Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Pure Pot Still?

All your whisky related questions answered here.

Pure Pot Still?

Postby ScotchPalate » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:43 pm

What is Pure Pot Still? Is it like a single malt?

SP

PS: Irish Whiskey Chaser, I'm looking in your direction.
ScotchPalate
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:47 am
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Lawrence » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:18 pm

Irish whiskey comes in several forms. There is a single malt whiskey made from 100% malted barley distilled in a pot still, and a grain whiskey made from grains distilled in a column still. Grain whiskey is much lighter and more neutral in flavour than single malt and is almost never bottled as a single grain. It is instead used to blend with single malt to produce a lighter blended whiskey. Unique to Irish whiskey is pure pot still whiskey (100% barley, both malted and unmalted, distilled in a pot still). The "green" unmalted barley gives the pure pot still whiskey a spicy, uniquely Irish quality. Like single malt, pure pot still is sold as such or blended with grain whiskey. Usually no real distinction is made between whether a blended whiskey was made from single malt or pure pot still.

I stole this from somewhere else but it's correct.
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:33 pm

Lawrence is correct.

I think the simplest way of putting it is....

Pure Pot Still is a single distillate (Like Single Malt) made from a mash of Barley and Malted Barley.

Therefore it cannot be called a Single Malt but nor is it a blend.

The mix is anything from 40-60 to 60-40 depending on what is required.

However to confuse you a small bit it also can contain small precentages of other grains like oats or wheat as in the old days but this is not done any more.




So think of it as a
User avatar
irishwhiskeychaser
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Postby lbacha » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:49 pm

To make it even more confusing a few single malt distillers in the past put "Pure Pot Still" on their labels, I know the old Connemara packaging had this. They weren't technically lying because it was distilled in a pot still but it definitly wasn't "Pure Pot Still" by Irish terms.

Len
lbacha
Gold Member
 
Posts: 626
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:14 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio USA

Postby Aidan » Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:49 pm

Yeah - pure pot still is not a legal definition, but it should be.

It came from the days when there was a tax on the malted barley, so they started mixing unmalted barley to keep costs down. There was also a tax, I believe, on the runs through stills, so they made huge stills to produce the pure pot still.

The only two standard pure pot still whiskeys available are Redbreast and Green Spot. They should produce more.

The only place in the world that makes it at the moment is Midleton. Hopefully Kilbeggan will make some, but they're just making malt at the moment.

I always wonder why Bushmills don't chance making some.

It goes really well in blends too.
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby lbacha » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:00 am

Good info Aidan I didn't know about the tax part of it, I agree with the blends as well, Jameson's Crested Ten is a real good blend that has a good proportion of pot still in it. I'm still looking for another bottle of the Jameson's 15 yr old pot still, I have a bottle and 2 sample bottles from another but based on the availability of pot still I would like to stock up.

Len
lbacha
Gold Member
 
Posts: 626
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:14 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio USA

Postby Aidan » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:28 am

Hi Len

Lots of Jameson 15s reappeared on the German market recently and are going for about 120 euro. They cost the equivalent of about 95 euro when they were released. We were in punts back then.

Tax did the same thing for stout. Arthur Guinness started using unmalted barley in his stuff too, producing "dry Irish stout".
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby IainB » Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:10 pm

Aidan wrote:Hi Len

Lots of Jameson 15s reappeared on the German market recently and are going for about 120 euro. They cost the equivalent of about 95 euro when they were released. We were in punts back then.

Tax did the same thing for stout. Arthur Guinness started using unmalted barley in his stuff too, producing "dry Irish stout".


To anyone living in Ireland can it ever be a surprise that the two most unique drinks to Ireland (or three if you count poteen) are the result of a tax dodge!
IainB
Gold Member
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

Postby lbacha » Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:45 pm

and everyone thinks Taxes are bad.

Len
lbacha
Gold Member
 
Posts: 626
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:14 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio USA

Postby shoganai » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:48 pm

I have a vague understanding of the malting process, but could someone explain what exactly is the difference between malted and unmalted barley?

Also, what would happen if you distilled unmalted barley by itself?
shoganai
Silver Member
 
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:25 am
Location: Philadelphia, USA

Postby Mustardhead » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:20 am

shoganai wrote:Also, what would happen if you distilled unmalted barley by itself?


That's grain whisky, not malt whisky?
Mustardhead
Gold Member
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Gloucestershire, UK

Postby shoganai » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:25 am

Mustardhead wrote:That's grain whisky, not malt whisky?


