There are a number of notable Irish whiskeys you'll definitely want to seek out, including single malts, small-batch whiskeys, and whiskeys aged in special barrels. Matthew Kelly / Supercall Whiskey is really the only alcohol that you can drink straight out of the bottle. Combine … If adding a couple of ice cubes makes the drink more palatable for you, then who are we to say you shouldn’t? Vanilla, malty woods and a pleasing array of fruits infuse this smooth 80-proof whiskey that’s a fantastic choice with or after dinner. Original is the perfect everyday whiskey with a hard-to-beat price tag. We know, we know—whiskey with ice typically goes against the traditionalist’s way of drinking the beverage (some may even go as far as calling it sacrilege), but whiskey is there for the enjoyment of the drinker. Irish whiskey is getting more and more popular in the States, and for good reason. Where the original is a little harsh, and the cask strength a bit too bold, this whiskey is simultaneously smooth and bold. Apples, citrus, and berries are just a few fascinating flavors that make it an enjoyable drink. One hint is in the name, as it specifies that the spirit must be made in a pot still, rather than any other type, like a column still. 55 Gifts Your Wife Will Actually, Truly Like, 20 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Everyone, Any Time, Save Time and Unearth a Gift for Him on Amazon, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Original Irish Whiskey, Best Single Malt: Both Egan and Teeling also note that one of the most important ingredients in Irish whiskey is the climate, which differs from Kentucky, Tennessee, and even neighboring Scotland. And here in the States, Irish whiskey is one of the fastest growing spirits categories, which presents opportunities for both the old and new guard distilleries. Glendalough has been releasing excellent sourced whiskeys (said to be from Cooley Distillery) for a few years now; last year’s 13-year-old single malt finished in Japanese mizunara oak was a particular standout. This … Get easy-to-follow, delicious recipes delivered right to your inbox. Esquire's Best Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe, How to Make a Perfect Old Fashioned Drink, How to Make the Absolute Best Mojito Cocktail. While other products from Aberlour are not exactly popular, A’bunadh has gained a cult following. That takes nothing away from the craftsmanship or allure of these smooth blended whiskeys. Connemara 12 Year Old Peated Single Malt Whiskey, The 15 Best Gifts for Whiskey Lovers of 2020, Best for Beginners: They are as follows: 11 Year Old Crystal Malt distilled in 2008 using crystal malt (barley with crystalized sugars), 18 Year Old First Growth Bordeaux Cask, and 27 Year Old Cognac Cask. In this case, it’s corn, which adds a wonderful sweetness that plays remarkably well off the flavors of bourbon barrel aging. Distilled three times and aged in oak for at least four years, the finished whiskey is a blend of pot still and grain whiskeys. Whether it's St. Patrick's Day or you're simply a fan of this style of whiskey, there are many great cocktail recipes to try.. Another new release is Jameson Cold Brew ($25), a mixture of Irish whiskey and cold brew coffee flavor. Next up is a 17-year-old single malt ($299) that builds on the aforementioned 13 year old. Prohibition, and the Great Depression rocked Ireland’s whiskey industry, leaving just two distilleries operating for most of the 1900s. This whiskey spent 15 years aging in first-fill bourbon casks, then another two in Japanese oak to give it aromatic flavors of sandalwood and spice. Many people drink Baileys straight over ice, or use it as a mixer in shooters, martinis, and Irish coffee. Esquire participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. It’s had its ups and downs over the years, with the stills going silent from the 1950s until restarting again in 2007. With the high alcohol content (approximately 40% to 43% alcohol by volume) and bold flavor profiles, a glass of straight whiskey can be like a slap in the face to your taste buds. ", "This mid-shelf bottle is smooth enough to sip and makes amazing cocktails. Misinformation does a disservice to both the history and future of Irish whiskey, a spirit defined by its flavor nuances, differing mash bills, and interesting cask finishes. The well-balanced and simply delicious taste perfectly showcases the country’s tradition of distilling fine whiskey. The whiskey is small-batched from hand-selected barrels and bottled at … Each bottle clearly declares the minimum amount of time the whiskeys in that blend spent in the barrel, so whiskey drinkers are not left guessing. Not only is it readily available and reliable, but it’s also extremely