Review: Powers 12 Years Old John Lane Release Irish Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

First and Second Fill Ex-Bourbon; Oloroso Sherry Casks
100% Pure Pot Still
Distiller Midleton (Midleton, Ireland)

This is another example of pot still whisky from Midleton (who make, a variety of pot still whiskies), this one a bit different than Redbreast which is the classic example. It is named after John Lane, the massive distillery which Powers founded and one of the huge distilleries which at one time made Dublin the capital of whisk(e)y production in the world.

Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

Spicy, dried stone fruits, apricots, and loads of rich fruit. A nice bit of umami, too – there is a good bit of nice, sweet oak underpinning this. The palate is rich, with more stone fruit, oak, and loads of pear and spice towards the finish. Vanilla, oak, spice, banana, and white pepper control the finish.

The finish is where this one really comes through. The palate builds in richness – with peach and dried apricot building, alongside some toffee, into a flourish of orchard fruit, a growing earthiness, vanilla, and oak.

I really like the richness, spiciness, and balance of this whisky. It is bigger than Redbreast, in a good way, and, to me, fits well in the Power’s style.

I like this more than the Redbreast 12 – it is a bit oakier, a bit bigger, and I like the oaky richness.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). This is particularly recommended if you like pure pot still Irish whiskies. They are hard to find and mostly all made at Midleton, although the category is being revived. I quite like unmalted grains, so it’s rather fun…

Value: Average. A good whisky for a decent price.

Review: Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

Powers 2.jpg
American Oak
Grain and Pot Still Whiskies
Distiller Midleton (Midleton, Ireland)

This is the best selling Irish whiskey in Ireland (globally it is Jameson), and it is made at the massive Midleton distillery. Historically, it was a single pot still Irish whiskey but now it is a blended Irish whiskey with some grain whiskey in the mix. It originated in Dublin, and at one time (late 1800s) it was being produced at the massive Dublin distillery on John Lane (900,000 litres per annum) at the time when Dublin distileries were the largest in the world and Irish whiskey was booming. However, after US prohibition Irish whiskey struggled and consolidation saved the industry, which for the past several years has been the fastest growing segment of whisky in the world.

Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L724815684 15:57

  • Bottling Date: 2017

In some ways, it’s rougher than Jameson – but it has a nice rich character to it with more body which I do enjoy. The nose is full of dried fruit – prunes and dried cherries – alongside apple juice and nice spices – clove, star anise, and nutmeg. It works a trick. The palate is spicy, full of toffee and vanilla underneath, and letting you off easy with a sweet and light finish of baked pear, custard, mixed nuts, and black pepper. The baked pear grows and grows. Nice texture. The 43% carries it nicely, and it has a nice oily character to it. There is the oily, grassy, fruity pot still in here too – and I love it. It’s perhaps not the most dominant, but it is at the centre.

A bit rough, but I like it. The grain whisky asserts itself more than I would like, but, hey, it’s still good.

Value: Average, at $40.