Distiller: Not disclosed (likely Irish Distillers, Dublin, Ireland [Pernod-Ricard])
Style: Triple distilled Irish blend
Age: 4 y/o
Michigan state minimum: $40/1750 ml (comes out to about $17 for 750 ml)
Appearance: Dark straw.
Nose: Cream soda, dried flowers.
Palate: Mild, but pleasant. Lemon meringue pie, alcohol.
Finish: Vanilla, malt, toffee.
Mixed: I tried Kirkland Irish Whiskey with ginger ale, in a Blackthorn and a Paddy cocktail. I didn’t care much for the Blackthorn, but the other two were very good.
Parting words: Kirkland Irish Whiskey only comes around my local Costco in the month of March, but I wish it was available year round. It’s simple and relatively young, but still elegant. It tastes a little like Jameson, but the floral aromas are balanced with a sweet creaminess that is lacking in the world’s best-selling Irish whiskey. Not much else to say, but I’m enjoying Kirkland a lot more than the last Irish whiskey I bought, which was twice the age, incidentally. Kirkland Irish Whiskey is highly recommended.
Maker: Irish Distillers, Dublin, Ireland (Pernod Ricard)
Distillery: New Midleton, Midleton, County Cork, Ireland (Pernod Ricard)
Style: Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Cooperage: Bourbon with a little Oloroso sherry
Age: 12 y/o
Michigan State Minimum: $70
Appearance: Burnt orange.
Nose: Oak, leather.
Palate: Full bodied and sweet. Toffee, overaged bourbon, maybe a tiny bit of plum.
Finish: New oak, burn.
Parting words: Powers John’s Lane release was created as a tribute to the old John’s Lane Distillery in Dublin where Powers was originally distilled. It has received many accolades over the years, including a whiskey of the year designation from pennenial internet punching bag Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.
After writing up my notes, I consulted a couple other blogs (My Annoying Opinions and Diving for Pearls) to make sure I wasn’t completely off base. I wasn’t. I love Powers (though maybe not as much as Mr. Kravitz) but I don’t love this whiskey. It’s unbalanced with an overbearing raw oak note similar to the small barrel flavors in Tuthilltown’s dreck. Aside from a hit of toffee in the front of the palate that’s all I can really taste and it’s bad. I don’t know what the hell happened here but $70 is $65 too much. Powers John’s Lane is not reccomended.
Maker: Irish Distillers, Midleton, Cork, Ireland (Pernod-Ricard)
Style: Beer barrel finished blended Irish whiskey
Michigan state minimum: $33
Parting words: The concept behind this whiskey is identical to the New Holland Beer Barrel bourbon I reviewed here, back in 2013. The only difference is that the whiskey producer is issuing this rather than the brewer. The brewer in this case is Franciscan Well brewery in County Cork. The beer that formerly occupied the barrels was their Jameson Aged Stout.
This is a much more successful whiskey than Beer Barrel Bourbon was. Like BBB, contact with the beer barrel has brought out fruity aromas and flavors that aren’t present in the whiskey normally. That fruit complements the floral aromas in Jameson where it clashed with the caramel and spice of the MGP bourbon used in BBB.
I’m not a big fan of the standard Jameson, so I like the idea of using finishes to flesh out its normally thin profile. I hope more editions of Caskmates are planned for the future (and are at this reasonable price). Jameson Caskmates, Stout edition is recommended.