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Where To Buy Irish Whiskey

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Irish Whiskey: The Definitive Beginner Buying Guide

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It’s hard to find a bottle of Irish whiskey that’s truly disappointing. Most are genuinely good, pleasantly smooth to sip, and fun to mix into your favorite Irish whiskey cocktails. Since there are only a few distilleries in Ireland, the offerings are not as numerous as youll find with other whiskey styles. That takes nothing away from the craftsmanship or allure of these smoothly blended whiskeys. 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.

“Got mint in your garden ? Make a whiskey smash by muddling three lemon wedges in a shaker,” says Humberto Marques, Owner/Entrepreneur, and Lead Mixologist at Curfew Bar in Denmark.

From a high-end splurge or two to affordable everyday options for mixed drinks, these are the best Irish whiskey bottles worth adding to your bar.

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How Is Irish Whiskey Made

In making Irish Whiskey, raw and malted barley are used in the pot still process. The barley goes through a drying phase where covered kilns maintain the grain’s natural aroma familiar to most as Irish Whiskey. The barley used in producing Scotch Whisky is whole-malted though and is allowed to sprout first, then dried using peat smoke to give it a distinctive Scotch flavor. Have a toast soon to Ireland and Scotland, and you’ll likely taste how much smoother the finish is with Irish Whiskey compared to Scotch Whisky’s smoky and earthy notes, compliments of the peat.

In a nutshell, the emphasis in making Irish Whiskey is at the beginning starting with the best distilling process , and with Scotch Whisky, it’s mostly on the distiller’s skills in blending the ideal grain and malt whiskies.

Another critical difference between the two whiskeys is their aging time. To be considered Scotch Whisky, it must rest in the cask for at least two years. Authentic Irish Whiskey requires a minimum of three years aging.

These differences are not carved in stone, though, and leave producers a lot of leeways to define their styles. The Irish Whiskey Act of 1980 outlines only the broad parameters necessary to label a product ‘Irish’ Whiskey. In a nutshell, it requires the Whiskey to be composed of grains , distilled to no more than 94.8% ABV, and aged at least three years in wooden barrels.

Best Splurge: Knappogue Castle 16 Year Single Malt

Buy Lambay Small Batch Irish Whiskey 700ml (Ireland ...

Region: Ireland | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Honey, Toasted Nuts, Dried Fruit

Aged for a minimum of 14 years in bourbon barrels and finished in Oloroso sherry casks , this rarified Irish whiskey is luxury in a glass.

With apricots, honey, and toasted nuts on the nose, it shows up soft and velvety on the palate with a long, lingering finish, and it certainly deserves to be enjoyed straight. Rivaling some of the top bourbons and Japanese whiskeys in quality, this is the bottle you break out after a successful dinner party. Plus, at around $100 , its a splurge you can justify.

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What Is Irish Whiskey Made From

Barley is commonly used to produce a classic style of Irish whiskey. Many distilleries use unmalted barley, some incorporate a portion of malted barley or other cereal grains, and single malt Irish whiskey is made entirely of malted barley. Grain Irish whiskey has a lighter flavor and is distilled from other cereal grains, such as corn or wheat, using column stills. Its also often used when blending Irish whiskey after aging. Single grain Irish whiskey uses just one type of grain.

Best For Sipping On Ice: Green Spot

Region: Ireland | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Apricot, Honey

Originally created in the 1800s for merchant company Mitchell & Son using distillate from Jamesons Bow Street Distillery, the name Green Spot comes from the method in which the Mitchells would mark the ages of their whiskey casks. A green spot on a barrel would mean a certain age, while a blue spot would mean another, and so on. The green-spotted barrel won out, and today it lives on as a blend of single pot still whiskeys aged in both ex-bourbon barrels and sherry casks.

I am a big fan of Green Spot for its light body and delightfully fresh green apple notes, says Yamachika. Pouring the spirit over a single large ice cube only enhances those crisp, fruity notes, transforming the Irish whiskey into a refreshing drink.

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What Does Irish Whiskey Taste Like

Irish whiskey is known as one of the smoothest whiskeys available. These easy-drinking whiskeys are characterized as having a lot of flavor but with a lighter profile than bourbon and the complete lack of smoky peat found in scotch. Fruit and vanilla notes are very common, and the aging imparts a pleasant oak and caramel background to the whiskey. Essentially, Irish whiskey tastes like a classic whiskey, which is why its so well-loved.

