The Whisky Exchange
Product of: United Kingdom
Bán Poitín (Pronounced 'Bawn Potcheen') is small batch distilled from potatoes, malted barley and sugar beets by The Echlinville Distillery in Northern Ireland. The name is a play on words, Bán means white (as in white spirit) in Gaelic while 'Ban' in English is a reference to Poitins illicit past.
The original Bán Poitín, produced at West Cork Distillers and bottled at 52.7% was launched in September 2013 by Dave Mulligan (co-owner of Shebeen an Irish speakeasy in London's Kentish Town) and Cara Humphreys ("an Irish poitín evangelist"). They re-released the brand in 2015 with updated spirit and packaging, along with a much reduced bottling strength of 48% alc./vol.. Now produced by The Echlinville Distillery, this Bán Poitín is made from potatoes, barley and sugar beet sourced locally to the distillery which lies on the Ards peninsula, where it is also hand-bottled and labelled. The bottle resembles the shape of a hipflask, reflecting the concealed nature in which Poitín used to be distilled, transported and consumed.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 18/11/2015
Brown bread, not quite cooked pastry and grassy notes with mild white pepper spice. Reminiscent of new make spirit.
Grainy, bready notes continue with hay rather than grass. Faint bitterness is balanced by grainy sweetness. Very mild black pepper spice, especially considering the high alc./vol..
Doughy brown bread with light white pepper spice.
Whisky drinkers could mistake this bready spirit for 'new make' but Bán Poitín is distilled with potato, malted barley and sugar beet rather than just malted barley, perhaps adding to its complexity and faint bitter sweetness. Its high alc./vol. is well disguised. This 2015 released Bán Poitín is a massive step up from the original 52.7% version produced in Cork which had wet dog-like aromas with flavours of dry cider and grassy rhum agricole.
The Whisky Exchange
Bottle Size: 700 ml
Closure: Screw / Stelvin cap