affordable. The most recent was last summer’s 16-year-old single malt finished in Oloroso and Moscatel casks. Jameson Irish Whiskey – one of the best Irish whiskeys. Ballyhoo Irish Whiskey Ballyhoo is a four-year-old sourced Irish grain whiskey which is brought to the Connacht Whiskey Company in Western Ireland and … The exquisite taste comes at a price however; a bottle will set you back at least $130. The hot topics in Irish whiskey these days are cask finishing, single malts, and single pot still whiskey. A’bunadh is Gaelic for the original. Redbreast is a favorite among Irish whiskey connoisseurs and known for producing whiskey that anyone can enjoy. The 86-proof whiskey’s depth of flavor is the perfect backdrop for the cocktail’s strong coffee sweetened with brown sugar and topped with cream. There are no fancy gimmicks, just old-fashioned Irish distilling techniques that lead to a smooth 80-proof whiskey with an ideal balance of spices, nuts, and vanilla. The result is an absolutely superb all-American celebration of the best traditional Islay scotches. It’s light and fruity on the nose, with a pleasing hit of dried fruit and nutmeg on the palate. What Is Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky? The finished profile would indicate you paid a lot more for it. The simplest way to consume whiskey is to have it “straight”. The resulting whiskey is bright and vibrant, with floral, vanilla, raisin, and unsweetened dark chocolate notes on the palate. The labels of Powers’ pot still whiskeys, Three Swallows and John’s Lane, remain the same for now, but will also switch over sometime later this year. Feel free to mix it in the Massey and similar high-end whiskey cocktails. The 15-Year-Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is a perfect example of this style of whiskey. It's made from grain and malt whiskeys aged in hand-selected bourbon barrels, then finished in former rum casks for an additional six months. ", "It's a solid whiskey with a delicious fruitiness imparted by the fortified wine cask finish. There wasn’t a new release from Powers this year, but there was a complete and dramatic redesign of the brand’s flagship blend, Gold Label. So, bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbon because there are many other types. ", "Pure elegance in a glass, it’s a single malt you’ll want to invite to dinner. For your next relaxing, post-dinner drink, here are the best-tasting whiskey (and whisky) bottles. This finish gives the fruity whiskey notes of berry, ripe apple, and white pepper, and is a testament to the effects of carefully thought-out barrel finishing. Three thousand bottles are available here in the U.S. By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, Redbreast 15 Year Irish Whiskey at Drizly, Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey at Flaviar, TIPPERARY Watershed Boutique Selection at Caskers, Connemara 12 Year Old Peated Single Malt Whiskey at Drizly, Tullamore D.E.W. ... 15 Best Scotch Brands for Straight-Up Sipping. The three whiskeys truly represent a departure from what you’ve come to expect from Bushmills, especially if they become widely available soon. The latest falls into the latter category. The latest cask-finished whiskey from Knappogue Castle was this single malt ($80) finished in French wine casks from the Marchesi di Barolo winery, after 12 years spent in bourbon barrels. 1. Laphroaig. ABV: 46.85% Average Price: $32 The Whiskey: This bottle celebrates the year Kentucky became a state. The British levied a tax on the Irish (as they were wont to do at the time) on the use of malted barley, so Irish distillers started combining malted and unmalted barley to save money. Baileys Irish Cream is a liqueur made with whiskey, cream, and a cocoa extract. Indeed, thanks to an incredible resurgence in worldwide popularity over the last three decades, the Emerald Isle’s “water of life” has remained the fastest growing spirit on the planet. The previously used wood soaks up flavors from its former inhabitant and imparts those qualities to the new liquor. Tullamore D.E.W. Next, lift the glass to your nose and smell the whiskey to pick up the different notes, which might include vanilla, caramel, toffee, … The best way to drink whiskey neat is out of a lowball cocktail glass at room temperature. Irish whiskey has categories for grain and single malt whiskey that are also recognisable, but the category that is unique to the Irish is ‘single pot still’. Muddle the cardamom pods in the bottom of a pre-heated Irish coffee glass. It’s a taste that lingers on the palate and is best taken with just a smidgen of water which opens up the flavour. What you need for your Irish whiskey tasting. ", "Aged in former bourbon and rum casks, this well-priced small batch whiskey offers a unique taste. While the younger 12- and 14-year expressions are impressive and cost less, Knappogue Castle’s 16 Year Old Single Malt is pure elegance. 