Learn More About Irish Whiskey

Which Irish Whiskey to Buy for Mixing? (under $30)

Whether you are after Bushmills, Midleton,Cooleys or the wonderful Pogues whiskey, browse our selection of Irish whiskies here at Drinksupermarket.com

Unlike Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey does not have defined categories, however they are commonly referred to as single malt, single grain, blended and pure/single pot stills. The key difference between Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky is that most Irish whiskey is distilled three times whereas Scotch whisky is distilled twice. Also peat is rarely used in the malting process and it is this that gives the Irish whiskey a smoother finish in comparison to Scotch whisky. The major distilleries in Ireland are Irishman, New Midleton, Bushmills, Old Locke’s in Kilbeggan, Cooley and Clontarf.

Fact: Kilbeggan is believed to be the first licensed distiller in the world.

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How Long Is Irish Whiskey Aged

Irish law dictates that all Irish whiskey must be aged for at least three years. Some distilleries barrel age their whiskeys beyond the minimum, so youll see Irish whiskey aged for a decade or two . In blended whiskey, an age statement indicates the youngest whiskey within that blend. Ireland also has its version of moonshine called potcheen , which is unaged but technically cant have Irish whiskey on the label.

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Unburdened by the nerdery that surrounds bourbon, without the regional knowledge requirements of scotch and generally more affordable than both categories, Irish whiskey is an easy-drinking spirit perfect for both whiskey beginners and experts alike.

Generally known as a lighter whiskey without heavy notes of smoke or oaky vanilla flavors, there is still a wide range of Irish whiskeys to be sampled and enjoyed. Some are more suited for cocktailing, others can be sipped solo just as you might a fine scotch or bourbon. And, lucky for us, the category just keeps growing and becoming more available in the U.S. Only a few years ago, the Irish whiskey section of your liquor store may have been limited to just three or four big brands. But now, its positively overflowing with bottles marked with different age statements and barrel finishes. Of course, theres always space on the bar for the old standbys. According to our research, here are some of the top Irish whiskeys to drink right now.

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Runner Up Best For Sipping Neat: Writers Tears Copper Pot

Courtesy of Drizly

Region: Ireland | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Baking Spices, Pear, Vanilla

It may have a gimmicky name but this whiskey is no joke. A blend of pot still and single malt whiskeys, its triple distilled for smoothness.

Im a big fan of this whiskey because it was produced in the classic wayhigh amount of grain in the mash, and distilled in a copper pot, bartender Anthony Baker . I feel as though you can taste the historical way Irish whiskeys were originally made. And that is why I like to have this either neat or on the rocks. Every sip allows me to sit back and imagine myself back in the 1500s when Irish whiskey was so delicious that even Queen Elizabeth I had it as her drink of choice. Pour yourself a dram and think about that novel you never actually finished.

Types Of Whisky / Whiskey

The Best Irish Whiskeys for Bourbon Lovers to Buy

The various types of the spirit are mostly all produced in grain-growing areas. Depending on the distillation process, quality of grains, and aging, theyll vary in both alcohol content and quality. The spirit is made from malted barley or any other type of grain.

Single malt whisky is a spirit from a single distillery thats made of mash that uses just one specific malted grain. It can contain whisky from many casks and different years, so the distiller can create the same recognizable signature taste year after year. As a rule of thumb, single malt is named after the distillery, with the number of years its aged for. If there is a special treatment to the spirit, like maturation in a port wine cask, for example, thats also labeled.

Blended malt whisky is a mix of single malts from different distilleries. Although it can be labeled as pure malt or simply malt, the spirit is almost definitely a blended malt whisky.

Blended whisky is a mix of various types of whisky. Often, a blend can contain spirits from many distilleries, so the final flavour can stay consistent with the brand. Most whisky from Scotland, Ireland and Canada are sold as a part of the blend, even when the products are from one distillery.

Cask strength or barrel proof whiskies are quite special. Only the finest spirits are bottled this way, from the cask undiluted or slightly diluted.

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Discover The Timeless Class Of Whisky

There are few beverages in the world with as rich a heritage and diverse a background as whisky. Our range includesScotch whisky ,Irish whiskey,American whiskey,Japanese whisky and a host ofother whiskies from around the globe.

Knowing how varied each country of origin is, weve made it our mission to stock a full range of exquisite flavours from around the world, with tasting notes as individual as the locations theyre from.

Jack Daniels.Johnnie Walker.Kurayoshi.Ballantine’s.

These names are iconic in the whisky world, and we take great pride in stocking them all and many, many more!

Whether you enjoy cultivating a wide collection of diverse whiskies or have a tried-and-trusted favourite, youll find something to wet your whistle in the Drink Finder range.

Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

At 180 Drinks, we use fresh and organic fruits and vegetables as food pairings to our whiskey tasting gifts, or as ingredients in our whiskey gift baskets featuring cocktails.

