I've recently returned from vacation in Ireland. What a beautiful country, but what lousy weather! All that's another story though, for another time. What I wanted to relay was some information on Irish whiskey's that I tasted while there. As it turns out, they were all from the Middleton Distillery, maker of Jameson. The first one I tasted was Power's. I found it to be very enjoyable, with a relatively light flavor and smooth finish. I find it to be an exceptionally good blended whiskey (which I usually don't like) and very affordable. I had a glass of Redbreast at a pub and during this tasting, I enjoyed it very much. It has more complexity than the Power's; it too is very smooth and had a nice, long finish. It is 12 years old and is pure pot still whiskey. Next, while doing a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin (no distilling is done there now; the current distillery is at Middleton, located in the town of the same name), it was recommended that I try Crested 10. Up until this point, the Crested 10 was the best of the bunch flavor wise. A very delicious, but light tasting whiskey, with a very enjoyable aroma, an array of light malt flavors, and a very smooth/long finish. It is 8 years old. The price on this is in between the Power's and the Redbreast. After the tour of Jameson's, there was a glass of the standard Jameson's to taste. Very disappointing in my book, especially when compared to the others I'd tasted already. Lastly, while in Dublin, we went to the shop of liquor merchant, Mitchell's. We had a great talk with one of the salesmen about Irish whiskey as well as Bourbon. I'm pretty sure they had Buffalo Trace there! Anyway, they carry Middleton whiskey that is made exclusively for them, called Green Spot. I was able to try it along with the Redbreast again. No contest here; the Redbreast wasn't even enjoyable in comparison. On this occasion, the finish left an unpleasant flavor in my mouth and throat. The Green Spot however, was phenomenal. This bottling was 8 years old...there are older bottlings, but these get quite expensive. The aroma was very pleasant. Again, there is a lightness in the flavor, yet a complexness as well. The finish was superb, being quite smooth and long. I believe this was the same price as the Redbreast at Mitchel's. I grabbed a bottle of the Green Spot to enjoy at home. Dad got a bottle of the Crested 10. I had previously purchased Power's.
Unfortunately, the Green Spot and Crested 10 are not available in the US. I don't think Redbreast is available here either. If you're in Ireland, I highly recommend that you try them. Even in Ireland, the Green Spot is had to find. I checked many "off-license" shops (their liquor stores) asking for Green Spot. Everyone knew of it, but only one place in Galway had it.