1792. While most Irish whiskeys tend to follow tradition perhaps too closely, this dandy is a bit less conservative. Redbreast is a favorite of many Irish whiskey drinkers, because the brand, owned by Pernod Ricard and produced at the giant Midleton distillery where Jameson and Powers are also distilled, is a single pot still whiskey with age statements and a complex flavor profile. It looks like the label isn’t actually so gold anymore, instead switching to a large, red and white diamond with a P. According to the brand, this is an image and concept that has been part of the Powers identity since the days when it was distilled in the heart of Dublin (it’s been produced at the Midleton distillery for many years now). Redbreast has a full flavoured creamy and fruity taste with just a hint of sherry. Aged in a combination of charred bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks, the result is unlike any other Irish whiskey. Next up from J.J. Corry is a whiskey that commemorates International Women’s Day and a private client bespoke offering for Asia. Finally, there is a 25-year-old single malt ($499) consisting of liquid matured in ex-bourbon barrels for 15 years and Oloroso sherry casks for 10 years, with a finish in virgin Irish oak for three months. In Ireland's County Carlow, the Walsh Whiskey Distillery is doing fantastic things with Irish whiskey. The whiskey ($100) was matured for 16 years in ex-bourbon barrels before spending an undisclosed amount of time in wine casks from the Andalucía region of Spain. Connemara 12 Year Old is the best of the portfolio. The best Irish whiskey tastings are conducted in a bright, sterile room to fully embrace the complexities of Irish whiskey. Extremely easy to drink with barely any burning heat, Redbreast’s 12 Year offering is great for whiskey beginners looking for a bottle to drink neat—and the perfect next step of your Irish whiskey journey. To drink whiskey straight, wrap 2 fingers around the bottom of your rocks or tulip glass and pour the whiskey to about the height of those fingers. It's fun to taste spirits aged in a variety of barrels. ", "This smooth Irish whiskey is begging to be mixed into an Irish coffee. Alcohol by Volume 40%. A spicy palate and wine-like tannic finish are signatures of this Irish whiskey. The locality of the whiskey distillery also helps to define it. This single malt whiskey’s most significant attribute is a delicious and creamy flavor that makes you want to drink it straight. The brand also uses a lot of cask finishes to augment the flavor of its already-good single malt whiskey, with each age statement expression having its own unique character. Whether you want something you can sip straight, on the rocks, shoot out of a shot glass, or mix into cocktails, there’s an Irish whiskey for all occasions. So let’s deconstruct those myths: The majority of scotch is not smoky, there is indeed some peated Irish whiskey, and no law requires it to be triple distilled. "This world-class whiskey is simply beautiful and worth every penny. Only 2,346 bottles are available globally, making this one a tough release to get your hands on. From a high-end splurge or two to affordable everyday whiskeys for mixed drinks, these are the bottles worth adding to your bar. By 2010, the distillery was once again fully operational, and it has released a few whiskeys over the years since then—some sourced, some distilled and matured onsite. With that in mind, here are 13 excellent Irish whiskeys to drink now—or in the near future. Since there are only a few distilleries in Ireland, the offerings are not as numerous as you’ll find with other whiskey styles. French oak was once much more common in Irish whiskey maturation, but fell out of favor in the 19th century when American oak became cheaper. The first clues of its wild but controlled nature is its deep, slightly red color and its oak, leather, fruit and smoky nose. "If you take an Irish distillery and place it in Kentucky or in the Highlands of Scotland, you could run [it] in a similar way and have a similar base spirit," says Teeling. The said “original” is a nod to James Fleming, who founded Aberlour. ", The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Today, a single pot still whiskey means it’s made at one distillery and distilled in a pot still from a mash bill of malted and unmalted barley, with up to five percent of other grains allowed. The combination of whiskey styles and cask types creates a complex and balanced whiskey with vanilla and spice in equal proportions. What Is Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch