Powers 12 John’s Lane (Irish – Pot Still) – 46% ABV
Well here we go… My first Irish whiskey review! I’ve generally enjoyed the history of Irish whiskey far more than the actual product, as I’ve tended to find them pleasant, but a little too uncomplicated to hold my interest for long. That, however, is in danger of changing rather quickly as producers like Green Spot, Teeling, Redbreast, and even Jameson have started doing some really interesting things with their bottlings.
As good as some of those are (particularly the Redbreast 12 CS), top of the heap for me has to be the Powers 12 John’s Lane release.
Nose: The sherry influence is very evident… Rich dark chocolate, lightly sweetened caramel and dried raisins come immediately to mind. Darker fruit notes lie underneath, something akin to dark cherries and dried plums. There’s a mild and musty oakiness underlying everything here. This is the smell of a 19th century gentleman’s parlor!
Palate: The promise of the nose certainly delivers on the palate! Rich, lovely viscosity coats the mouth. That dark chocolate (not bitter) still leads the way, but the dried fruit notes are catching up now. Raisins, plums, apricots and dark stone fruits blend together with the caramel and chocolate wonderfully. The sweetness (lightly honeyed) of the arrival gives way through the development and some vanilla, light oak, tobacco and leather notes appear.
Finish: Sadly unremarkable. Not bad by any stretch, but it dries out and fades away far more quickly than I would like. Short to medium length, it leaves me with a sense of the lovely tobacco and leather notes that I wish would last longer.
I really am very, very impressed! The score may seem high, given how unenthusiastic my comments on the finish are, but that just speaks to how much I enjoy the other aspects of this whiskey.
If this were more readily available in Ontario I’d be in danger of having a glass of this every day. As it stands, I’ll have to treat this as the rare and delicious treat it deserves to be.