Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: Power's Gold Label Irish Whiskey

Power's Gold Label Irish Whiskey

What is the best selling whiskey in Ireland?  Bushmills?  Jameson's?  Jameson's standard bottling is enormously successful in the United States, so why not in the homeland?  Nope, it's Power's Gold Label.  Never heard of it?  Vaguely familiar from visits to the grocery store?  Yeah, I know you.  You should be getting that package of organic pasta or 12 grain bread, and where do I find you?  Yeah, scopin' out the booze!  Don't pretend you have never seen Power's.  You've seen it.  Maybe you didn't buy it because it was $19.99.  Don't worry, I bought a bottle.

Power's is very affordable, no-age-statement, Irish whiskey that is as smooth as Irish charm.  It is probably the best of the no-age-statement standard bottling Irish whiskey.  I'd take it any day of the week over the standard Jameson or Bushmills.  A great starter whiskey for the newbie, and amusing to the old horse too.

Freshly fallen pine needles, steaming orange pekoe tea.

Sweet bread, apples, limes wrapped in an oily texture with a dash of nutmeg. 

Flavors do not linger very long, so the finish is what we would term 'short.'  What we are left with after the whiskey is gone are pleasant notes of classic pure pot still flavor.  Hard to describe it if you are not familiar with Irish whiskey, so lemme try anyway. 

Irish whiskey tastes distinctly different from scotch due to the use of a pure pot still.  Power's showcases this classic flavor. 

This whiskey is a blend of pot still and grain whiskey, but I am told the ratio of pot still to grain is like 60/40, which in turn is responsible for the unmistakable Irish whiskey taste.  So, what's pure pot still taste like?  That classic Irish taste is of lime and a little green onion.  Done well, it is restrained and pleasing.  Done poorly, it can come off as young, raw and spirity because the flavor of green onion dominates.  Power's do a fairly good job, but on the edge of being a little young.  We can forgive this given the ridiculously cheap price.

General Impressions
Power's Gold is a very good introduction to Irish whiskey.  While the price is low, the quality of the taste is not.  Maybe not super complex, but hey, if you live in the US, you probably only paid $20!  Extremely smooth, with some spice to make it interesting.  Flaws?  None really.  Compared to other no-age-statement Irish whiskies, this is probably the best of the lot.  Definitely better than Jameson's standard bottling.

If you are familiar with scotch whisky, and never tried Irish, this is a good place to start. 


Jason Debly

Copyright © Jason Debly, 2009-2011. All rights reserved. Any and all use is prohibited without permission.


  1. I enjoy Irish whiskey quite a lot. Jameson is a great favorite of mine. I currently also have a bottle of Tyrconnell, pretty interesting stuff I must say.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Jason, nice review here. I just picked up a bottle of Powers and your descriptions of lime and green onion are right on. Powers is much more like a good bourbon-cask single malt than all of its cheap-blend brethren. I'll need to spend some more time with it, but based on first impressions, I'd say there isn't a better Irish OR Scottish blend at that price! I may have finally found a cheap non-bourbon whisky that I can rely on! Nice!

  3. Hi Ryan! Glad you discovered this one! A fantastic gem. Another, but Scottish, is White Horse. Islay influenced blend worth checking out at the grand old price of $22.

  4. Great review! How about Powers 12?

    1. Haven't had it yet buddy. When I lay my hands on it, I'll be sure to review and post my findings.

  5. Jason, We enjoyed a new arrival at the pub over the weekend, Powers 12y (blend). Wonderfully sweet nose of vanilla, caramel and banana. Silky, balanced arrival, light bodied on the palate, and with enough sweet-sour lime on the finish to remind ourselves just what lowland whisky comprises when done well. Showed well next to Redbreast 12y (pot still) and Auchentoshan 12y; my preferred lowland pour of the three. Worth a look if Powers Gold represented quality to you. JK

  6. I was hoping for some magic here, but I was disappointed! This tasted like a watered down, corn dominant bourbon. Like Evan Williams, or Dickel mixed with a little vodka. Now, it wasn't bad, but it just wasn't really great. At the current price of $32, I expected more value and it really wasn't there. So far I have been happier with standard Tullamore Dew and Bushmills. Jameson can go fly a kite. -Mark Follette

    1. I think I picked up a bottle of Powers for $19 and for that price it was well worth it. I am not a fan of Jameson, but then again I dont like Tullamore Dew.

      Nice to hear from you.

  7. Yea it's 32 here in Tennessee. For 20 I can get bushmills. Started with Scotch but have slowly been getting into Irish whiskey. Loving green spot and teelings small batch whiskey. Delicious stuff

    1. Green Spot will be one of my upcoming reviews. Nice stuff but pricey where I live.

      Irish has lots to offer.

  8. Replies
    1. I think it is 40%. This is a cheap economy Irish whiskey, so not likely to get a higher than usual ABV.