Most salesmen just get to pick something out of catalogue when they meet their quota, but Paddy Flaherty got a whiskey named after him. As the story goes, Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey is named for Patrick J. O’Flaherty, a Cork Distilleries salesman for more than four decades over 100 years ago. In 1913, after his retirement, the distillery named this blend of triple distilled grain, malt, and pot still whiskey in his honor. Today, the brand is produced by the Irish whiskey powerhouse Irish Distillers (makers of Jameson, among many others). Paddy must have sold a lot of bottles during those 40 years. Let’s see how his namesake whiskey tastes.
To call the nose on this whiskey mild would be an understatement. It’s remarkably dry and cereal-forward with notes of hay bales, especially the baling twine, and a little wet clay. There’s a touch of vanilla taffy and a subtle oily sweetness if you nose deep enough in the glass, but for the most part, the aroma here is ephemeral. The palate is clean and light with a nice, honeyed sweetness. There’s not much in the way of complexity, however, with consistent notes of sweet grain and a touch of maltiness that almost evokes cocoa powder, but not quite. The finish is medium length but marches to a similar, simple flavor drum, with the same even, gentle heat from sip to swallow. It’s about as straightforward and approachable an Irish whiskey as you’re likely to find. A solid shooter or cocktail companion, but not something I’d recommend sipping neat.