I always thought that grain whisky implied the use of something other than barley?
shoganai
Silver Member
 
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:25 am
Location: Philadelphia, USA

Postby shoganai » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:49 am

shoganai wrote:I have a vague understanding of the malting process, but could someone explain what exactly is the difference between malted and unmalted barley?


I guess I should try and clarify this question a bit. I understand that there are several steps to malting the barley & then to ultimately making the whisky. So my question is, which steps are skipped? Does the barley come straight from the field and is fermented?
shoganai
Silver Member
 
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:25 am
Location: Philadelphia, USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:51 am

Malting is a process of encouraging the barley to sprout so as to maximize the amount of fermentable sugars, and then arresting it at that point by drying. I would think that unmalted barley would be less productive of alcohol, but that might be a matter of my simplified understanding. The requisite starches exist in the kernel to begin with. I've heard it said that when unmalted barley is used, some small amount of malted barley is necessary to provide the necessary enzymatic action (totally made-up term there, reflecting my shallow understanding). Presumably using only unmalted barley would simply not work. But I'm guessing, and would love to hear from someone who understands the process better than I do.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby IainB » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:14 pm

I'm no expert either but I have read that most whiskies of whatever type need a small amount of malt to "kick start" the process. I don't think it necessarily has to be malted barley as some European whiskies used malted buckwheat. There's a French whisky called Eddu which seems to use Malted / Unmalted buckwheat in a 20%/80% ratio. And it's listed on the Maison du Whisky website as "pure pot still"!
IainB
Gold Member
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:25 pm

shoganai wrote:I guess I should try and clarify this question a bit. I understand that there are several steps to malting the barley & then to ultimately making the whisky. So my question is, which steps are skipped? Does the barley come straight from the field and is fermented?


The main step that is skipped is the malting process.

If you think of it like this .... you should not think of Malted Barley as barley any more in relation to whisky but Malt.

Malting

Barley seed is germinated by adding some water(usually warm). This is done so that the Barley seed actually starts to grow. (This happens in the malting house and can generate a fairly warm heat.)

Water is absorbed by the seed, and after approximately 24 hours, the first visible sign of germination is the appearance of the root, also known as a white 'chit' and this is the start of the malting process.

The seed is then transferred to malting beds where germination is allowed to proceed over a period of around 5 days.

The seed is regularly turned to prevent grains matting together.

At this stage you have green malt. i.e. the growing Barley.

This is then kiln dried (partly cooked) by hot air. This can be with or with out peat smoke to add the smoke flavour. This process stops the growth of the malt.

At this stage it is nice and dry and the chit is seperated from the seed.

What is left is your malt ready to be made into a mash.

If it was just Barley to be used this Malting step would not be used.


And that is the difference between Malt and Barley
User avatar
irishwhiskeychaser
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Postby IainB » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:28 pm

Well when I win the Euromillions and start my own diltillery on an island off the west coast I know who my first consultant will be.
IainB
Gold Member
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

Postby ScotchPalate » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:54 pm

Can I roll the barrels into the warehouse? That's...well that's all I'd be qualified to do. On second thought, I retract the word qualified.
ScotchPalate
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:47 am
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:17 pm

IainB wrote:Well when I win the Euromillions and start my own diltillery on an island off the west coast I know who my first consultant will be.



It's amazing what you can find in whiskey reference books :wink:
User avatar
irishwhiskeychaser
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Postby marooned » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:17 pm

Just wanted to say that there is no traditional triple distilled Pot Still Irish being made at present. Both Redbreast and Green Spot and not made in the traditional manner.
marooned
New member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:38 pm

Postby IainB » Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:15 pm

marooned wrote:Just wanted to say that there is no traditional triple distilled Pot Still Irish being made at present. Both Redbreast and Green Spot and not made in the traditional manner.


Really?? How so? Is it the lack of oats etc.???
IainB
Gold Member
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

Postby Frodo » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:20 pm

marooned wrote:Just wanted to say that there is no traditional triple distilled Pot Still Irish being made at present. Both Redbreast and Green Spot and not made in the traditional manner.


I'm just guessing here, but I think Jameson whisky is a blend of tripple-distilled whiskies, and I believe that some of the component blends are pot-still whiskies.
Last edited by Frodo on Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Frodo
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:22 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Postby IainB » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:10 pm

Jameson is a blend of grain and pot still (usually). But Redbreast and Greenspot are not! They are pure pot still whiskeys made with malted and unmalted barley. I'm just nt sure which aspect is not traditional.
IainB
Gold Member
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

Postby marooned » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:21 pm

Irish Distillers do not triple distill any of their whiskey in potstills alone Their triple distillation process is very unusual and designed in the 1970's to replicate the various whiskey's that were amalgamated into the group at that time. Traditionally Irish Pot Still whiskey should include malted and unmalted barley and another grain (usually oats) and be triple distilled in pot stills.
marooned
New member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:38 pm

Postby IainB » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:36 pm

marooned wrote:Irish Distillers do not triple distill any of their whiskey in potstills alone Their triple distillation process is very unusual and designed in the 1970's to replicate the various whiskey's that were amalgamated into the group at that time. Traditionally Irish Pot Still whiskey should include malted and unmalted barley and another grain (usually oats) and be triple distilled in pot stills.


