“Pure” Pot Still Irish whiskey is now “Single” Pot StillJanuary 26th, 2011
In case you missed it. Pure pot still Irish whiskey is now being described at single pot still Irish whiskey. (See the label on Redbreast 15 year old.)
I used the old term during a recent issue of WhiskyNotes and Brendan Buckley, Category Development Director for Irish Distillers, was kind enough to remind me in an email he sent me. I’m posting it below because he explains why the change was made.
Just perusing the latest newsletter and I noticed that you described the latest Midleton releases as ‘pure pot still’ in your byline.
While the term ‘pure pot still’ has been the custom and practice of the Irish whiskey industry for, oh let me see, 200 odd years, it would appear that the TTB has taken umbrage with usage of the term ‘pure’ as it pertains to food and beverages.
This came to a head a few years back when we introduced Redbreast 15 to the US at which time we were obliged by the TTB to drop the prefix ‘pure’.
Arising from this, we opted to use the more industry (and arguably consumer) friendly prefix, ‘single’ to designate that the whiskey was a pot still whiskey from a single distillery. Therefore, if you pick up a bottle of Redbreast 15 you will notice that the label reads ‘single’ rather than ‘pure’.
As a consequence, all of our new pot still releases are now described as ‘Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey’.
Redbreast 12 is still marketed in the US as a ‘pure pot still’ but this has been permitted under a grandfather ruling. I should note that as part of a packaging upgrade project currently underway on Redbreast 12, we will in time transition all labels over to the new descriptor ‘single pot still’.
In truth, the TTB may have done us a favour by encouraging us to adopt a more widely recognised frame of reference and indeed this will be enshrined in new industry regulation which in underway under the auspices of the Irish Spirits Association.
Thanks Brendan for the update and clarification!