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Paddy Irish Whisky

Review: Paddy Irish Whiskey    83.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted June 30, 2015

Several weeks ago, my friend Dennis returned from a trip to Ireland (where he had been enjoying a well deserved holiday with his girlfriend), and he brought back a couple of whiskeys for me to try. The first one he showed my was Paddy. I didn’t know too much about it, and so I visited their website, to see what I could find out.

What I learned is that Paddy Whiskey is matured for up to 7 years in oak barrels after being distilled from 100 % barley grain. A proportion of the whisky (an unusually high percentage the website says) is malted barley whisky, as well,  some of the Paddy Whiskey blended with what is called Irish Pot Still Whisky.

Note: Pot Still Irish Whiskey is traditionally made from a mash comprised of both malted and unmalted barley which is distilled in a pot still. This style of whiskey was apparently produced as a reaction to British taxes on malted whiskey which were introduced in 1802. To reduce the taxable amount on their whiskey, Irish distillers began to add more unmalted barley into the distillation. The result was what we have come to know as Irish Pot Still Whiskey.

The whiskey is produced in Cork at The Middleton Distillery, and is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Paddy SAM_1540In the Bottle 4/5

Paddy arrives in the tall red topped bottle shown to the left. It is a fairly standard presentation for Irish Whiskey with a straight sided bar room style bottle  with a pressed on metal topper. I like the bright red box the whiskey is housed in which add substance to the presentation.

In the Glass 8.5/10

Paddy shows a nice light golden straw colour in my glencairn glass, and when I give that glass a slow tilt and a slower twirl, I see that the crest which forms at the top of the glass drops a multitude of small to medium-sized legs which drop back down into the whiskey at a moderate pace. Everything appears exactly as it should.

When I brought the whiskey to my nose, my first reaction was that the whiskey seemed to have a bit of a resemblance to a nice Canadian Whisky. This is almost certainly a product of the triple distillation the spirit undergoes which produces a light whiskey style. The aroma is lively with fine oak spices dancing with bits of heather and willow. There is a very light malty (or beer-like) aroma as well as touches of honeyed butterscotch, vanilla and almond. The spicy oak and grain help to give the aroma a penetrating quality; however this intensity is tempered by a light sweetness and the mild malty aromas which mingle within. I would not call Paddy overly complex, however there are enough nuances in the breezes to entice one to sip rather than mix as a first reaction.

In the Mouth 50.5/60

A combination of honeyed butterscotch and soft punky pot-still caramel flavours greet my palate as I take my first sip. There are lively oak spices and some light herbal tones of heather and spearmint. Vanilla and almond flavours settle into the whiskey and bits of orange peel zest nibble at the edges of flavour giving the spirit a bit of a spicy edge. The light maltiness helps to blunt the edge of that spice, and I am finding the whiskey quite pleasant and engaging.

I added an ice-cube and decided that I liked the result. The spicy edge of the spirit is blunted even more, and the penetrating quality of the spice and honeyed butterscotch is tempered to the point where it has become a very enjoyable sipper. (Is that hot buttered toast I am tasting in there?)

In the Throat 12.5/15

The Paddy Whiskey website describes the finish as,

“A sweetness gently fading, mellow maltiness and mild woody notes lingering pleasingly”

and that is a pretty honest assessment. I would add that in ice-cube brings the maltiness into focus which is also quite pleasing. The exit is shorter than implied, but satisfying nonetheless.

The Afterburn 8/10

Paddy Whiskey is a very nice example of how pleasant Irish Whiskey can be. I am quite pleased that Dennis brought his bottle with him to share with me, and even more pleased that he let me steal several ounces so I could write this review.

You may read some of my other Whiskey Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Cocktail

This is my take on the Crusta with respect to how it should be constructed with  Irish Whiskey. I call my recipe, the Emerald Crusta.

Emerald Crusta SAM_1074Emerald Crusta

2 oz Paddy Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
1/4 oz Orange Curacao
dash Angostura Bitters
Fine sugar
Spiral Lime Peel
optional Q-Ginger (sub Ginger-ale or Ginger Beer)

Rim a cocktail glass with a wedge of Lime
Powder the rim of the glass with fine sugar
Place a Spiral lime Peel in the bottom of the glass
Place the first 5 ingredients in a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain onto the spiral lime peel in the cocktail glass
If desired, complete with a splash of Q-Ginger
Add a lump of ice in the center of the lime spiral

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74   Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79   You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84   We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89   Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94   Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+        I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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