It appears that the historic Powers Irish Whiskey brand is set for a full stylistic overhaul of their whiskey range, which may see the brand follow the stylistic aesthetics of the recent Powers ready to drink old fashioned cocktail.
The new whiskey labels, which have been approved by the US’ Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (commonly know as the TTB), see the brand’s iconic Powers’ Diamond trademark take centre stage as the label for the newly designed range of whiskeys. The familiar diamond features the capital P in the centre, paying homage to the original Powers Diamond trademark which was first documented in the 1870’s, although, it could have been in use before that point also. Although, for what may be the first time in the brand’s history, the ‘gold label whiskey’ may not actually feature a gold coloured label on the bottle.
Powers debuted their iconic ‘Pot Still Whiskey’ featuring its recognisable gold coloured label in 1886, in response to less than high quality whiskey being bottled under the Powers family name, by bonders across the British Empire. The gold label was a hallmark of quality that proved to those purchasing the whiskey that it was whiskey straight from the distillery itself.
The famous Powers ‘Pot Still Whiskey’ survived well until the the late 1960’s when in 67 it was officially renamed Powers “Gold Label”. This could be seen on the footer of below examples. This particular design lasted until the 1980’s when it was replaced with a restyled ‘Gold Label’ Powers label. Since then a number of redesigns have taken place, but one thing remained the same through the range, the Gold Label whiskey always had a gold label, until now it seems.
As the new labels appear in the US TTB submission, the range has received a complete visual overhaul, which seems to include a Powers Gold Label Whiskey, without a gold label. The Gold Label name remains but the iconic gold colour of the whiskey’s namesake has been replaced with the brand’s trademark’s red and white colour scheme. with the expression name situated within the trademark diamond. These US labels indicate that the whiskey will continue to be bottled in the US at 43.2% ABV and will be bottled at the full 750ml format.
The rest of the Powers range will follow suit with this style and their current US ABVs, if these labels are accurate, with one possible exception. The Powers Signature, has not joined its family members to receive an approved TTB label redesign. This could be due to a number of factors, such as; a delay in processing the application, it could be caused by additional need for label amendments or perhaps it could also be in the process of discontinuation for the US market. Either way, take a look at the new approved labels for Powers Three Swallow and the magnificent John’s Lane.
As always, TTB approved submissions require a pinch of salt, and are not always best to be taken literally. Amendments can be made to any approved label and these amendments are not published publicly by the TTB, furthermore, graphic representations of labels submitted to the TTB do not always showcase the foiling intended to be applied to labels, which may see a greater gold presence on the future incarnation of Powers Gold Label.
What the future will really hold for the Powers labels, I do not know. What I do know is that it is fantastic to witness Irish Distillers taking such a strong interest in a historic brand once again, and I look forward to witnessing its growth over the next number of years.