centrefire wrote:Now heres a question for you. (I understand you may not have tasted some of these). Would you rate a reasonable scotch vatted or single malt as equal to an Irish blend. A ten year Pulteny, talisker, Highland park or Glenmorangie or Grouse malt at reasonable priced. The strength is varied and there are some non coloured or chill filtered. Surely there is no comparison to a watery Paddy, at 4 year old. Even Jameson and Powers are very basic.
If you were going to live on a light house for a 2 months stint and you were offered one case of Jameson or one case of a good reasonabley priced scotch mildly peated single malt . which would you pick. I would go for the Scotch for nose weight and balance. You get flavours like heather honey, sea salt, blossum, smoke, varnish, vanilla, together with a good maltyness in a heavey body. I would not think twice. I d take the malt.
In regard to Scotch blends, reasonably priced, I find William grant and vat 69 ok, Ballintines good too. I think cheap Scotch blends are not as good at Powers.
Also, if blind folded, ther are very few who can tell Paddy, Jameson and Powers apart. The grain is the same, I can do it if fresh, but after one tasting , I get it wrong.
But everyone is different.
I'm not arguing with you really. I am not saying you're wrong to prefer scotch. There's nothing at all wrong with that. What I'm saying is that they are different and each has its own qualities. One is not better than the other. I am saying it's wrong to suggest that someone is wrong to like Irish whiskey.
There is not a huge amount of Scotch blends that I really really enjoy, personally, although there are some great ones. I would have a standard Powers over them nearly every time. Jameson NAS is just okay, for me. I like it but don't think it's in any way special. I don't like Paddy at all, although it's a long time since I've tried it. Jameson 12 and Powers 12 are brilliant.
Jameson, Paddy and Powers are as distinguishable from each other as Teachers, Bells, Ballentines... The Irish Whisky Society recently did a blind tasting of the Irish blends and I beleive there was an obvious difference between them. Powers came out top. Not everyone knew which one was which, but I believe there were obvious differences. And most of them were from the same distillery (I think there was some Bushmills there and some Cooley too).
I love Highland Park and Talisker, but am not too keen on Glenmorangie (although I believe the new pretentiously named range is very good).
Indeed, Irish whiskey, particularly the malts, comes out very well in blind tastings, I find. It stands up extremely well against scotch, because people are predisposed to thinking that scotch is somehow better quality and are sometimes surprised to hear they've been drinking Irish. And the "experts" rate it very highly - Dave Broom, Paul Pacault, John Hansell, Jim Murray, Michael Jackson.
I agree with you that there is not enough variation in strengths in Midleton's output. The Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve is an exception, as is the Midleton single cask bottled for the Celtic Whiskey Shop and the Redbreast 15.
There's only three Irish distilleries with stock they can call whiskey, so there is a lack of variation compared to Scotch.