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Jacob Richler on Irish Whiskey

irish whiskey

The Irish whiskey category is on fire of late – and I don’t just mean this week.

Over the last decade, stateside sales are up some 600%. Some attribute this to the Emerald Isle’s newly proliferating brands, blends and single malts. But I think it comes down to its unique, characteristic combination of smoothness and spice: Irish is your ultimate starter whiskey, and no other blend or malt tastes better at mid-day.

If you want to test that theory, tomorrow is the day. And you might as well start with Ireland’s favourite bottle. Which believe it or not produced by Jameson or Bushmills but rather the upstart Powers, which has only been around since 1791. Powers Gold Label is triple distilled, finished in American oak, has a delightfully spicy nose, rich with white pepper and clove, and a long smooth finish.

It’s a steal at $39.95 at the LCBO.

And it packs 43.2% alcohol by volume, which according to Brand Ambassador Conor Timmons, makes it ideal for Irish chicken soup – aka, a Hot Toddy. Keep that in your back pocket for Saturday, I say. In the meantime, get started with an Old Fashioned, segue to the Irish coffee after lunch – and go neat for the afternoon. Good luck.

The Powers Old Fashioned:

4 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 tsp Sugar (or 2 sugar cubes)
1 Orange wheel
1 splash Club soda
2oz Powers Irish whiskey


Powers Hot Toddy:

1 1/2 oz. Powers Irish Whiskey
1 barspoon honey
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. boiling water
Garnish: lemon wedge, cinnamon stick and star anise (optional)
Serve in a mug


Powers Irish Coffee:

1.5 oz Powers Irish Whiskey
1 oz Brown sugar syrup
Hot brewed coffee
Unsweetened cream, lightly whipped

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