Whisky? Jonah Flicker is a freelance writer who covers booze, food, travel, and lifestyle for a variety of publications. The 9 Best Scotch Whiskies to Drink in 2020, The 10 Best Cheap Whiskeys to Drink in 2020, The Yamazaki 12-Year-Old Japanese Whiskey Review, Explore the Great Taste of Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Best Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskies, The 9 Best Canadian Whiskies to Drink in 2020. Produced from a combination of malted and unmalted barley, it is distilled three times in copper pot stills then aged for a minimum of 15 years. After aging in oak bourbon barrels, it's finished in Oloroso sherry casks. While we're on the subject, let's settle this age-old debate: whiskey vs whisky. Add whiskey, Demerara syrup, hot coffee, and salt and stir together. In fact, the founder of the brand, Bernard Walsh, sent Martin Scorsese and the cast of The Irishman 30 personalized bottles of The Irishman Cask Strength last year as a promotion. It's a nice surprise for the budget-conscious drinker who enjoys sitting down with an uncomplicated sipping whiskey and likes to shake up the occasional cocktail. The goal of a drink served neat is to go straight from the bottle to the glass with as little interruption as possible. Barrel-proof whiskeys get as close to drinking straight from the barrel as most people can get, with an ABV often exceeding 60 percent. The Tyrconnell is double distilled, proving for those who didn’t already know that Irish whiskey does not have to be triple distilled. Also, you’ll be in good company with this drinking method. One defender of drinking whiskey with ice is the late chef/travel-show host Anthony Bourdain. The well-balanced whiskey has a ton of character and a full force of peaty spice to tantalize the tongue. While there are tried and true favorites like the Irish coffee, Irish whiskey is surprisingly versatile. Though it’s not entirely clear what its future will be, hopefully it’ll stick around for more releases like this. If the name reminds you of a certain Netflix movie, just remember that the whiskey came first. The familiar green bottle can be found in nearly any bar and liquor store in the world. According to the master blender, each batch varies a bit in its flavor profile—A focuses on wood and vanilla, B on sherry cask influence, C on exotic fruit notes, and D on raisin and dark berries. ... Old Scout Straight Bourbon Whiskey ... Bottled-in-Bond spirits Food & Drink … This 92-proof single malt whiskey is finished in Portuguese Madeira casks for six to eight months. Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our Another great option is the top-rated, award-winning, and relatively affordable The Irishman Single Malt. As a style, Irish whiskey is characteristically smooth, though there are some brands that break the stereotype. The long finish ensures that it’s a memorable experience. The fact that it’s also priced in the mid-range of whiskeys is simply a bonus. Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey, Best in Ireland: But the distillery’s age statement single malts—10, 16, and 21 year olds—are good choices for anyone interested in exploring the category further. “Redbreast was the first Irish whiskey that I had that wasn’t Jameson,” says Josh Jancewicz, bartender at Gold–Diggers in Los Angeles. Until you and Maker's can kiss and (hopefully) make up, … J.J. Corry is not a distillery but an Irish whiskey bonder, which means the company sources new make spirit from different distilleries and matures it in its own warehouse. Madeira is a fortified wine that’s noted for its caramelized fruity flavors, and that juicy sweetness translates wonderfully into the whiskey. Bottled at 46 percent ABV (92 proof) without chill filtering, this small-batch whiskey offers a full-bodied taste with underlying tropical fruit tones and an invigorating spicy and woody finish. For instance, only Scotch is from Scotland, Irish whiskey is from the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, and Tennessee whiskey is usually made in Tennessee. Both breweries season casks with their beer, which Jameson then uses to further mature its whiskey. Best to Drink Straight: Connemara 12 Year Old Peated Single Malt Whiskey Buy on Drizly Buy on ReserveBar As a style, Irish whiskey is characteristically smooth, though there are some brands that break the stereotype. Northern Ireland’s Bushmills is probably the second best known Irish whiskey out there, mostly for its signature blend. Northern Ireland’s Bushmills is probably the second best known Irish whiskey out there, mostly for its signature blend. In this post, I’ll help you answer these questions by sharing the best ways to drink whiskey. Two new