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Pure Pot Still?

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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:04 am

IainB wrote: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.

Very good point! It doesn't matter how they are made they are just as good! And they really are among the best whiskies one can get. Simply masterpieces!

Edit: Is not the term "pure pot still" regulated by law?
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:22 am

No it makes no difference to me anyway as I will still enjoy 2 of me favourite drams. However this is what really bugs me about IDL and their mentality. Firstly everything they do is so secretive. Secondly they really don't seem to care about public preception except theri main golden gooose that is Jameson NAS. If what Marroned says is true it's not me it may affect but possible future aficionado's of pot still (can't call it pure anymore can we :wink: ) I always though that Pure Pot Still had a legal reference. It did 1950 Irish Whiskey Act. I re-read the Irish Whiskey act and observed something interesting which I had not noticed before and that was the repeal of the 1950 act by the 1980 act. I had always thought the 1980 Act was an addendum.



Irish Whiskey Act of 1950 states... (which is now repealed)

1.—For the purpose of subsection (9) of section 105 of the Spirits Act, 1880 (which relates to the accuracy of the description of spirits in a permit or certificate)—

( a ) spirits described as Irish Whiskey shall not be deemed to correspond to that description unless they have been obtained by distillation in the State from a mash of malt and cereals, and

( b ) spirits described as Irish Pot Still Whiskey shall not be deemed to correspond to that description unless they have been obtained by distillation solely in pot stills in the State from a mash of cereal grains such as are ordinarily grown in the State saccharified by the diastase of malted barley.

So there was a clear definition then...

However the

Irish Whiskey Act 1980 is more loosely worded...


1.—(1) For the purposes of any statute or instrument made under statute spirits described as Irish whiskey shall not be regarded as corresponding to that description unless the requirements regarding spirits contained in subsection (3) of this section are complied with as regards the spirits.

(2) For any of the purposes mentioned in subsection (1) of this section spirits described as blended Irish whiskey shall not he regarded as corresponding to that description unless—

( a ) the spirits comprise a blend of two or more distillates, and
( b ) the requirements regarding spirits contained in subsection (3) of this section are complied with as regards each of the distillates.
(3) The following are the requirements referred to in subsections (1) and (2) of this section regarding spirits;

( a ) the spirits shall have been distilled in the State or in Northern Ireland from a mash of cereals which has been—
(i) saccharified by the diastase of malt contained therein, with or without other natural diastases,
(ii) fermented by the action of yeast, and
(iii) distilled at an alcoholic strength of less than 94.8% by volume in such a way that the distillate has an aroma and flavour derived from the materials used,
and
( b ) the spirits shall have been matured in wooden casks—
(i) in warehouse in the State for a period of not less than three years, or
(ii) in warehouse in Northern Ireland for such a period, or
(iii) in warehouse in the State and in Northern Ireland for periods the aggregate of which is not less than three years.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) of this section the alcoholic strength at which spirits are distilled shall be ascertained in the same manner as that in which such ascertainment is for the time being arrived at for the purposes of customs and excise.


Therefore there is now no legal definition of Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey. This is a very sad scenario for something that is so Irish.
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Postby marooned » Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:45 am

I'm sorry to cause such consternation.

I'm not an employee or otherwise of Cooley Distillery. I'm a fan of Bushmills but will not refuse any whisk(e)y.

Serendipity some years ago put me in the company of an individual who is very familiar with the Middleton Distillery setup. He stated that none of their whiskies are triple distilled in potstills ergo they cannot be considered "PURE" pot still in the Irish traditional sense. Their distillation methods give rise to products which are similar in characteristics. Irrespective of how the are made Greenspot and Redbreast are pretty fine whiskies.

It would be interesting to compare them to pure potstill whiskey though. This may never be possible however.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:01 am

Don't be sorry it is a good debate and I actually enjoy these arguements. It's all about learning more about our beloved nectar. Where are you based Marooned? It is always good to have a bit of scandal thrown in to the mix :wink: and spurious irritation :lol:
Last edited by irishwhiskeychaser on Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby IainB » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:02 am

Yep, IDL are a strange bunch. That kind of mentality is part of what nearly destroyed Irish Whiskey in the first place. Remember that tasting last year. A few people asked about the mix of potstill / grain in blends or malted / unmalted in the potstill and got the mantra "it's a secret". What's the big secret? A read of Jim Murrays or Peter Mulryans books on Irish Whiskey answers the question. And anyway, who are the trying to keep the secret from? No one else makes the stuff!!! Even if Cooley are going to make pot still in Kilbeggan I would think their research would extend beyond sending a spy or two to a Jameson tasting!