OK, I know they dropped the oats but I thought they use a trio of stills to produce the pot still whiskey. I know they also column stills for the grain whiskey but none of that goes into Greensport or Redbreast. Apart from the oats and the fact that the pot stills are smaller, what other differences are there?
IainB
Gold Member
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

Postby marooned » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:47 pm

My information is that no whiskey is distilled three times in pot stills at Middleton. The size of the stills is irrelevat to the process (not the end result though).
marooned
New member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:38 pm

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:01 pm

I presume you are comming from the fact that the Midleton distillery is ultra modern.

Through various levers, pulleys and druid magic :wink: they can pump the distilate through to different potstill and colulms how and when they like. Now marooned you may or may not be correct as I cannot answer definitively either so I'll not argue too much :lol: . However my understanding is distilate can be diverted at any stage of distilation to nearly any aparatus thus giving the Midleton Distillery the luxury of having one of the most efficient systems in the world and probably still the most modern and complicated. This enables it to produce a multitude of different whiskey profiles(Proof is that Redbreast and Greenspot are very different in flavour profile.). But at the end of the day the distilation is the same as any other distillery in theory.

However if you are stating not traditional because of this fact I'd have to disagree. The distilate is still distilled 3 times in a potstill. The use of the potstill has not changed it's just the way they can interact with it has. Also the dropping of oats happened a long time ago even by long closed distilleries because of the mess it caused.

From a purest point of view though you may have a point. :wink:
User avatar
irishwhiskeychaser
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:06 pm

marooned wrote:My information is that no whiskey is distilled three times in pot stills at Middleton. The size of the stills is irrelevat to the process (not the end result though).



Interesting where did you hear this????

Would be bit of a clanger for Irish Distillers if that got out :shock:
User avatar
irishwhiskeychaser
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Postby marooned » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:18 pm

My source is very reliable.

The only point I'm making is that no whiskey coming from Middleton is triple distilled soley in pot stills. All the whiskies are triple distilled but not in pot stills. Surely that is a criteria for calling a whiskey a traditional Irish Potstill product!!
marooned
New member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:38 pm

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:21 pm

By deduction then one distilation has to go through a colulm still :shock:
User avatar
irishwhiskeychaser
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Postby marooned » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:31 pm

I believe its not quite that simple either. The distillation processes at Middlleton are very complicated (as you mentioned earlier) and each whiskey has their own unique process.
marooned
New member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:38 pm

Postby Frodo » Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:06 pm

So if I understand you correctly, what I'm hearing is that the grain components for the Jameson blends are tripple distilled, but the pot-still components are double distilled?

I didn't know that. Hmmmmm...
Frodo
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:22 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:49 am

Well I stumped so ... it must be the Druid magic so :wink: :lol:
User avatar
irishwhiskeychaser
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:27 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland

Postby Di Blasi » Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:37 am

Why is it so confusing?? Irish whiskey is perhaps the only whiskey I tend to avoid, (although I do like the Clontarf Single Malt, and a few others I've tasted have been okay), maybe cause it's so confusing!
Di Blasi
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3741
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:16 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Postby IainB » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:39 am

Well this definitely warrent more investigation. I know at least two of the more esteemed members of this forum were at a tasting last year where the guys from Midleton seemed to state quite clearly that it is distilled three times in pot stills. I know some of the distillate from each run goes back to the earlier stills, but that would still mean that everything put into cask has still been distilled at least 3 times.

I work around the corner from Micthells (they who market Green Sport) Glasthule Shop. Saw Jonathon Mitchell outside the shop this morning. I'm sure some of the family have been down to Midleton. Maybe I'll go around and interrogate them.

Marooned, you're not from Cooley's marketing department by chance??

A thought strikes me. If it did turn out that Rdbreats and Greenspot weren't really PPS would it make a difference? The whiskeys still the same. And those of us that are devotees would, presumably, still be devotees. Should the fact that we can call it Pure Pot Still affect our enjoyment? I'm not saying these things don't matter. It's just something to think about.
Last edited by IainB on Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
IainB
Gold Member
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

Next

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder