User Posts: Stuart McNamara
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Blend Your Own Irish Whiskey Gift Bottle
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It’s International Irish Whiskey Day Next Tuesday 3rd March 3/3
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International Irish Whiskey Day, an annual international celebration of Irish Whiskey takes place next Tuesday 3rd March - 3/3. The 3rd March date was ...

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The World Whiskies Awards Honour Tullamore D.E.W.
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The World Whiskies Awards Honour Tullamore D.E.W. With Two Coveted Accolades. The Irish Whiskey Brand Takes Gold And Silver Medals. Today, the World ...

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Dunville’s Irish Whiskey wins five World Whiskies Awards
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Dunville's Irish Whiskey wins five World Whiskies Awards News Release For Immediate Release | Friday 7 February 2020 Dunville’s Irish Whiskey has won an ...

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Victor Mee Auctions Irish Whiskey Collectables Sale
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Powers Irish Whiskey New Branding
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Powers Irish Whiskey owned by Irish Distillers at Midleton Distillery have just announced details of a complete rebranding of their iconic and historic Powers ...

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Browsing All Comments By: Stuart McNamara
  1. Hi Brian, Garret and Michael, Many thanks for your interesting feedback which seems to support my theory?
    The good news as you can see from my latest blog post yesterday http://irishwhiskey.com/irish-whiskey-renaissance/ is that some bars and restaurant owners in Ireland (and particularly in Galway) are identifying and exploiting the opportunities in the global resurgence of Irish whiskey.
    The Parknasilla example is not new to me. My own family are regular guests there and were told by a staff member a few years ago that as many of their guests are American, the bar is full of high end Scotch as that is what the guests know and want. So the hotels play safe and just give them what they want by creating an American bar in Ireland. The hotels will tell me that they will stock premium Irish Whiskey when the guests demand it, but if the guest don’t always know enough about Irish whiskey, they won’t look for it. It’s chicken and egg stuff
    But imagine if high end hotels such as Parknasilla created a simple “Irish Whiskey List” based on our Irish Whiskey Pooka Scale at http://irishwhiskey.com/pooka-scale/. Straight away, you have something very high end and very Irish to add value to your guests experience. We are further developing the Pooka Scale project as an Irish Whiskey education tool in coming weeks. My plan is to develop a simple info-graphic that can be used to explain Irish whiskey forms, styles and structure to Irish whiskey beginners be they bar staff, tourists or even new whiskey drinkers.
    If our tourism guests are introduced for the first time to Irish Whiskey while on holiday, they’ll buy more in airport duty free and before you know it we have a new life time Irish Whiskey convert!
    Thanks again for the great comments and feedback and welcome to IrishWhiskey.com!

    Kind regards, Stuart

  2. Thank you very much for that clarification. I have tried to contact you without success. I’d be delighted to offer Parknasilla Resort and Spa a free VIP Listing on our new IrishWhiskeyWay.com Irish Whiskey Tourism site which will be launched in coming weeks. If interested, please see http://IrishWhiskey.com/VIP for application form and my contact details.

    Kind regards,

    Stuart

  3. Hi “Irish Whiskey Expert”,

    I’m not sure from your comments if you have actually read my article properly? But if you have, you seem to have missed the point completely.

    From the opening of my article.”The last time that Irish Whiskey experienced such growth was at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. But then it all crashed in the early 1900’s. One of the reasons it crashed was the introduction of Prohibition in America”.

    This is not meant to be a history of the travails of the Irish Whiskey industry. Rather, it is a quick study on the effect of one or two bad apples spoiling a barrel. I’m talking about why bootlegging affected the Irish whiskey industry more than the Scotch or Bourbon industry “during prohibition years”. Of course I know about the effect of the Coffey Still. I am after all a whiskey writer. I have written elsewhere in recent years of the Coffey Still and Temperance movements in Ireland.

    The point I am making here and which most of my readers (including your Tullamore DEW colleagues) have understood judging from feedback on social media tonight, is that there are valuable lessons to be learned from the early 1900’s to the 30’s when the good name of Irish Whiskey suffered severe damage because of the actions of those producing poor quality or imitation whiskey under an Irish Whiskey banner.

    I am saying that it is important for all of us who care about Irish whiskey to protect it’s good name. Your own company IDL (You registered here with a Pernod-Ricard email address) is to the forefront of this as I have seen at first hand from my visits to Midleton. I have reflected this in many other articles on your distillery and my reviews of many of your products.

    In terms of scolding me in person with “more research required”, perhaps the following may be worth reflecting on.
    “Despite all the challenges facing the Irish Whiskey industry there was still a worldwide demand for quality Irish Pot Still whiskey and by 1900 the amount of whiskey distilled in Ireland quadrupled.” – This quote is from your own IDL publication on Irish Whiskey History. It also supports my opening statement in the article “The last time that Irish Whiskey experienced such growth was at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. But then it all crashed in the early 1900’s”.

