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 Irish Spirits - Potcheen

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  • Total Posts: 2368
  • Joined: 12/1/2006
  • Location: Pewaukee, WI & Fuquay-Varina, NC
Irish Spirits - Potcheen Sun, 03/16/08 5:03 PM (permalink)
Lubing up in advance of St. Patty's Day with a sip of potcheen. Potcheen (also called poteen or poitin) is described thusly by Alcohol Reviews.
You might be asking yourself, "o.k.- what is it?" Well, the word poteen is a bit like the word "moonshine" in America. It refers to a small batch, clear spirit that is unaged and carries connotations of the illicit. Indeed, for some time, the Irish Revenue Commissioners, who oversee these matters, forbade companies to call their product poteen because, as one commissioner put it in correspondence with Knockeen Hills,"strong association in the public mind of the term 'poteen' with illicitly distilled spirits and the confusion that the use of such terms would give rise to as the duty status of such spirits." Right.

They describe the version I have, Bunratty Potcheen, like this.

First up on the menu was Bunratty Potcheen, made by Bunratty Mead & Liqueur Co. Ltd. Of County Clare, Ireland. Bunratty is now being imported by A.V. Imports. At 90 proof, it is, believe it or not, the mildest of the poteens sampled. The Bunratty, interestingly, had a fruit nose- almost like raspberries. In the mouth, though, it was spirit, melon, and earth. The close was dry, but not parching. Surprisingly smooth and intriguing. (Rating ****)

Four Stars? I might rate it FIVE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS. Lava with a hint of heather is my description.

Check it out.
    the ancient mariner

    • Total Posts: 3987
    • Joined: 4/6/2004
    • Location: st petersburg, florida
    RE: Irish Spirits - Potcheen Sun, 03/16/08 5:19 PM (permalink)
    Heard about potcheen from my mother who grew up in the shadow of Bunratty Castle,
    County Claire. She also talked of the little folk and the banshees who appeared
    after a few shots of potcheen-------so keep your eyes open, don't fall asleep.
    They might steal your fortune !!!!!!!!!!

      • Total Posts: 4074
      • Joined: 12/10/2004
      • Location: Des Plaines, IL
      RE: Irish Spirits - Potcheen Sun, 03/16/08 5:52 PM (permalink)
      I don't usually hang out in The Beverage Forum, but when I saw "Potcheen" in the list of current topics, posted no less by one of my favorite Roadfood pals, I thought I'd dive in. We've got a bottle of the 90 proof Bunratty Potcheen (spelled "Poitin" around our house), the level of which has been going down at a slow but steady rate.

      It is indeed a throat scorcher although not without its charms. Poitin creates a very pleasant buzz with few after effects if it is treated with respect. It is a dandy way to perk up Irish coffee, or any drink you want to add a wee bit of Irish to. Poitin is a sipping liquor. I'm not sure I would want to do shots of this stuff, but I'm sure someone somewhere is doing just that.

      As a side note, Bunratty Castle, the source of the name for this particular brand of Poitin, is quite possibly the biggest tourist rip-off in all of Ireland. True, it is a well preserved castle, but in a land where there are picturesque castles and a plethora of other notable ruins to be had for free, waiting around almost every bend in the road, the fact they want to charge you admission (a hefty one, at that) to this merely average edifice was more than a bit off-putting.

      They make a damn fine Poitin/Potcheen though!

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