Re: Redbreast 12 a blend or not?
The old Redbreast was produced from whiskey produced at Bow Street. I believe the casks were given to the bottler to vat and bottle themselves back in the day.
Today, it's produced by Midleton exclusively - not for anyone else. Distilled, matured and bottled by IDL.
I also believe it was always a pure pot still, no? Except for the very different version in a very different bottle labeled a blend.
I was not counting this as a bottling for someone else. The 15 year old version was bottled after a request from La Maison du Whisky.
There were rumours that Green Spot was no longer pure pot still going around a while ago, but this turns out to be not true. It doesn't say pure pot still anywhere on the label. No that it matters, because a great whiskey is a great whiskey.
Many things have changed with the modern bottlings. I think they may be better than the old ones, at a similar age, but it's a matter of taste.
They used to use other grains in the mash, and the new Midleton facility is unlike anything operating in Bow Street. I doubt pestacides or sprays would have much affect on the taste. And they don't do their own malting anymore. I'd say the modern cask selection is much more rigorous too.
I love Powers. I know of few better blends. It is interesting that they Scots have to label their stuff blends, but the Scots don't make the rules for us. The SWA are coming up with all sorts of pompous rules. Cooley were forced to take the word glen off a whiskey after a threat from the SWA, even though Cooley is in a Glen. They certainly weren't trying to pass off Irish whiskey as Scotch. They dropped the label immediately, to avoid any hassle.
We can do what we like, having a very long tradition of whiskey production. Powers is what it is. It's a blend made entirely from whiskey produced at one distillery. Very few Scotish distilleries do this. It's all down to individual taste, but I love it.
I also like standard Jameson, but the 12 year old versions of both Jameson and Powers are superb, rivaling the top malts, in my opinion.