    This hardly supports you “advising” me that “Irish whiskey was long dead before prohibition”. In fact Irish whiskey was more popular in the US than Scotch pre-prohibition and particularly on the Irish influenced East Coast (Boston and New York).

    As for “a war with the British Empire” pre-dating prohibition. Prohibition which commenced in 1920 was repealed in 1933. The Anglo Irish Trade war only really started then in 1933 following the second Irish election in two years.

    While I welcome comments of any kind here on IrishWhiskey.com, I am always disappointed when someone’s first instinct is to attack and denigrate the messenger by making loose and unsustainable accusations themselves of sloppy work by others. I am particularly disappointed that in doing so, you claim to be representing IDL. Perhaps you were having a bad evening? Or are you actually with Irish Distillers. I have my suspicions and will be checking.

    I’m now going to open a new bottle of Yellow Spot!

    Kind regards,

    Stuart

  4. An eagle eyed reader has spotted that while the Jameson 18 Years Bow Street Cask Strength is bottled at 55.3% ABV, the photos supplied by their press team show a bottle with a label indicating 54.5% ABV.

    Jameson have confirmed to me that 55.3% ABV is the correct figure. I am also happy that the bottles on display at the launch event were also correctly labeled at 55.3% ABV. Jameson have promised to come back to me on the mystery of the lesser label!

  5. Thanks very much, Patrick. Now you have two great whiskey brands to celebrate and enjoy from Tullamore! Kind regards, Stuart

  6. Thanks Patrick!! Let’s see if a Drop or two of the D.E.W. make our Irish Whiskey Collection shortlist nest week! Kind regards, Stuart

  7. Hi,

    Nice to meet you and thanks for the input. I attended the opening of the new grain distillery in Tullamore last week and I inquired about the use of Irish Grain. I was informed that in general, both the malt and grain distilleries in Tullamore use Irish grown grain sourced from two separate Irish grain suppliers.

    The reason that they don’t shout about this is that they also have a third grain supplier available on demand who can supply them with grain from outside Ireland. They keep this supplier in reserve in case of a catastrophic failure on the side of their Irish suppliers.

    While I like the idea of Irish grain being used in Irish whiskey, I myself do not subscribe to the “Terroir” marketing being promoted by some new distilleries of late. While there may be subtle differences in taste and flavour between different types or strains of barley in beer, by the time this beer or wash has been distilled two or three times, any residual differential will be minute. The differences attributable to identical grain types grown in Cork versus Tullamore, let alone Cork versus Montana will be negligible if they exist at all following distillation.

    Even if Terroir were important, wouldn’t it be a huge coincidence if the fields which happen to be close to the distillery just happened to produce better flavoured grain than elsewhere in Ireland!

    The difference with wine is that like, but to an even greater extent than beer, the grape contributes a significant part of the flavour and quality associated with the finished product. That’s also why distilleries are built near water sources and distribution networks (roads, canals etc) whereas wineries are located near or in vineyards.

    So, my own opinion is that while it is a nice idea that an Irish whiskey distillery would support their local economy by using Irish grain, it’s just a nice and noble idea. The whole myth of grain “terroir” in whiskey is just marketing talk. For an independent view on this see this recent Scottish Malt Whisky Society article on Whisky Grain Terroir.

    Kind regards,

    Stuart

  8. Hi John, Nice to hear from you!

    Of course you are technically correct in pointing out that there are many Scotch whiskies that are un-peated.

    I think most readers (including the beginners the article is aimed at) would have realised that I was only talking about peated scotch whiskies in the article.

    Un-peated malting would have first taken hold in the industrialised lowlands of Scotland and would have spread out over the turn of the century as the transport (road and rail) infrastructure developed even up to the highlands.

    I’ll bow to those with greater knowledge of the Scotch Whisky industry than mine, but my understanding is that today, many of the peated Scotch whiskies may be influenced by essence rather than good old fashioned turf smoke.

    Thanks again for joining in!!

    Kind regards,

    Stuart

  9. Hi Martin, Thanks for the kind comments.

    From the Moscow Times a few weeks ago. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article.php?id=525436 . In this article titled “As Alcohol Prices Soar, Russians Turn to Imitation Whiskeys and Rums”, Rowsons Reserve is described as a “Whiskey based drink”! Is it Irish Whiskey or a “whiskey based drink”?

    This link http://eng.winestyle.ru/products/Rowson-s-Reserve-700.html from one of their suppliers in Russia seems to imply that the Russian Rowsons Reserve is 100% Irish whiskey and is different from the Indian version?

    If this “Irish Whiskey” contains Indian whiskey, it will have interesting implications. As far as I know, Diageo are still members of the IWA even since offloading all of their Irish Whiskey interests when they sold Bushmills to Jose Cuerva in Mexico earlier this year. If it’s a “whiskey based drink” rather than a whiskey, there will be confusion.

    Reports such as these which show history repeating itself are what prompted me to write this article. Thanks for highlighting! Kind regards, Stuart