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Powers John's Lane 12 Year Old Single Pot Still

"I'm Your Pusher"

10 889

@cricklewoodReview by @cricklewood

17th Nov 2022


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

What another review!? Well I needed a sparring partner for the Gold Spot.

Ok I think this has been reviewed by other's so I will try and keep it brief. Power's rounds out the OG trio of classic Irish Pot Still styles made at Midleton distillery. According to Irish whisky historian Fionan O'connor, the Power's family were the other big family clan of controlling interest along with the Jameson's in the Irish Distillers conglomerate. That said where the Jamesons were a bit hoity toity and uptight, the Power's clan had kept their working class roots and also had a powerful reputation among those same folks thus their sales reps knew this and loved to rub it in to the faces of the other folks in the IDL organisation. Power's Pot still style was a bit more edgy than what was produced elsewhere and the pot still recipes used at Midleton for their blends maintain that style.

This is matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry casks.

Nose: Just a great start, plump raisins, Popeye Candy sticks, grape candy, linseed oil, wet grain, mineral oil, there are spices, like a wonderful blend heavy on the powdered ginger, with a hint of clove and cassia. Time brings more grain forward and a feeling of old copper coins or tin box before it's back to fruit salad with emphasis on apples, and bananas.

Palate: Pleasantly sharp, waxy apple peel, a pleasant bitterness, a little tobacco, apricot, rustic bread with marmalade, there's a lovely slightly industrial note that keeps popping to tamp down all the sweet stuff.

Finish: A little bitterness like one would find in dark chocolate, boiled honey and then that yeasty/mineral/fruity/leather feeling left by sherry.

Blab: What a great balance, there's power and edge to remind you this aint' Redbreast but it's not harsh. There's again this fresh, nervous side here that is definitely in other Power's products like Signature or the Gold blend. I really instantly loved this, it hit all the right points, I wish this was available in Canada, hell I think it's barely available in the US. I suppose that Pernod doesn't want to cannibalise it's own sales since it flogs Redbreast and Spot products pretty hard in this market, or perhaps they're still holding the grudge of the Jamesons.

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RianC commented

@cricklewood - nice to know the quality is still high after the rebrand. Also nice to see you back in the reviewing 'saddle' slight_smile . I've tended to find most pot still whiskey gets much better with air - there's usually a wee alcoholic nip to begin with, which always surprises me being triple distilled.

14 days ago 1Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

Although this was a sample I agree much like bourbon, the Irish pot still seems to do really well with after the fill level has dropped a bit...despite what the science naysayers have to say about that kind of theory.

Thanks it'll be another 2 weeks before I'm medically allowed to get in "a saddle" laughing but I suppose for reviews it's ok.

I largely preferred this Power's over Redbreast 12 or even Yellow Spot (which I enjoyed quite a bit). I felt like the rustic touch along with a nice clean creamy sherry was a winning combo.

13 days ago 2Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

It is indeed a shame that this isn't more widely available in the Great White North, eh?! Your review gives me some serious Pot Still envy. I've soured a bit on Redbreast in the last year or two. Their 12 Year CS has been completely unavailable for awhile and the last time it was around the LCBO botched the release in the most spectacular way, even by LCBO's very low standards. I've tasted the standard RB 12 from a few bottles that weren't mine in the last year and I've found it a bit more "alcohol nippy" than before. This Powers release sounds like it's got a bit better quality control happening. Thanks for the review.

13 days ago 1Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

@OdysseusUnbound we can expect the LCBO to botch any rollout they have to do for a product, incompetence and apathy meet.

I have never been able to secure a bottle of RB Cask Strength for myself, I have tried it through the generosity of samples and I like it quite a bit, some batches seem much better. I know Midleton has started to roll out a series of Cask Strength versions for the US market, there was a 10yr special edition and some "small batch" products, I won't hold my breath for any of that to come our way.

13 days ago 1Who liked this?

casualtorture commented

I have yet to notice this down here in the states but I will keep my eye out now!

12 days ago 2Who liked this?

Victor commented

As @casualtorture notes Powers' John's Lane 12 yo is NOT a common whiskey to find in many parts of the USA. When Jim Murray rated it 95 points and named it Irish Whiskey of the Year about 10 years ago I continuously had my eye out to get some. My sister got a bottle in Baltimore in about 2013, and I was able to get a bottle, also in Baltimore, about a year later. In both cases those were the only bottles offered for sale, and in the last 10 years those were the only bottles of this whiskey I have seen on any store shelves in the DC and Baltimore regions.

Her bottle was opened right away and I found it very disappointing at first. 2 years' air later it became great, and stayed that way until its end, about 4 years ago. My bottle hasn't been opened yet, but I expect it to be stiff at first in all likelihood, as both my sister's bottle, and @RianC's bottles were. After a waiting period I expect it to be Mr. Murray's 95 class whiskey.

12 days ago 3Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@cricklewood as to the science naysayers: I know we can't scientifically explain it for now but most of us have had the experience of a whisky changing over time. It isn't always us or our senses. I did the experiment myself a few months ago with a fresh Highland Park 12 and a sample a friend gave me from an older bottling that had been opened over a year at the time he bottled the sample. Ok, I admit that batch variation plays a role here too, but wow what a difference ! The newer one had almost no peat or smoke to speak of. The older HP12 had that nice, gentle heathery peat and smoke that was present but not dominant.

12 days ago 2Who liked this?

Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound I do not doubt what you say about the bottles you have experienced, but I can testify that my HP12 bottle purchased 11 years ago had ZERO noticeable peat, smoke, or sherry. It was just barley to taste, and almost none of that until it took 5 months of air time.

12 days ago 0

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