What's really baffling is the way the smaller Irish distilleries, and smaller distilleries the world over can produce so many different expressions of their single malts at a reasonable price and on a regular basis. IDL seem to manage just two regularly, RB12 and Greenspot, with a limited and uncertain release of RB15. Then anything else is priced at off the wall figures. Why not even release a few Bourbon only of Sherry onlt expressions. Or a cask strangth release. If Bushmills and Cooley can do it why not Midleton?

And what's the big secret in the blends. As far as I can see most other distilleries make a virtue of describing the mix of bourbon / sherry etc!
I know they can produce a huge variety of blends but why such a limited range of Pot Still whiskies?? Is it just so we'll pay ridiculous prices for limited edition Midleton releases out of desperation to try a few different pot still whiskies. I think the RB15 is reasonably price but why not a bit of variety?

Even the way Jameson 12 and crested ten are just mrketed as older versions of Jameson NAS when anyone with an interest knows the pot still / grain mix is completely different, which is why the 12YO is fantastic, compared to the bland NAS.

Is the plan to bludgeon us all into drinking only Jameson so they don't have to bother printing up different labels. I've started explaining the different whiskeys to friends in a completely different way. I suggest that Powers and Crested ten are similar whiskies, the ifference being partial sherry cask or Bourbon only cask. That means the difference between Power 12yo and Jameson 12 YO becomes a natural progression.

I might be making it up but that's what IDL seem to do half the time anyway. And the really annying part is that while I really enjoy whiskies from many distilleries and countires the PPS from Midleton still is my personal favourite.

Sorry, seem to be getting carried away with the rant there. Guess I'll definitley be blacklisted at IDL tasting in future. I'll need to re register on their website under an alias!

Surely someone from IDL must be a member of these forums? Is there anybody out there? Talk to you fans? (Actually I'll stop now. This is starting to sound like Eminem's Stan.)
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:07 am

All hail to the rant Image




:wink: :lol:
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Postby IainB » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:13 am

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:All hail to the rant Image




:wink: :lol:


Hahaha! That's Brilliant! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I always enjoy a good rant in the morning!

Marooned, was only joking about the Cooley employee thing.
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Postby les taylor » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:15 am

IWC how do you do that?

:D
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Postby IainB » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:18 am

Seriously though. If you talk to Ally and the boys and compare how Midleton communicate with them to how Bushmills and Cooley treat them. Very noticable on thier Chrismas brochure this year the "special thanks" they had for Bushmills and Cooley. And what they'll tell you in person is even better.

OK IAIN! STOP THERE! YOU'RE ABOUT TO START FOAMING AT THE MOUTH AGAIN!

Besides, I don't want to get Ally and the gang in trouble or that'll be another blacklisting for me. And besides, I really should do some work.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:23 am

les taylor wrote:IWC how do you do that?

:D



As I said in an earlier post Druid Magic :wink:


Ok check out

http://www.whiskybembel.de/smiley.html

copy and past to your hearts content Image

P.S. copy and paste the writen bit not the viewable icon

Image
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Postby marooned » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:21 pm

IDl do not want their customers to try out different whiskies as once started they may not be able to stop them from becoming promiscuous whiskey drinkers. They like the idea that customers order by brand rather than say ordering an Irish. This unfortunately has led to poor indentification of a separate identity for Irish the same way Scotch has its own separate identity. They do not want any competition and until recently with the arrival of Cooley were very lazy about Marketing their product. They lived in a corporate comfort zone.

Recently they appear to have made some small changes and are now more willing to recognise that they are not the only 'cock on the walk'. They are selling whiskley to the Hot Irishman company who are bottling thier own whiskey I believe.

With Diageo now behind Bushmills and putting large sums of money into marketing it should be interesting in the Irish whiskey scene in the next decade
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Postby Ize » Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:21 pm

I am flabbergasted ... my beloved Redbreast isn't PPS. *sigh*

What next ... whisky is sold as single malt but it isn't actually? ... hmm, wait a minute that's what kind of happened already with Cardhu. :-/

Okay okay, some say that it doesn't matter what is written in the label if the product is good. Well, that is true partially. But I do think that image is one aspect also. If the given image differs of what the product actually is annoys me ... and that for instance annoyed people so much with Cardhu that Diageo changed pure malt back to single malt as it had been.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:38 pm

Jameson are selling circa 2million cases of Jameson nas every year and not much else which is frustrating as all their emphasis is on Jameson nas :evil: .

Bushmills are selling circa 400,000 cases of all their line up every year but with a massive marketing campaign over the next few years they hope to have it up to a similar level but they will be promoting a whole range. Why not put a push on the 12yo which I think could be another huge seller if they bothered....

I do know IDL are planning to revamp their whole Jameson range and maybe even add anew one to it but they would want to get their fingers out.

