Diamond P: New look for Powers Irish whiskey

Irish Distillers has unveiled a new look for its Powers Irish whiskey brand. The rebrand is meant to attract a new generation of drinkers to, historically, one of Ireland’s key whiskey brands.

Made at Irish Distillers’ Midleton distillery, the new-look core expression, Powers Gold Label, will make its debut in the US from March.

Following the launch of the Gold Label blend (Current expression: 43% abv, €37, £31.95, US$41), the new design will be introduced across Powers Three Swallow pot still (40% abv, €46, £40, US$51) and Powers John’s Lane pot still (46% abv RRP €60. £50.95. $66) from mid-2020 in the US and the rest of the world from late 2020.

In Ireland, Three Swallow and John’s Lane will be released in March 2020, with Powers Gold Label to be reviewed in due course.

Carol Quinn, Irish Distillers’ archivist, tells Drinks International the story of Powers: “James Power was an innkeeper who, like many, also distilled. He realised that he was making more money from distilling than innkeeping. So, in 1791 he opened a distillery in John’s Lane in Dublin’s Liberties district.  He died in 1817. His son, John, joined in 1821 and the distillery became ‘John Power & Son’. His son was named James.”

According to Quinn, Powers was Ireland's best-selling whiskey for most of the 20th century, at least until the late 1970’s. But the industry was going through bad times. John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and Cork Distilleries Company all merged in 1966 to become Irish Distillers Ltd (IDL). The purpose was to pool resources to save the Irish whiskey category from extinction.

The Bow Street and John’s Lane distilleries were closed in 1975 when all production moved to IDL’s Midleton distillery just outside Cork.