20cm x 15cm
Thomas Power & Co of Dungarvan was established in 1880,a date which appeared on their promotional literature.
As spirit merchants Power’s of Dungarvan had access to the freshest fortified wine casks, and in this letter we can see a distillery requesting access to that stock.
The records of Thomas Power & Company are far from complete, but as you can see below even in the late 50’s Power’s were importing hogsheads full of wine from Portugal.
As well as importing barrels of wine and fortified wines, Power’s clearly had a need for the finest empty port pipes from Sandeman.
Power’s bottled a lot of Guinness, and until the mid-1950’s the stout traveled to Dungarvan in wooden barrels.
Now as then, it’s cheaper to buy new make, but that puts a drain on cash flow, so as you can see from this letter, Power’s were probably bulking out their own mature stock with whiskey bought in for blending purposes.
The original Velvet Cap, in common with the vast majority of Irish whiskies in the first half of the 20th century was probably a pot still (made with around 15% oat and 5% rye). But this is not made clear on any invoice I have seen, where purchased stock is simply referred to as ‘whiskey’.
In the end though whether Velvet Cap works or not largely comes down to repeat business and that is mostly about taste. We like the direction in which this Irish whiskey is going, but let us know what you think.
Batch One is now on sale here or there for the first 150 purchasers, it can be got with a signed copy of my book The Whiskeys of Ireland and a tour of Blackwater Distillery here.