Cooley in a way have been a bit dissapointing in their attack on the market. Eventhough they are plodding along nicely now they do not seem to be making any major impact on the market eventhough they are doing well in France :?

Irish whiskey is the biggest growing market at te moment but I can only see Jameson taking advantage at the moment. However I do expect a big push from Bushmills next on their imaginary 400 anniversay year :roll:

Interesting times ahead.....
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Postby shoganai » Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:49 am

IainB wrote: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.


I liked Redbreast before I knew what a pot still was, and I'll continue to like it. In fact, all this talk has me jonesing for a dram. Perhaps it will be my next purchase.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:51 am

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).
Would it be possible to have this confirmed from an official person?
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Postby Aidan » Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:31 am

marooned wrote:I'm sorry to cause such consternation.

I'm not an employee or otherwise of Cooley Distillery. I'm a fan of Bushmills but will not refuse any whisk(e)y.

Serendipity some years ago put me in the company of an individual who is very familiar with the Middleton Distillery setup. He stated that none of their whiskies are triple distilled in potstills ergo they cannot be considered "PURE" pot still in the Irish traditional sense. Their distillation methods give rise to products which are similar in characteristics. Irrespective of how the are made Greenspot and Redbreast are pretty fine whiskies.

It would be interesting to compare them to pure potstill whiskey though. This may never be possible however.


They can go much further than triple distilling their whiskey, but they can also triple distill it using just three pot stills. I don't know if they do this, however.

I have tasted a few pure pot still whiskeys from Tullamore, Jameson's old Bow Street distillery and Power's John's Lane distillery - they taste very different to the whiskey of today. The super-aged ones are brilliant. The younger ones, like the Jameson 7, are unusual but really grow on you.

I've read a bit about the new Midleton distillery. I don't really understand what they do when the divert distillate through column and pot stills, since column stills produce a spirit with a very high abv, and it would be even higher if this was previously or subsequently passed through pot stills. I suppose they could just mix it with what would be pure pot still.

The info you can get from Irish Distillers is that the spirit comes out of the final still at - a figure that I can't remember, but it's between 60 and 80 percent.
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Postby IainB » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:46 am

I've tried 2 from the pre "New" midleton distllery days.

I've had a Dungourney (from the old midleton distillery) alongside a modern Redbreast. Quite different whiskeys but there were definite similarities in style. Also the fact that the Dougourney was aged a lot longer (27 years???) could account for a lot of the difference in style.

The other is one of the old redbreast bottles from, I think, the early 1980s?

Again very different, and, to be honest, not the best whiskey I've ever tasted. I think that, while it says 12yo on the label, the whiskies by that stage was a lot older and the oak was just too much. I think, but I'm not sure, the stock was pre Midleton which would make it probably from one of the Dublin distilleries?

Aidan, do you know anything about these bottles?

Anyway, what I'm getting at it is that it's hard for me to compare the old with the new as the older ones I've tried have been aged for much longer periods. But the taste similarities are there all the same.

Anyway, I was in Mitchell on Sarurday, talking to one of the family about Green Spot. They have been down to Midleton, obviously, but I failed to pluck up the courage to ask him if it was really triple distilled!!
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Postby Aidan » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:50 am

Ian

Yes, the older Redbreasts are from the Bow Street Distillery. And some of it could even be from the John's Lane distillery, as Jameson was produced there for a very short period.

The taste of old pot still is much more distinctive than the modern stuff. But the modern stuff is probably better in many ways. The old stuff stood up to ageing very well though.
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Postby IainB » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:56 am

Aidan wrote:Ian

Yes, the older Redbreasts are from the Bow Street Distillery. And some of it could even be from the John's Lane distillery, as Jameson was produced there for a very short period.

The taste of old pot still is much more distinctive than the modern stuff. But the modern stuff is probably better in many ways. The old stuff stood up to ageing very well though.


I agree. The Dungourney was fantastic, but that older Redbreast just seemed a little tired.

Good to know that I've tried at least some whiskey that was made in Dublin though! And I got two of them at a good price last year. (€75 a bottle, as opposed to the €250 they seem to go for in most places). I was passing through New Ross and stopped off to get my wife a bottle of Baileys in this tiny old off licence. He had the old RB there and when he told me the price I said I'd buy whatever her had. Unfortunately, that was just 2! Still one to drink, one to keep!
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Postby Aidan » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:51 am

There are also a few Old Irish Gold bottlings from Germany- an "over 15" years one and an "over 24" years one. There is speculation that these are from DWD, but I'm not sure how this was worked out.

I have a George Roe mini, but I'm not sure if it's drinkable.
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Postby IainB » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:17 am

Aidan wrote:There are also a few Old Irish Gold bottlings from Germany- an "over 15" years one and an "over 24" years one. There is speculation that these are from DWD, but I'm not sure how this was worked out.

