“Not Still Pot Still” – A 120 Year History of Commercial Released Pot Stills That No Longer Can Be Called ‘Single Pot Still”

The public consultation period regarding the definition of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey looms on the horizon, and in previous articles on this topic, I have mentioned that there have been Single Pot Still Whiskeys released in every decade back to at least 1900 that were labelled as “Pure Pot Still” (the predecessor title to Single Pot Still created in 2011). In this article I will outline a thorough but not complete list of 120 years of the history of commercially released Pot Still whiskeys that would no longer be allowed under the current 2014 definition of Single Pot Still whiskey, thus deemed “Non-Compliant Pot Still”.

These whiskeys are heralded by distilleries and fans of the category for their genuine and unique flavours and quintessential examples of Single Pot Still whiskey. The fact that a 120 years of Single Pot Still whiskeys can no longer be classified as such, is why the Irish whiskey industry as a whole has come together to petition the government to change the definition of Single Pot Still whiskey, which would encompass all of the recipes that crafted these fantastic whiskeys across time. In-fact, all of the core traits that are said to be expected by consumers in Single Pot Still whiskey, by brands and the technical file itself, are discernable in whiskeys such of these “non-compliant” single pot still whiskeys, due to their traditionally adjuncted mashbills that include grains such as oats, wheat and rye in excess of 5% and less than 30%. Below is a list of these ‘Non-Compliant” Single Pot Still Whiskeys, released as such, with some “compliant” examples included for transparancy.

List of “Non-Compliant” Single Pot Still Whiskeys since 1900:
(As per 2014 definition of Single Pot Still whiskey)

1900 – 1951: Near Universally all bottlings released in this time are “non-compliant” with 2014 specification (1951 Act, First Legislation by the Republic of Ireland on Irish whiskey)

1951 – 1960 (Last Decade of the robust Pure Pot Still Distilling Industry):
All commercial bottlings in this time period considered to be “non-compliant”.

Redbreast (Gilbey’s) – Non-Compliant
Green Spot 10 (Mitchell & Son) : Non-Compliant
Jameson Pure Pot Still 7 year old: Non-Compliant
Jameson Pure Pot Still 12 years old: Non-Compliant
Locke’s: Non-Compliant
Comber 7 year old: Non-Compliant
Powers Pure Pot Still: Non-Compliant
B. Daly’s (of Tullamore) Pot Still: Non-Compliant
Paddy (Cork Distillers’) PPS: Non-Compliant

1960 – 1967 (Formation of IDL and IDL core brands swapped to blends):
Redbreast 12 Year Old PPS: Non-Compliant
Jameson 7 Year Old PPS: Non-Compliant
Jameson 12 Year Old PPS: Non-Compliant
Powers 7 Year Old Pure Pot Still: Non-Compliant
Powers 10 Pure Pot Still: Non-Compliant
Green Spot 10 PPS: Non-Compliant

1968 – 1975 (Building of New Midleton in 1975):
Redbreast 10 PPS: Non-Compliant
Redbreast 12 PPS: Non-Compliant
Green Spot PPS: Non-Compliant
Knappogue 1950 PPS: Non-Compliant

1975 – 1988 (Cooley Distillery Production Begins 1988, first new distillery):
1970’s – Green Spot: Non-Compliant
1980’s – Green Spot: Compliant
1980 – Locke’s 34 year old Pure Pot Still: Non-Compliant
1983 – Old Comber 30 Pure Pot Still: Non-Compliant
1987 – Knappogue 1951 Pure Pot Still: Non-Compliant
1987 – Averys of Bristol Jameson 37 old Irish pot still, Non-Compliant
Gilbey’s Redbreast 12 Pure Pot Still: Non-Compliant

1985 – 2000 (Early Market Diversification Era):
Redbreast 12 Fitzgerald/IDL Pure Pot Still: Compliant (Relaunched 1991)
Green Spot Pure Pot Still: Compliant
1991 – Caddenheads Authentic Collection: B. Daly PPS: Non-Compliant
1991 – Caddenheads Authentic Collection: John’s Lane PPS: Non-Compliant
1994 – Dungourney 1964 PPS: Non-Compliant
1999 – Midleton 1973 25 PPS: Non-Compliant
1999 – Midleton 1969 30 PPS: Non-Compliant
2000 – MIdleton 1973 26 PPS: Non-Compliant
c.2001 – Jameson 15 PPS: Compliant
2003 – Midleton 1973 30 PPS: Non-Compliant
c. 2005 – Willier Napier PPS (bot. 1989, branded and released c. 2005): Non-Compliant

2006 – 2011 (Launch of Pernod-Ricard’s New ‘Single Pot Still’ portfolio. All
releases during this period produced in IDL’s New Midleton facility):

Redbreast 12 Pure Pot Still: Compliant
Green Spot Pure Pot Still: Compliant
2006 – Redbreast 15 Pure Pot Still (LMDW): Compliant
2011 – Cooley/Kilbegggan spirit laid down publicly as Irish pot still whiskey: Non-Compliant
2011 – Powers John’s Lane “Single Pot Still”: Compliant
2011 – Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy “Single Pot Still”: Compliant

**Archival research conducted by PhD. Candidate, Fionnan O’Connor.

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