Whisky Advocate

What Irish whiskeys would you like to be able to buy?

March 17th, 2009

While we’re on the topic of Irish whiskeys, what Irish whiskeys would you like to buy but can’t because they are not available to you in your market (or possibly anywhere, for that matter)?

I’ll tell you the ones on my list. I’d like to see Redbreast 15 year old more widely available. The same goes for that lovely Power’s 12 year old I picked up in Travel Retail a few years back.

I’d also like to see Green Spot available here in the U.S. And maybe even some line extensions of Green Spot, like the limited edition 10 and 12 year old expressions offered a few years back.

I could go for a higher strength Midleton Very Rare  too! (I know that there was one single cask done for a retailer in Europe.)  Hey, I’m even willing to compromise here. It doesn’t have to be single cask and cask strength. I’ll be happy with 46% ABV and not chill-filtered.

Finally, how about a single malt from Midleton? I know Irish Distillers make it occasionally for one (some?) of their brands. And I know that one slipped out about a decade ago without their endorsement called Erin Go Bragh which I bought. I understand that Irish Distillers wants to separate themselves from Bushmills and Cooley (who produce single malts) by making traditional pot still whiskey, but I still can’t help but be curious about what one would taste like if they really put their heart into it.

Anyone else out there agree with me? Anything else you would like to see?

16 Responses to “What Irish whiskeys would you like to be able to buy?”

  1. Steve says:

    John,

    I echo your wish for Green Spot. I had the good fortune to try Green Spot at an Irish pub (owned and run by a native Dubliner) just outside Atlanta. I had to agree to buy a pour of Midleton Very Rare (some sacrifice!) in order to get a pour from the one bottle of GS on hand, which is now, regrettably empty. It may be the difficulty of procuring a bottle of GS leads to some romanticizing of this whiskey, but having tasted it I can say I would buy a case given the opportunity. I enjoyed it that much.

    I enjoy Redbreast 12 and am sorry I’ve never tasted the 15. I’d certainly like to get a bottle of that based on your comments. I also agree with your other choices, especially a line of MVR.

    One I would add is Crested Ten. British and Irish retailers carry it online but I’ve yet to see it offered for sale in the States.

    • John Hansell says:

      Yes, I forgot to mention Crested Ten. Another lovely whiskey (and reasonably priced that last time I checked). I also have a bottle of that in my bar which I brought back from Ireland a few years back.

  2. Paul says:

    I agree with all of the wonderful choices listed and would just add Paddy’s to that list. I know it is not expensive, rare, etc, but I found it a good friend while traveling through Ireland with a mother-in-law in tow. So, it may just be nostalgia but I would really love to be able to get that here in the states.

  3. Joe says:

    Green Spot = spot on.

  4. Shaun Farrier says:

    John,

    I’d love to see Bushmills &/or Jameson release a comprehensive package of 50ml bottlings – spanning their entire range of products. I’ve seen Balvenie and Glenmorangie offer such packages, although not entirely comprehensive. This might allow ‘non Irish Whiskey devotees’ like myself a chance to sample more of their products without having to buy 750ml bottles.

    I’d also like to see a higher proof Redbreast 12.

  5. John M says:

    I’m lucky to be on this side of the pond, at least in terms of access to Irish whiskey!

    I love pure pot still, but I think that it lends itself particularly well to blending. So you can get some great pot still blends.

    I drink Powers mostly when I’m in a pub, so I’d like to see an expanded Powers range, maybe including a pure pot still.

    Regarding the single malt, I heard it said from someone in Midleton (or read it somewhere) that the huge Midleton pot stills don’t make particularly good single malt.

    I think the stuff they do make might go into Paddy and used to go into Hewitts (not 100% sure). They make something like one run of single malt every eight or so years, I’ve heard.

    Most of all, I’d love to see either Cooley or Bushmills attempt a pure pot still. Can’t see what would stop them.

    John

  6. Bill Groot says:

    Green Spot (still have 1 bottle)
    Crested Ten (one of these yet too)
    Paddys (don’t know why this isn’t sold here!)
    Redbreast 15yo (the 12yo is my favorite drink)
    and I heard great things about the Erin Go Bragh
    I agree with the pps comments.

  7. John Hansell says:

    John M, I never looked at it the other way around. I was thinking how nice it would be to see a single malt whiskey from Midleton, but Pure Pot Still whiskeys from Bushmills or Cooley would be pretty neat too!

  8. JC Skinner says:

    Hi John,
    Just to clarify. The Redbreast 15 yo was a one-off. It’s not an issue of availability. It was made once and it’s all gone.
    I’d love to see IDL do something similar – a 15 yo or older Pure Pot Still. And I’d like to see younger pure pot still whiskeys from them too.
    Green Spot alone is insufficient, and its for an independent merchant anyway, if indeed the rumours that it is no longer purely pot still are untrue.
    The Erin go Bragh single malt from Midleton was way too young and hence its poor quality may not be typical of what Midleton could do in terms of a single malt. I’d like to see them try again and do an older one.
    More Midleton VR single casks, or cask strength non-chill filtered vattings, are to be welcomed, but not at the pricing levels that IDL increasingly are going for.
    There’s nothing I want to see from Cooley because they keep beating me to it by releasing all my fantasies of what they could release (like the Tyrconnell finishes or the aged Greenore single grain.)
    However, what I’d like to see more than any of the above is a Pure Pot Still from Bushmills, who to my mind make the best base spirit of any Irish distiller.
    And what I’d REALLY like to see more than anything else is another Irish distiller or two.
    I’d like to see Kilbeggan distilling again and I’d like to see Dingle operational.

  9. Carl H. says:

    I’d like to see Powers 12 over here.

    I’d also like to see some of the current stuff available at higher proof. Jameson 12 and Black Bush released at 90 proof, for instance.

  10. Leorin says:

    I’d like to see a sherry cask version of Connemara at 46% vol. or – even better- at cask strenght.

  11. JC Skinner says:

    Hi Leorin. There was a cask strength single sherry cask Connemara released late last year in Ireland.
    I have a bottle myself and it’s VERY sherried.
    It was one of the blind whiskeys tasted at the Irish Whiskey Tasting Championship last night (in which I came a respectable Third!)

  12. Adrian says:

    The Redbreast 15yo has got to be the one they return to. This is truely a masterpiece and turning into a cult classic and really outshines the 12yo. Amazing when in NCF form can do for dept and flavour.

    Yes would like to see other new forms of PPS. Different versions of Greenspot maybe interesting but onl;y if they are reasonable and not the tear rendering prices of the 10 & 12yo limited editions.

  13. John M says:

    I think that Connemara was only finished in the sherry cask, so imagine how sherried it would be if it was completely matured in sherry.

    John

  14. JC Skinner says:

    Six months only in sherry cask, John M.
    It’s an incredible effect for such a short period of time.
    One wonders if they didn’t perhaps rinse out the cask entirely before filling with the whiskey?

  15. Derek says:

    The 15 yr Redbreast is absolutely delicious
    and tremendous value too.
    That’s the one I would buy “by the case”!

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