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Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

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Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:18 am

Just out of curiosity and following on from a brief discussion I had recently with Aidan and others.

If someone in Scotland was to make whisky in the style of Irish pure pot still (that is in a pot still but using a mix of barley and unmalted barley) what would it be called? Not the brand name but the designation.

It's not a single malt, a vatted (or blended) malt and its not a blend.

I suppose the obvious answer is a single grain but how would you differentiate it from the existing column distilled single grains. Could you call it a "pot still single grain". I doubt if the expression pure pot still has any status in Scotland.

Would the SWA have a problem with the method or the name? It's hardly traditional, but whisky was once made like this at some lowland distilleries

Anyway I'm not saying anyone would or even should do this. It's more of a mental exercise.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby JCSkinner » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:41 am

Very good question.
As a follow up, should the Irish industry seek DOC status from Europe for the phrase 'pure pot still' to prevent distillers in other countries from piggybacking?
I'm not thinking the Scotch industry would have any interest in seeking to pass a whisky off as faux-Irish, but distillers elsewhere could, conceivably.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:48 am

I think they may have made a whisky using malted and unmalted barley in the lowlands of scotland, many years ago. I thought I read this somewhere.

I always wonder why Bushmills don't have a go at a pure pot still. Maybe their stills are not suited to it, or they have an agreement with IDL. Sure it's worth a go.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:02 pm

I don't think there would be a case for DOC status for "Pure Pot Still" since Irish Whiskey already has the perfectly serviceable "Irish" label and since pot still refers to a method of manufacture rather than to a particular place.

I don't see why a distiller in Scotland couldn't make Pure Pot Still and market it as such, provided there were no intention to mislead consumers (e.g. by plastering the label with shamrocks).

Technically, of course, the stills used for single malts are pot stills anyway, regardless of the make up of the mash.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:05 pm

Aidan, you're right I think about the lowland distilleries.

As I said, I can't in a million years imagine a Scottish distiller make PPS - not with their generally superior attitude to Irish whiskey (maybe I'm generalising here).

It's just a question of what it might be called.

By the way if you look up pure pot still on the La Maison du Whisky site you get Eddu as well as Redbreast and Green Spot
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:09 pm

IainB wrote:As I said, I can't in a million years imagine a Scottish distiller make PPS - not with their generally superior attitude to Irish whiskey (maybe I'm generalising here).

Stranger things have happened. We already have experiments with historic types of barley - why not with historic mashbills? And Auchentoshan seems happy with their "Irish" method of triple distillation but still calling their product Scotch. All it would take was an enterprising independent distiller somewhere in the south west of Scotland - especially one that didn't mind a bit of controversy...
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby DavidH » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:11 pm

Aidan wrote:I always wonder why Bushmills don't have a go at a pure pot still. Maybe their stills are not suited to it, or they have an agreement with IDL. Sure it's worth a go.

It might be a way of saving money on input costs too. But I also imagine it's far easier to market "single malt". And once you are doing that on the higher end it's probably more efficient to use malt in your blends too (the more malt you mature the more likely you are to get the good stuff for 16/21yo and the less fine stuff you can allocate to blends).

I've been chewing on the question but I don't have a good suggestion. The definition of "single grain" includes the method of manufacture so including that phrase would be confusing. How about "single batch", since it's made in a batch process?
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:20 pm

Nick Brown wrote:
IainB wrote:As I said, I can't in a million years imagine a Scottish distiller make PPS - not with their generally superior attitude to Irish whiskey (maybe I'm generalising here).

Stranger things have happened. We already have experiments with historic types of barley - why not with historic mashbills? And Auchentoshan seems happy with their "Irish" method of triple distillation but still calling their product Scotch. All it would take was an enterprising independent distiller somewhere in the south west of Scotland - especially one that didn't mind a bit of controversy...


Yes, maybe someone from an Irish background. I was actually thinking about that. But how much would it cost a small distiller to experiment with such things? Maybe too much, I'm not sure.

Of course, they would have someone who knows or is learning about the subject close at hand, due to John McD's association with the distillery.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby JCSkinner » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:25 pm

Given the reputation of Scotch worldwide and in Scotland, it would seem pointless except as an experiment in curiosity for a Scottish distiller to seek to create (and especially market) an 'Irish' style pot still whiskey.
But I wouldn't rule out the possibility of distilleries (especially new ones needing money/publicity in non-traditional whiskey producing nations) seeking to do something along these lines.
It was this kind of (paranoid?) thought that made me ask about DOC in the first place.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:32 pm

It's a possibility but they're probably more likely to try and pass something off as Scottish - expecially a single malt - and maybe use a Scottish name.

That said, I suppose we don't have an equivalent of the SWA to try and protect the "Irish Whiskey" brand.