The key to making a quality whiskey-based cocktail is balance. Fresh fruits and vegetables can influence the 8 cocktail tastes:

  • Boozy e.g. Whiskey
  • Umami e.g. Tomatoes or Mushrooms
  • Salty e.g. Olives or Pickles
  • Astringent e.g. Pomegranate
  • Perceived Temperature e.g. Hot Jalapenos or Cool Mint

With fresh fruits and vegetables, you will be amazed at how fast you can serve up some amazing whiskey flavor combinations.

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What Is Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey is a style of whiskey that must be made in Ireland and meet certain criteria that is defined by law. It is customarily triple distilled in copper pot stills and bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume or slightly higher. The majority of Irish whiskey is blended, and other styles include single malt, single pot, and single grain.

Best For Hot Toddys: Mcconnells

Proper 12 Irish Whiskey…Is it the champ of Irish Whiskey?

Courtesy of Reserve Bar

Region: Ireland | ABV: 42% | Tasting Notes: Pear, Cinnamon, Orange Zest

Though it may seem new to you, the distillery was actually founded in 1776. But the whiskey only recently made its way back to U.S. shores after being banished to the Emerald Isle during Prohibition. While it is extremely sippable on its own, this rounded whiskey plays well with a touch of citrus and can handle the heat of a Hot Toddy .

Its smooth, bold, and has notes of citrus, says Baker. It actually reminds me very much of a scotch with its high amount of malted barley. And this is why I use it to make my homemade Penicillin cocktails, as well as a good Hot Toddy. The underlying citrus notes go so well with the honey from both cocktails.

Region: Ireland | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Grain, Lemon, Honey

A Whiskey & Ginger made with Jameson is so popular that it has become its own cocktail: the Jamo and Ginger. The Irish whiskey behemoth produces a spirit thats light, fruity, and extremely accessible with just a hint of earthy cereal notes. It goes well with most mixers, but its particularly excellent with ginger ale or ginger beer for more spice. The spirit acts like a squeeze of citrus, bringing brightness to the drink. Plus, you cant argue with the emotional pull of a classic like a Jamo and Ginger.

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Buy Irish Whiskey & Have It Delivered

At Worldwide Wine & Spirits, we are passionate about connecting our customers with the best liquors from all over the world, which is why we have such a large selection of Irish whiskey for sale in our online store. When you order Irish whiskey online from us, it will arrive safely to your doorstep within just a few days. Whether youre looking to buy Irish whiskey for a special occasion or are shopping for yourself, shop Worldwide Wine & Spirits today for great savings on your favorite Irish whiskey online.

How Do You Serve Irish Whiskey

As with most liquors, the best way to drink Irish Whiskey depends on the type of Irish Whiskey you have on hand and your personal preference. There are also many options when you factor in cocktail recipes, but some of the most popular ways to serve Irish Whiskey include:

  • Drink it straight up
  • Drink it over a large ice cube
  • Drip in a bit of honey with a lemon twist or mix the Whiskey with ginger ale or club soda
  • Add just a splash of water

While ice will dull your senses, water is perfect with Irish Whiskey. Why? Because by lowering the alcohol content, it lets your nose notice more of the aroma notes and allow for more tasting notes on your palate

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Fresh Herbs And Spices

Special herbs can open up a new world of flavors for the traditional whiskey cocktail. The complex primary fragrances of smoky herbs always combine well with natural sweet whiskey flavors.

Garnishes need not be restricted to mint, citrus, or olives. Mint is a sturdy but often overused garnish. Rosemary or tarragon can add a touch of spice. A smoked rosemary whiskey cocktail makes for a fascinating drink experience.

Cinnamon can bring out further complexity in a whiskey. A cinnamon stick garnish can be great in creating whiskey infusions.

There are also many varieties of basil that you can play around with.

Best Single Malt: The Tyrconnell Single Malt

[BUY] Midleton Very Rare 2017 Irish Whiskey at CaskCartel.com

Courtesy of Reserve Bar

Region: Ireland | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Orchard Fruit, Vanilla, Nutty

Named for and originally created in celebration of a victorious 19th-century racehorse , this boldly flavorful whiskey is severely underrated in our opinion. Double-distilled on copper pot stills and crafted from 100-percent malted barley, it recently received a label design refresh and an amped-up ABV43% versus the original 40%. This extra oomph means the whiskey can stand up to strong flavors in cocktails but dont be afraid to drink it neat. Try it on its own before adding a splash of water to open up more herbaceous flavors or a fat cube of ice to chill it down and focus on those fruitier notes.

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