John Power & Son 7 Years Old (John’s Lane, 1960s)
The second review in this series of whisky from Dublin’s lost distilleries is of John Power & Son 7 Years Old, distilled at John’s Lane Distillery and bottled in the mid-1960s.
John’s Lane is described as the most efficient and well-organised whisky distillery in the world. They employed over 300 people and produced triple distilled pot still whiskey. Near the end of the 1800s production was at 3,4 million liters every year. A total of 40.000 casks matured in locations all over Dublin.
The distillery was founded in 1791 and in 1886 it was one of the first Irish distilleries to bottle their own whiskey: John Power Gold Label. Up until the 1960s it was common in Ireland for distilleries to sell casks to merchants, who in turn bottled the whiskey. Whiskey was also sold straight to pubs.
Whether the whiskey I review today is a single pot still whiskey, is somewhat unclear. It is not explicitly stated on the label, while there are other Gold Label-versions from the same period that do state this. It might mean that this is one of the first versions that was a blend of pot still and grain whiskey. However, that is not certain.
John Power & Son 7 Years Old (43%, John’s Lane Distillery, 1960s)
Nose: It certainly shares characteristics with other old pot still whiskey. Somewhat sweet, with coconut chocolates, mandarines, apricot marmelade, candied bananas. But also varnish and wood glue, with a hint of aniseed and cinnamon as well. It noses lovely.
Taste: Sweet brown sugar, toffee and also cloves and black pepper. Followed by wheat bread, but also faint cough syrup, diesel and menthol cigarettes.
Finish: Very long with lots of menthol. Finally reverting to sweeter notes, like stewed apples and pears.
The nose shows a lovely complexity, and the palate is nothing to sneeze at either. Even with my limited knowledge on this subject, I dare say this is a single pot still whiskey. And if not, than the grain whisky with which it was blended certainly left plenty of room for that old pure pot still style. Wonderful!
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.