The range is produced at Irish Distillers Ltd's Midleton distillery in County Cork, southern Ireland. The four whiskies are produced in the same way but using different percentages of malted and un-malted barley, plus different casking for the maturation, to produce the distinctive character of each brand. The Old Midleton distillery started production in 1825. but Midleton as we know it today was founded in 1975 following the joining of the Cork Distillers Company, John Jameson & Son and John Power & Son in the late 1960s. This group was called the Irish Distillers Group and they built the new distillery next to the old one - this is now the largest in Ireland and one of the largest in Europe with an annual capacity of 19 million litres. Other famous whiskey names produced there include Jameson, Paddy and Tullamore Dew.
To celebrate the launch, Irish Distillers Ltd have just launched an excellent new website to support the range. It gives detailed history about Irish whiskey and the Midleton distilleries, explains about the single pot still process and each of the whiskies and gives you the chance to join their exclusive Stillman's Club. However, the highlight is a series of fantastic informative videos about the range and Irish industry in general - these are hosted by writer Peter Mulryan, who is a world authority on Irish whiskey. Check out the website at www.singlepotstill.com.
Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy
This brand new whiskey is named after the current Master Distiller at the Midleton distillery and is a whiskey which he feels encapsulates the very essence of what an Irish pot still whiskey should be. Barry has hand selected each cask to be included in this release. Whiskies released under the Midleton name, such as the well loved Midleton Rare, are regarded as some of the finest examples of the pot still style.
Powers John's Lane
This brand new whiskey is named after the former Powers John's Lane distillery in Dublin, which was originally founded in 1791. At the time Powers was one of the industry pioneers, as it was one of the first distilleries to follow the traditional Irish practice of triple distillation. The Powers Gold Label is one of Ireland's best sellers, shifting 2.5 million bottles a year.
Redbreast 12 years old
What's the verdict?
The quality of this range is excellent. The Green Spot and Redbreast were already well loved and regarded and Irish Distillers Ltd have remained true to these two whiskies, while complimented them with the addition of the new Midleton and Powers expressions. The Redbreast, and especially the Midleton, are absolute crackers and the other two are not too far behind. They are clearly well made and as a result all would be accessible to anyone wanting to try Irish whiskies for the first time. There is no harshness, which is sometimes associated with cheaper Irish blends, but just pleasant warming richness and spiciness.