here in Ireland compared to 35Euro for the 12yo I do not think it is worth it. Midleton VR is a superb blend(no sherry) and is so smooth sweet that you could drink it all night but again for 120Euro not worth what you get for your money.


    Pure Potstill

    Redbreast 12 is a fantstic Pure Potstill with a nice balance of Sherry but the 15yo is sublime in my opnion and is richer, oilier with more lush sherry. The Greenspot is also wonderful but very different and eventhough there is sherry evident there is a slightly coppery/minty zing at the end. It is a mood thing with me to choose between Redbreast 12yo & Greenspot. Jameson Limited/Millennium 15yo Oure Pot Still is a bit too expensive & rare to have as an everyday dram. It is totally different from any of the above and as said earlier has an olded style feel to it with more understated floral taste to it.

    I love them all but if you really dig the Pot Still Charachter and like Sherry the Redbreast 15yo for me is tops .

    Cooley

    Again none of the bog standard NAS blends really stand out to me but fine for bar occasions. Tyrconnel Single malt is not bad with Cooley's trade mark pears and some apple making an obvious appearence but still a bit light for me.

    Locks 8yo is a good lightly peated single malt version of Tyrconnell but the Connemara is great either the single malt NAS, 12yo or Cask strength are all well worth a try, whicj one will depend on you budget . Ot's a smooth sweet Irish with plenty of Peat and smoke but no way as big as Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin or Coal Ila from Islay. If you want something to match those try for a Cadenhead 13yo or 14yo Cooley if you can get your hands on one that is and at circa 60% an animal but brilliant.

    There are plenty more hanging around but hopefully these are a few highlights

 

 

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