On the 21st of January I wrote my first ever blog post Here and wrote about how I had decided to start collecting Irish Whiskey and how my first purchase was a Celtic Whiskey Store, Powers Single Cask No. 284.
Fast forward to the 8th of November, I find myself driving West, destination Galway, more precisely Garavan’s Bar for the launch of their Powers Single Cask release and my eighteenth Powers Single Cask. Yes, since the 21st of January I have purchased all eighteen single casks….. I have a problem!
When I think back to that day that I strolled in to The Celtic Whiskey Store to make my first ever purchase I never thought that only ten months later I’d be getting invited to launches of bottles, all be it with a little help from a certain friend!
My day started off in rather suspicious circumstances when I pulled in to a petrol station carpark on the Old Navan Road and made my way over to another car, there I met a man dressed in all black with a black wool hat on. I sat in the seat next to him and he handed over some cash and an empty medicine bottle. I commented how this looks so dodgy that I’m sure someone has called the Gardaí! We both laughed out loud when we realised how we must have looked. Half an hour later I departed the petrol station and rounded each bend full sure there would be a checkpoint with the local Garda wanting to know ‘Is this your vehicle? What’s in the bottle? Where did you get that cash?’ I’d have crumbled under the pressure and told him the whole story, ‘It is my vehicle, the bottle is for a sample of Powers Single Cask whiskey and the cash is for a bottle of the stuff’. I reckon he’d have thought ‘No one come up with a story like that, it must be true, go so and mind yourself’
‘Thanks Garda, I’d have said’ Galway here I come…..
I left nice and early with the best of intentions of using the facilities at The Connacht Hotel, which was where I was basing myself for the night. I had the swimming togs packed and was looking forward to the pool and sauna. Of course after the journey over I crashed on the bed and I didn’t budge from the room until it as time for a bit of dinner! Suited and booted I had the grub and hailed a taxi to bring me in to the city for the event in Garavan’s.
I met up with the one and only Mr Omar Fitzell of Thats Dram Good and we made our way in to Garavan’s. I must admit it’s been a long time since I’ve been here but I was immediately struck but how nice it is inside. While the weather was fairly chilly outside there was a lovely warm feeling upon entering the bar and I felt nice and comfortable in my surroundings. We bumped into Gerard Garland of Irish Distillers who was to be our host for the night and he declared ‘Oh, the bloggers have arrived’, I think it’s the first time that someone has said that to me. I was chuffed! Ha Ha Ha!!
We got to chatting with those who had arrived and I was introduced to Darren Green, who is manager of Garavan’s and the man who invited me over for the event. The small talk continued and someone made reference to the fact that Tom Lavin was sitting in the corner. I only know Tom from the world of Twitter so it was nice to properly introduce myself and I promptly set up base camp beside Tom and his lovely wife Bernadette for the evening.
The liquid started to flow the minute we walked in the door and I got to try a glass of Jacobs Creek Double Barrel, I’m not entirely sure which one it was as I think I’m right in saying there are a few different types but I definitely stand to be corrected on that one! It was seriously nice and something I’ll try pick up for home (when I find out which one I had). We were next treated to a Old Fashioned cocktail and to be honest cocktails really aren’t my thing. I politely sipped on it but struggled to finish it.
The whiskey started to flow when a drop of Powers Gold Label was handed out and once again it made me realise how good the Gold Label is. I really think it’s unbelievable value for circa €25-€30 depending where you’re shopping and one that acts as an all rounder and can be for sipping or mixing, if that’s your thing.
Ger Garland took to the floor at this point and spoke to us briefly about the history of Powers and how and why Garavan’s had decided to go with a Powers Single Cask. Having polished off the Gold Label, the main event arrived and samples of the Cask No. 267 were handed out to the nice crowd that had gathered around Ger for the evening. Of the eighteen bottles of Powers Single Cask that I’ve purchased, I’ve only had the pleasure of actually trying three or four of them so I was definitely looking forward to this!
The nose on this Powers is amazing! Having stuck our noses into the glass for a good sniff both Omar and I commented almost simultaneously and how good it was. The taste was everything you’d expect from a Powers whiskey and more. The spice associated with Powers was there in abundance and the finish just went on and on. Ger pointed out that for this night only Cask No. 267 was available from behind the bar at a reduced rate (normally €19.95) and I took advantage of this kind offer and enjoyed every last drop. To be honest I’ve never really been tempted to buy any of this series to drink as I just simply can’t afford to, but this bottle was seriously tempting me and it’s something I might revisit for a future special occasion, hopefully there’ll be some left!
On that note, Cask No. 267 yielded 252 bottles for Garavan’s and these are available to purchase in the bar for €250. There is only a limited amount being sold, as it the way with all the bar releases in this series, so if you’re contemplating purchasing one, don’t hang around.
The event came to a close, the liquid kept flowing and I have to say I really enjoyed my time in Garavan’s and was delighted to be invited. Huge thanks to Darren for extending said invite!
I hope I did the event and bottle justice on this blog!
Hope you enjoyed reading!