I have a George Roe mini, but I'm not sure if it's drinkable.


The "Old Irish Gold"? I saw those for sale somewhere recently. Was it the Celtic Whiskey Shop?

I wouldn't know what to do with the George Roe. Can you take the risk of opening it, finding it not drinkable, and then dealing with the regret.??

The only minis I have are two of the old Cadenheads Tullamore Dew. Will probable open at least on sometime soon.
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Postby Aidan » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:27 am

IainB wrote:
Aidan wrote:There are also a few Old Irish Gold bottlings from Germany- an "over 15" years one and an "over 24" years one. There is speculation that these are from DWD, but I'm not sure how this was worked out.

I have a George Roe mini, but I'm not sure if it's drinkable.


The "Old Irish Gold"? I saw those for sale somewhere recently. Was it the Celtic Whiskey Shop?

I wouldn't know what to do with the George Roe. Can you take the risk of opening it, finding it not drinkable, and then dealing with the regret.??

The only minis I have are two of the old Cadenheads Tullamore Dew. Will probable open at least on sometime soon.


Yeah, they have one of the 24 yr olds. I've only ever seen two of these. I have one of them. Maybe there are lots of them in Germany. There were certainly much more of the 15 yr olds.

I don't mind opening the George Roe, even if it has gone off. Didn't cost me much and the level is right down. I have a few of the Tullamores. Just finished one. Very good. The Bow Street is also excellent. Very powerful.
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Postby IainB » Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:43 pm

I'm hoping to pick up the Willie Napier in the next few weeks. I know you've got the Knappogue 51. Is it worth opeining the Willie Napier do you think? And more to the point, is it one to savout over a few months or get a few people together and make a serious dent?
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Postby Aidan » Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:59 pm

IainB wrote:I'm hoping to pick up the Willie Napier in the next few weeks. I know you've got the Knappogue 51. Is it worth opeining the Willie Napier do you think? And more to the point, is it one to savout over a few months or get a few people together and make a serious dent?


Hi Ian

I'm not sure. Some of the Tullamores were supposed to have been over-aged. I think the Willie Napier was bottled back in the mid to late 1980s, so it is probably like the earlier Knappogues. I think it's also bottled at 40%, but I'm not sure. These old ones are quite bourbony, if that's a word. I have yet to taste a whiskey that has been ruined by age, though.

Anyway, Ally will give you an honest opinion of whether it's worth opening.

If you like, I can bring along a small sample of a Jameson 7 yr old pure pot still from the 1940s, assuming I make it on Wednesday night. Or some of the 15 yr old Old Irish Gold.
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Postby IainB » Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:05 pm

Really? That would be great. The old Jameson 7 yo would be very interesting, I'll see how it compares to the old Redbreast. I'd bring a sample of that only it's in the family holiday home in Mayo. Maybe next time.

Haven't spoken to Ally about the Willie Napier but one of the guys in the shop has tried it - it was described I think as "an experience worth having. A Big big whiskey". Now what that means I don't know!
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Postby Aidan » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:48 pm

Yes, no problem. I'm quite unreliable, so hopefully I won't forget. I may have to go to a funeral, though, in which case I can't attend.

I'll bring a mini coke as a mixer.
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Postby IainB » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:29 am

Aidan wrote:Yes, no problem. I'm quite unreliable, so hopefully I won't forget. I may have to go to a funeral, though, in which case I can't attend.

I'll bring a mini coke as a mixer.


Or maybe some TK red lemonade
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Postby IainB » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:04 am

Actually that reminds me of why I didn't drink Irish Whiskey for years. When I was still a student I spent a week on holiday in Annascaul and the only thing I could afford to drink on the last 2 nights was Paddy and splash Red. Yuck. It was many years (well 3 or 4 anyway) before I discovered a local with Greenspot (even if it isn't really PPS) and found it went so well with a pint of Guinness.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:25 pm

Can you still get Nashes Red Lemonade ???? Remember that ....


Anyway I'll be there on Wednesday night if anyone wants to meet for a dram in the Hairy Lemon before or after just let me know. I might try to jump into Ally's before I go though.
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Postby IainB » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:44 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:Can you still get Nashes Red Lemonade ???? Remember that ....


Anyway I'll be there on Wednesday night if anyone wants to meet for a dram in the Hairy Lemon before or after just let me know. I might try to jump into Ally's before I go though.


I'm definitely going but as I said above I've a boozey lunch thing tomorrow so I hope I won't be too far gone. Might jusy take it easy for the afternoon. Was thinking of a visit to Ally myself as am running low on Redbreast 15 (which I now seem to drink everyday) and Tyrconnell Madeira. That said a dram before or after is not a bad idea at all at all.
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