Whisky Advocate

Irish whiskey news on Jameson, Redbreast, Powers and Paddy

December 1st, 2009

I have brief updates and clarifications on all four brands, particularly as they pertain to the U.S.

Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve

There have been three releases now of the Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve (2007, 2008, and 2009). The 2009 is now getting into circulation. What are the differences between the three? Well, I haven’t (yet) had the privilege to taste all three vintages side-by-side, but I did get the scoop on the differences between the vintages from the U.S. Senior Brand Manager for Jameson. Here’s what she had to say:

The first 3 editions of JRVR (’07,’08,’09) were based on Port cask inclusion and are essentially the same. However, they are not all from one vatting. Each year, the product is bottled from a new vatting. Therefore, in some cases, some barrels included may vary slightly from the previous year.

The initial bottling in 2007 was a vatting taken from three individual parcels of casks.

The 2008 offering came from the same three parcels, therefore the final product was similar in style but effectively matured one year longer.

The 2009 offering used casks from two of the original parcels plus some casks which were one year younger than the original.

It is the case that each year’s vintage will be slightly different although based on a consistent JRVR style.

So, I think her concluding sentence is the most important one.


Power’s 12 year old–a whiskey which I have been enjoying now for nearly a decade–is FINALLY coming to the United States in February. I love the pot still character of Powers, and the 12 year old expression is quite stunning.








A very small amount of Paddy will be imported to the United States to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for 2010.


Some more cool news. Redbreast 15 year old, which was only released once (and in very limited quantities) in Europe, will be imported to the United States in the fall of 2010!

14 Responses to “Irish whiskey news on Jameson, Redbreast, Powers and Paddy”

  1. John Hansell says:

    I actually got ambitious this morning and took pictures of my Powers 12 and Redbreast 15 from my own stash so you can see what the bottles look like.

    And now that I know both will be coming to the U.S. next year, don’t expect these two bottles to remain unopened too much longer.

  2. Red_Arremer says:

    Is the Redbreast 15 that’s coming here going to be cask strength? Thought I saw something on this blog about that a while ago.

  3. John Hansell says:

    Red, I didn’t ask about ABV. I am assuming it is standard strength.

  4. Luke says:

    John, don’t open your remaining bottle until you have at least two more on your hands!

    Red, Redbreast 15 Year Old is due back on Irish shelves in February 2010 (according to the grapevine). As before it will be 46%ABV and Non-Chill-Filtered. We can only dream of a cask strength…

    Re Powers 12, you’re in for a treat – a really solid backbone of Pot Still in this blend.

    BTW, Powers Gold Label (not the 12 Year old), due to its high pot still content, THE best whiskey for a Hot Irish or Irish Whiskey.

  5. John Hansell says:

    That’s right Luke, my Redbreast 15 is 46% ABV. Sorry for the confusion Red.

  6. kallaskander says:

    Hi there,

    I have an inside story for you folks. In Ireland there were waiting a few crates with Redbreast 15 to be shipped tom the US. But America did not call for a long time. When the call finally came the Irish opened their warehouse to send the consignment on the way. But wait what is this? The bottles are 700ml! We can not send those to the US. So the Redbrast 15 bottled in 2005 was reintruduced in the European market for a short time it is gone already.

    But Irish Distillers agreed to fill a new batch into 750ml bottles for the US and the rest of the world gets a chance to sample that second redbreast 15, too.
    In 700ml bottles again.

    So I was told.

  7. Luke says:

    The skulduggery re availablity of Redbreast 15 Year Old continues…

    I’m just happy to have two unopened bottles stashed.

  8. Steve says:


    Welcome news all round. I stand a good chance of seeing, buying, and tasting the Redbreast 15yo, a superior whiskey soon to be again in reach (both financially and geographically) of the regular whiskey enthusiast. My local watering hole had some but sold out before I got a taste. I’m happy to hear we may have a second chance.

    This beats hearing about some new bottling of an obscure, ancient, pricey unicorn of a whisky we’ll never actually taste.


  9. John Hansell says:

    Yes, Steve, the bottom line here is that this is great news!

  10. Great news you you guys in the States. Hopefully the RB 15yo will go down a treat. Since it’s release we’ve been crying for it to be made generally available and not a limited edition. Maybe this will come to pass if enough is sold on a more regular basis. Jim Murray has rated the 2009 Redbreast 12yo as the best Irish of the year also.

    Have to concur that Powers gold 12yo is a cracked too.

    Lastly, I know kallaskander is not one for stories but is this part of the growing Redbreast 15yo myth. I’d have to wonder whether a company the size of IDL would make such a glaring mistake. And what was re-released did not seem big enough for a shipment to the states.

  11. Dutch says:

    Looking forward to trying the Redbreast 15, the Redbreast 12YO is my drink of choice. And the timing on the Powers 12YO is great as I just finished my last bottle that I brought home in ’07.
    The Jameson RVR is a wonderful dram, but dollar for dollar I’ll stick with RB 12YO as I can get 6 of those for the price of one RVR.

  12. John Hansell says:

    Yeah, it’s nice that the U.S. is actually getting some of these delicious Irish whiskeys. Sometimes it takes SO LONG for whiskeys to make their way to the U.S.

  13. Mike G. says:


    What are your thoughts around Michael Collins Blend…recently disccovered with 1,000 of my closest Irish friends in Chicago at a Christmas party. It was very smooth and a nice change of pace to Bourbons.


  14. Mike S says:

    I just got confirmation emails from Pernod and the local Chicago distributor that Paddy is on the way early-mid February. Both confirmed “limited time,” unfortunately. Though it still beats bugging friends to haul some back from duty free.

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