Of course whisk(e)y plays a significant role in Scottish and Irish popular culture. Especially in Ireland this goes hand in hand with the current renaissance of the local whiskey industry. And so today’s whiskey is all about a famous Celtic punk band: The Pogues.
The Pogues are considered to be something like the fathers of the Irish folk punk who had great success especially in the 80s and 90s of the 20th century. Now I am no real music expert and – although I do like the music – certainly not for Irish folk punk, but The Pogues are of course a household name some songs of this band will certainly be known to most people. (There are some lyrics from the song “Streams of Whiskey” printed on the bottleneck – I have added a video from youtube below.) The Pogues however are no longer entering the stages, especially since their guitarist Philip Chevron died in 2013. Nevertheless: many songs of The Pogues have thematic references to the “water of life”, though not always in a commendable way. Particularly John O’Connel who used to be the front man in the 80s and the 00s has been quite notorious for alcohol and general drug abuse.
But the Pogues Irish whiskey doesn’t stretch that. As you can read in many descriptions of this whiskey, the founder of the West Cork Distillery in Skibbereen, Ireland has expressed to the Pogues as follows:
“They’re not run-of-the-mill, clean fellas, and certain aspects of their behavior are not perfect or ideal. They’re human, and their songs are about love and tragedy, and fellas who aspire to the pinnacle but don’t not always reach it. “
Instead he rather names their music as a major source of inspiration for creating today’s whiskey and to name it after them. And this whiskey indeed is quite an interesting one, because although we are dealing with a blended whiskey with no age statement, it consists only to 50% of grain whiskey and 50% of single malts. The whiskey is colored and is bottled at 40% vol.
Aroma: Sweetish malt, a subtle vanilla, discreet milk chocolate and some nuts
Taste: a mild and well-balanced blend; you definitely can taste the high amount of single malt whiskey used: less bitterness from the grain part with nuts and distinctive, sweet malt. In the background there are also some very slight and subtle associations of campfire.
Finish: rather short and lightly, but very aromatic.
In conclusion I would call The Pogues Irish Whiskey a good blended whiskey which quite stands out as that. Especially for a NAS-blend it’s a really good whiskey that’s also very reasonably priced with usually less than 30 € a bottle. Though I prefer single malts and I also have had better blends, The Pogues Irish Whiskey is definitely good value for money. Anyway, for fans of The Pogues all this will probably play a subordinate role.
Buying sources: In specialized stores or online. If you are a spirits dealer yourself, I can recommend you to look for The Pogues Irish Whiskey here (only in German language).