I think if someone were to try and portray something as Irish they probably wouldn't bother with the PPS designation as I reckon the term would mean nothing to most people anyway.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby JCSkinner » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:42 pm

There has been talk in the past of some sort of umbrella representation of Irish whiskey as a subsidiary within the SWA behemoth.
I dunno where that went or if it was deemed unnecessary.
I concur that copycat whiskies have thus far always sought to rip off Scotch. And the SWA have done a pretty good job in stamping on that.
I can't see Arran or anyone else seeking to produce an 'Irish whiskey' outside of Ireland. I can just about conceive of someone like Arran having a go at PPS, if it were financially viable for them to try it.
I don't know why Bushmills don't make one, except it's not been in their tradition to make one. I would love a Bush with that spicier, oilier pot still character.
There frankly aren't enough PPS whiskeys to my mind, and I'm really pleased that the Porterhouse project is going to focus on this style.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:16 pm

I agree with you on the lack of PPS. I'd heard at some stage that Cooley were considering doing one at some stage in Kilbeggan but whether it'll actually happen or not I couldn't begin to guess.

I'd say Bushmills is so established as a Malt distillery it's ahrd to imagine them givign it a go especially as I believe they're flat out at the moment trying to increase stocks. I imagine if they were to do anything new they'd be more likely to build a column still to produce their own grain whiskey.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:53 pm

JCSkinner wrote:Given the reputation of Scotch worldwide and in Scotland, it would seem pointless except as an experiment in curiosity for a Scottish distiller to seek to create (and especially market) an 'Irish' style pot still whiskey.
But I wouldn't rule out the possibility of distilleries (especially new ones needing money/publicity in non-traditional whiskey producing nations) seeking to do something along these lines.
It was this kind of (paranoid?) thought that made me ask about DOC in the first place.


Bruichladdich have experimented with just about everything else, so I don't see why this would not, in theory, be a runner.

And it would still be scotch whiskey. Sure their blends sell much more than their single malts anyway, do they not?
That said, I believe the Hazelburn is not selling as well as they hoped in Springbank.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:54 pm

Not that it's ever going to happen....
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:57 pm

Maybe next time we visit Bowmore or Springbank maltings we can sneak a few sacks of unmalted barley into the mill!

Anyway, it would still of course be scotch, but the designations seem to be quite strict nowdays. So what would it be called?
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby JCSkinner » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:02 pm

IainB wrote:I agree with you on the lack of PPS. I'd heard at some stage that Cooley were considering doing one at some stage in Kilbeggan but whether it'll actually happen or not I couldn't begin to guess.

I'd say Bushmills is so established as a Malt distillery it's ahrd to imagine them givign it a go especially as I believe they're flat out at the moment trying to increase stocks. I imagine if they were to do anything new they'd be more likely to build a column still to produce their own grain whiskey.


I agree. But a Bush PPS will remain a fantasy of mine!
As for Cooley, what about this:

Image

As far as I know, it's not what some sticklers would consider proper PPS.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:14 pm

Aidan wrote:Not that it's ever going to happen....

I really don't see why it shouldn't. It's not something I had thought of at all - IainB should be commended on his creativity - but I would have thought it could be a quirky, niche product that might sell for a premium if done right. The field is clear right now, and I would have thought it was right up Bladnoch or Bruichladdich's alley. Do they read these forums?
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:17 pm

IainB wrote:Maybe next time we visit Bowmore or Springbank maltings we can sneak a few sacks of unmalted barley into the mill!

Anyway, it would still of course be scotch, but the designations seem to be quite strict nowdays. So what would it be called?


It would be as good a place as any for me to put my massive stocks of barley.

What I meant by saying it would still be Scotch is that just the word "Scotch" adds some credibility, no matter how they make it. Scotch's reputation for making whisky does not just lie with single malts. With some people, Scotch doesn't even have to be good to be great.

I'm not sure what I'm talking about.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:18 pm

JCSkinner wrote:
IainB wrote:I agree with you on the lack of PPS. I'd heard at some stage that Cooley were considering doing one at some stage in Kilbeggan but whether it'll actually happen or not I couldn't begin to guess.

I'd say Bushmills is so established as a Malt distillery it's ahrd to imagine them givign it a go especially as I believe they're flat out at the moment trying to increase stocks. I imagine if they were to do anything new they'd be more likely to build a column still to produce their own grain whiskey.


I agree. But a Bush PPS will remain a fantasy of mine!
As for Cooley, what about this:

Image

As far as I know, it's not what some sticklers would consider proper PPS.


It used to say the same thing on Tyrconnell at one stage - in any event it's a single malt. I did hear an interview with J Teeling where he said they were considering making a whiskey at Kilbeggan from a mix of malted and unmalted barley. This was just after they started distilling again. At the moment though it's a triple distilled malt.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:22 pm

Nick Brown wrote:
Aidan wrote:Not that it's ever going to happen....

I really don't see why it shouldn't. It's not something I had thought of at all - IainB should be commended on his creativity - but I would have thought it could be a quirky, niche product that might sell for a premium if done right. The field is clear right now, and I would have thought it was right up Bladnoch or Bruichladdich's alley. Do they read these forums?


I'd be delighted if it did happen. They might produce something great, but at more-favourable prices.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:22 pm

Aidan wrote:It would be as good a place as any for me to put my massive stocks of barley.