Caskmates were released in early fall: Topcutter IPA Limited Edition, a collaboration with Bale Breaker Brewing Co.; and Revolution Brewing Limited Edition, a collaboration with Revolution Brewing ($30 each). The latest limited release from Redbreast is the Small Batch collection, a series of four whiskeys ($100 each) aged for 14 years and bottled at cask strength between 57 and 59 percent ABV. Like Writers’ Tears, this whiskey is a blend of single pot still and single malt, but it was aged entirely in first-fill bourbon barrels and bottled at 108 proof. Drinking Whiskey Straight. Also, look out for an extra mature Redbreast expression coming out this spring. The Irishman Single Malt, Best for Irish Coffee: None are new concepts, but after decades of mediocre blends, distilleries are reinvigorating the category by releasing whiskey in these styles. Some even enjoy Baileys in hot chocolate or milkshakes. ", "Often overlooked, the smooth taste and affordable price make it an excellent everyday whiskey. Tullamore D.E.W. One notable bottle is Stagg Jr., part of Buffalo Trace’s highly sought after annual Antique Collection. It then finishes the aging process in Oloroso sherry casks, which is immediately apparent on the nose when you open the bottle. Knappogue Castle 16 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Best Small Batch: Single pot still in particular is a tradition that can be traced back to the late 1700s, according to Kilbeggan brand ambassador Michael Egan. Perhaps the best known of all Irish whiskey, Jameson mixes Irish barley (both malted and unmalted) with French corn and ages the resulting tipple for a … It’s a solid whiskey that’s smooth and has the perfect spicy finish to keep you pouring another round. For a world-class whiskey that's worth every penny, we recommend the renowned Redbreast 15 Year Irish Whiskey. Its core range consists of a few different sourced whiskeys, but the latest release was distilled onsite. They might also add that all Irish whiskey is triple distilled, which makes it super "smooth"—an overused adjective that doesn’t say a whole lot. TIPPERARY Watershed Boutique Selection, Best to Drink Straight: Teeling's single-grain whiskey went home with the World's Best Grain Whisky title at the World Whiskies Awards in 2014 and continues to slay. The finish is long, and the entire experience is as smooth you could imagine. Colleen Graham is a beverage writer with over a decade of experience writing about cocktails and bartending. While it waits for this whiskey to reach its proper age, it also buys and blends whiskey for its own releases. Straight out of Dublin, Teeling Small Batch shows off the family's two centuries of experience crafting fine whiskeys. Two ounces is the correct serving size for this drink but bartenders shouldn’t use a jigger or other measuring tool for this drink. Irish whiskey is smooth and creates impressive drinks. Double Oak ($65) is an unusual blend of single pot still and single malt whiskey that was aged in both American and French oak, the latter of which came from the Legaret family in Cognac, France. Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey, The 7 Best Bitters for Whiskey Cocktails of 2020, Best Special Barrel: Pour between 30 to 60 ml of whiskey into a short glass tumbler (lowball glass). It’s also the best-selling Irish whiskey in the United States, where it competes with Tennessee whiskey, Kentucky bourbon and Canadian whiskey. ", "This boutique whiskey keeps things local and small in order to produce a fine dram. The author of two books, she has visited numerous whiskey distilleries and learned a great deal about the industry from the talented individuals who produce it. The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Madiera Cask, The 8 Best Bar Tools of 2020, According to Mixologists. The limited release is bottled at 86 proof. Due to its rich, warm depth of flavor yet crowd-pleasing versatility — I give Teeling my seal of approval as Editor's Choice. The mash bill is half malted and half unmalted barley, and it was matured in ex-wine, ex-bourbon, and virgin oak barrels for a minimum of three years. Pour it into a whiskey and ginger or an indulgent caramel Irish coffee, or just sip it on the rocks. Drink it neat or with an enormous ice cube as an ideal start to your night. In a catchy verse that explained how to make the iconic cocktail, the bartender who created the Irish coffee called for “Whiskey—Smooth as the Wit of the Land.” Kilbeggan Single Grain definitely fits the bill. Almost all Irish whiskey is triple distilled, though this budget-friendly bottle rests in both former bourbon and sherry casks, so there’s an extra layer of flavor to intrigue the palate. 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