Powers Gold Label 12 year Special Reserve Review

Powers Gold Label 12 yr Special Reserve Review

Powers Gold Label 12 year Special Reserve is good. It’s not nearly as good as it’s Single Pot Still brother the John’s Lane Release, but the high amount of pot still in this whiskey (supposedly about 80%) gives it an easily relatable charm. It also makes a tasty competitor to the similarly priced Jameson which it easily trounces with it’s higher SPS quantity.

Crafted by the fine folks at Midleton this whiskey is an upgraded version of the Powers Gold which is aged for about 4-6 years. The Special Reserve is primarily aged in refill ex-bourbon casks and also spent an undisclosed amount of time in some refill ex-sherry casks. While the refill casks don’t lend as much flavor to the spirit as first-fill it’s still enough to bring out nuanced flavors and aromas in this whiskey.

Powers Gold Label 12 year Special Reserve Review

Distiller: Powers & Sons / Midleton (Jameson)
Age: 12 years
ABV: 40%
Price: $30

Golden honey

A welcoming malty note comes first followed by some warm honey and raw sugar. A bit of caramel, cereal grains and vanilla cake mixes with an overall fruity aroma that’s light and refreshing. Even though the pot still is supposedly quite high in here I’m not getting much of that character on the nose.

Again the malt comes out first, but this time it’s more like the warm single pot still character I was hoping for on the nose and it’s accompanied by a light fruity flavor. Toasted nuts, honey, whiskey spice and light citrus all dance along the palate and make for a great sipping experience.The grain alcohol does kick up a bit on the back of the palate, but it’s not enough to be distracting.

Malt, banana and caramel fade to grain alcohol on a med-long finish.

A decent balance holds this one in check with a medium body and smooth pleasant texture.

Powers Gold Label 12 year Special Reserve is just a real nice whiskey. It’s a little light on the nose and even though it’s more robust on the palate it still comes across a bit light. That flavor gives it enough of that easy-going pot still character to make it something that’s at home neat, on the rocks, or in a nice Irish Whiskey cocktail. It’s one of those whiskeys that is so nice and well priced that you don’t need an excuse like St. Patricks day to pick up a bottle.

SCORE: 84/100

Powers Gold Label 12 year Special Reserve
  • Nose - 85
  • Palate - 85
  • Finish - 83
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 83

Powers Gold Label 12 yr Special Reserve Value

At $30 Powers Gold Label 12 is a pretty good value. Jameson is only $4-6 less and I wouldn’t even hesitate to grab this over that. It’s a nice whiskey at a nice price, what else can you ask for?

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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2 Responses to Powers Gold Label 12 year Special Reserve Review

  1. Powers has become my favorite Irish whiskey. Like it more than Jamison and even bushmills (a little ). I am fairly new to the whole whiskey journey, two years in, but I am enjoying the experience. Thanks for your blog. I check
    it everyday. Keep up the good work.

    Anyone looking to try Irish, this is great one to start with. Smooth, tasty, easy to drink. Really good stuff.

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