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Powers Irish Whiskey

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Want to do some exploring from the land of bourbon into this realm. I want to start with the best bang for the buck and then take it from there. Would Powers be a good starting point?

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  1. J.B., I suggest you go straight to Old Bushmill's and bypass Powers.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Leper

      When I was living in Ireland, the locals drank Powers, Paddy or Jameson (all of which are made by the same company). It's a good starting point in that it is starting at the bottom. I would proceed as quickly as possible to Black Bush or Red Breast for a reasonable price and a decent product. Regardles of your path, I would close with The Midleton.

      1. re: Cam D

        I had thought of getting Red Breast... have never heard a bad thing said about it, but I don't want to buy a bottle if I ended up not likin' it.

        Plus, I figure if I start with something that's maybe not the absolute in taste and happen to like that, well, its only uphill from that point on as I try better stuff : )

        Thanks for the advice, guys...

    2. Powers is probably the most popular of whiskeys in Ireland itself. It's like Americans drinking Jack Daniels. I would choose it myself over Jameson, or Bushmills.

      Bushmills is not the typical irish whiskey, if there is one. Bushmills is a mix of grain and malt whiskey. The prototypical Irish whiskey is a blend, in recent decades, but some of that blend, IMO, should include some potstill. Potstill is a whiskey distilled from a mash that had both malted barley and unmalted barley in the mash bill. (FYI a potstill as a device can be used with many whiskeys, and is the still of choice for flavor.)

      There are only three legally-operated whiskey distilleries in all of Ireland: Bushmills, Cooley and Middleton.

      Cooley is a relatively new distillery that amkes Tyrconnell and Connemara, both of which are very light in there texture. Regardless of what the bottle says, it is not potstill. Only the whiskeys made at Middleton will have potstill in them.

      Redbreast is ALL potstill. There is no malt whiskey or grain whiskey in it. Same for the elusive Green Spot (only one location is known to always have it, J.D. Mitchell & Son in Dublin).

      If you really want Irish whiskey, drink something with potstill in it.

      However, a guy who goes by the name of Jimmy Buffett should be drinking Rum, Tequila and Gilbey's Gin.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Captain

        >> However, a guy who goes by the name of Jimmy Buffett should be drinking Rum, Tequila and Gilbey's Gin

        LOL Captain, except my last name is pronounced as in the all-u-can-eat-served-in-a-trough kind of place. I was raised in the South and I love eatin'.

        Tonight I did a side by side comparison of Powers and Jameson. Both were good but the Jameson's had an edge to it that seemed a bit rough. The Powers was most enjoyable. The overall flavor seemed fuller, more satisfying...almost with a pear or apple overtone way in the back.

        I could have put away a good deal more.

        Coming from a whiskey world in which I have never tried Irish spirits before, I can't say that its better than the bourbon or Canadian I enjoy.... rather, its a different landscape that I look forward to exploring.

      2. I am new to the board and I really enjoy it. As for your request about Powers, I have been a bourbon drinker for over 30 years. In the last two years, I branched out to Scotch but never really acquired a taste for it. Almost by accident I stumbled (no pun intended) on Irish whiskey. I started with the more expensive stuff (Red Breast, 12 year old Jamesson, and even several bottles of Midleton Very Rare) and enjoyed it thoroughly. But you know what, based on bang for the buck there is NOTHING better than good ole Powers. I have turned a number of my friends on to it and they uniformly agree that Powers is the best bargain in alcohol.

        1 Reply
        1. re: burghguy

          Love it. Am enjoying a slug of it right now...

        2. Myself, I drink Tullamore Dew and Kilbeggan.

          Tullamore Dew is a blended whiskey that used to be a Powers product. Kilbeggan is a Cooley product, iirc.

          Both are smoother than many of their counterparts, too smooth for some people.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fussycouple

            ALMOST bought a bottle of this to start with. May get one yet...

          2. Anyone know anything about Clontarf? It won a taste test on money.com

            1 Reply
            1. re: skywalkr2

              Clontarf is a brand that is distilled by the Cooley distillery, but it is nto one of their brands of whiskey, as I understand. it is made under contract. Most of the whiskeys made at Cooley tend to be very light in their texture, but they are also thought of as not really being "Irish" whiskey, as they do not have any unmalted barley in the mix, they have no "potstill." The mash is all malted barley. I like them, but they also would never be the only Irish whiskey in my collection, if I were to ever have just one (slim chance of that though).

            2. Contarf isn't bad, but it has yet to become a regular in my rotation.

              Growing up on Bourbon and, when drinking Irish, Jameson's, imagine my surprise when I finally had GOOD Irish whiskey.

              Stay away from Jameson's and that marketing dreck that is Michael Collins.

              Coming from Bourbon, I would encourage you to track down Tullamore Dew ... a little sweeter, a little smoother.

              I would also encourage you to seek out Powers ... great stuff, but drier, maybe a little hotter. It's what I usually drink in the pub.

              At home, I have Green Spot and Paddy's, both gifts brought over from Ireland.

              1. And belatedly, Powers 12 year old is the finest whiskey ever. Only available in Ireland.