What I meant by saying it would still be Scotch is that just the word "Scotch" adds some credibility, no matter how they make it. Scotch's reputation for making whisky does not just lie with single malts. With some people, Scotch doesn't even have to be good to be great.

I'm not sure what I'm talking about.


It's ok John, I get what you mean. And you can't fool me with false modesty. I still blame you, by the way, for that telescope I bought in Bunnahabhainn. Or was that Ken? Now I'm confused.

I knew you were hoarding barley somewhere. No wonder there's a shortage. I suppose you put out the rumour of bad weather being the cause.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:25 pm

Nick Brown wrote:
Aidan wrote:Not that it's ever going to happen....

I really don't see why it shouldn't. It's not something I had thought of at all - IainB should be commended on his creativity - but I would have thought it could be a quirky, niche product that might sell for a premium if done right. The field is clear right now, and I would have thought it was right up Bladnoch or Bruichladdich's alley. Do they read these forums?


I would have thought Bruichladdich would be the one alright. Though I thought I heard the distillery manager at Springbank, (is Frank Hardy his name?), say he'd worked at Midleton as well as Bushmills.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:25 pm

I have one of those telescopes too. I think it was Ken's "Ahoy there" or "There's she blows" that clinched the deal.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Aidan » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:27 pm

IainB wrote:
Nick Brown wrote:
Aidan wrote:Not that it's ever going to happen....

I really don't see why it shouldn't. It's not something I had thought of at all - IainB should be commended on his creativity - but I would have thought it could be a quirky, niche product that might sell for a premium if done right. The field is clear right now, and I would have thought it was right up Bladnoch or Bruichladdich's alley. Do they read these forums?


I would have thought Bruichladdich would be the one alright. Though I thought I heard the distillery manager at Springbank, (is Frank Hardy his name?), say he'd worked at Midleton as well as Bushmills.


Yeah, he did work at Midleton as well as Bushmills. We might have heard more about it too if he didn't have to spend his time explaining why the peat out in the rain was wet, while the peat indoors was dry.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:29 pm

Indeed. Maybe it doesn't rain in Norway.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:42 pm

Aidan wrote:We might have heard more about it too if he didn't have to spend his time explaining why the peat out in the rain was wet, while the peat indoors was dry.

And can you remember what his explanation was?
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:52 pm

Nick Brown wrote:
Aidan wrote:We might have heard more about it too if he didn't have to spend his time explaining why the peat out in the rain was wet, while the peat indoors was dry.

And can you remember what his explanation was?


Indeed I can. It was " Because that peat is outside in the rain". Cue undignified sniggering from the Irish contingent. Bear in mind we were standing outside in the pissing rain at the time.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby cathach » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:14 am

IainB wrote:At the moment though it's a triple distilled malt.


Tis not!!! Tis double distilled!!!

Apart from that I endorse evrything!

Heartily.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:31 am

cathach wrote:
IainB wrote:At the moment though it's a triple distilled malt.


Tis not!!! Tis double distilled!!!

Apart from that I endorse evrything!

Heartily.


Fair enough. Just relaying what they'd told me in Kilbeggan. I got the impression it had been double distilled in Cooley with a final distillation in Kilbeggan, but there you go.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby cathach » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:51 pm

Sorry there IainB, I didn't realise you were on about the Kilbeggan still. Thats an odd one as there's no news about what that will be style-wise at all; I don't think anything thats been through that still has been released yet either, so the vast majority of their output would be distilled twice.


For those interested I posted a topic on the issue of bullying :wink: Raymond into reviving the style in the Lowlands over on the Bladnoch forum http://www.bladnoch.co.uk/threads/ubbth ... #Post26774
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby Aidan » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:18 pm

I'm involved in the bullying, Micheal... I'm JohnM on the Bladnoch forum. A very good forum it is too.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:41 pm

Aidan wrote:I'm involved in the bullying, Micheal... I'm JohnM on the Bladnoch forum. A very good forum it is too.


So why wasn't I invited to this bullying then. Am in sulk now.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby cathach » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:20 pm

IainB wrote:So why wasn't I invited to this bullying then. Am in sulk now.



Not now!! When we're so close, we've even got some of the Continentals on board and they're quoting washback capacities at us left and right!!
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby IainB » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:38 pm

cathach wrote:
IainB wrote:So why wasn't I invited to this bullying then. Am in sulk now.



Not now!! When we're so close, we've even got some of the Continentals on board and they're quoting washback capacities at us left and right!!


OK then. If it helps I'll volunteer to help shovel the porridge.
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Re: Hypothetical Pure Pot Still Question

Postby cathach » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:07 am

IainB wrote:
Fair enough. Just relaying what they'd told me in Kilbeggan. I got the impression it had been double distilled in Cooley with a final distillation in Kilbeggan, but there you go.



Does anyone know what the story is with that stuff they are distilling in Kilbeggan? Or other stuff they might have in the pipeline?

I hope to Gawd the project in Dingle gets off the ground as then IDL and Cooley might be moved to offer some more variety.
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