Green Spot Single Pot Still
Made up of 7- and 10-year-old pot still whiskeys, Green Spot draws you in with banana muffin, creamy oat, and golden raisin aromas. The palate quickly delivers on the promise of the nose. Beyond its depth of flavors, theres complex texture, which grabs the attention. Slightly tannic like a strongly brewed tea, a pleasant black pepper spice lingers on the palate. This bottle is a true ambassador of Irish whiskey and the pot still style. Average price: $64.
Egan’s 10 Year Old Single Malt
“Amber like colour, delicate aroma with a light hint of smoke. Malty and creamy, with complex hints of cereal and a smooth silkiness. Big finish and what appears to be an endless aftertaste.ââ John C. Mc Dougall, Independent Whiskey Consultant.
“Enticing light fruit notes, mainly playing out on the melon and grapefruit spectrum just a little stiffness to the oak ah…now thatâs one very beautiful delivery. Orange blossom honey steals the show, but is perfectly backed by a rounded texture which almost oozes onto the palate plenty of malt on slow and lazy spice, but still that honey blossoms the slight tightness to the oak evident on the nose returns, but makes little headway against the excellence of the malty spirit rich, rounded and puts the âmoreâ into this Tullamore-based bottler”.â JIM MURRAYâS WHISKY BIBLE 2019
Theres An Option For Every St Patricks Day Drinker
I used to believe Irish whiskey was a gateway whisky. Its a smooth sipper. Its relatively inexpensive or at least the stuff I was drinking was and it goes great in cocktails, particularly an Irish coffee.
But I never gave the category enough credit, even though the Irish invented whiskey and a NYC bar pretty much devoted to the tipple and walking distance from my apartment kept winning Worlds Best Bar awards.
Thankfully, I, along with the rest of the country, have caught up. According to the Distilled Spirits Council, U.S. consumer interest in the Irish Whiskey category is surging, and not just for the affordable stuff. Since 2002, high-end premium and super premium Irish whiskey grew at 1,007 percent and 8,728 percent, respectively. And in 2020, more than five million 9-liter cases of Irish whiskey were sold in the United States, generating $1.1 billion in revenue for distillers.
Over a century on from the start of Prohibition, it is worth remembering that Ireland was once the largest supplier of whiskey for the U.S., explains William Lavelle, head of the Irish Whiskey Association . And now, once again, American consumers are flocking to discover the depth and diversity of Irish whiskey.
So below, lessons learned from the past few years of truly diving into this fascinating spirit.
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Kilbeggan Single Pot Still
Kilbeggan includes 2.5 percent oats in the mash bill for this single pot still whiskey. The influence of the cereal is notable, with wafts of warm oatmeal rising from the glass before a rich, creamy mouthfeel. With added aromas of banana chips, hazelnuts, and raisins, and an earthy streak to the palate, this Irish whiskey promises to convert Scotch drinkers. Average price: $43.
Best Overall: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Single Malt
Region: Ireland | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Apples, Baking Spices, Toast
The signature, entry-level release from independent bottler Knappogue Castle is triple distilled in copper pot stills for a bright, clean start, then aged in bourbon casks for 12 years. The result is a platonic ideal of an Irish whiskey: incredibly sippable, yet nuanced with layered flavors of apples and cinnamon toast.
It is lighter than most and also sophisticated, making it refreshing to drink in the summer months neat, on the rocks, or as a foundation in a long cocktail where its delicate fruitiness and spice complement almost any flavor profile, says Kenneth McCoy, chief creative officer at Ward III and The Rum House in New York City. Affordable enough to be your everyday whiskey, poured into a tumbler over a big cube of ice, this bottle is also worthy of special occasions when breaking out the specialty whiskey tasting glass and savoring it neat.
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Best To Drink Straight: Connemara 12 Year Old Peated Single Malt Whiskey
ABV: 40% | Age: 12 years | Volume: 750 ml
As a style, Irish whiskey is characteristically smooth, though there are some brands that break the stereotype. A brilliant, bright, and spicy whiskey, Connemara is a great choice for anyone who enjoys a peaty scotch. Malted barley dried over peat is the heart of this premium bottle produced at the Cooley Distillery in County Louth, Ireland.
Connemara 12 Year Old is the best of the portfolio. Where the original is a little harsh, and the cask strength a bit too bold, this whiskey is simultaneously smooth and bold. The well-balanced whiskey has a ton of character and a full force of peaty spice to tantalize the tongue. The long finish ensures that its a memorable experience. For what this 40 percent ABV drink has to offer, the high-end price is not unreasonable.
ABV: 47% | Age: NAS | Volume: 750 ml
The hard times of war, U.S. Prohibition, and the Great Depression rocked Irelands whiskey industry, leaving just two distilleries operating for most of the 1900s. Around the turn of the 21st century, that number began to increase, and Tipperary is one of the few “boutique” distilleries in the country. Started in 2016, it keeps everything small and local, including the barley and water, both of which are sourced from the family-owned Ballindoney farm.
ABV: 46% | Age: Up to 6 years, then another 6-9 months | Volume: 750 ml
What Whiskey Can You Only Get In Ireland
12 of the Best Irish Whiskies to Try Now
- The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey. $40 AT DRIZLY.
- Tullamore D.E.W. Original. $37 AT RESERVE BAR.
- Redbreast 15 Year. $129 AT RESERVE BAR.
- Bushmills Original.
- Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey.
- The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey.
- Knappogue Castle Single Malt 16 Year.
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The Tyrconnell 16 Year Old Oloroso & Moscatel Cask Finish Single Malt
A single malt double- distilled in pot stills, the 16 Year Old is aged in ex-bourbon barrels, followed by additional maturation in wine casks from the Andalucia region of Southern Spain these casks were initially seasoned with Oloroso sherry before a second seasoning with Moscatel wine. The end result is sweet, floral, creamy and well-rounded, with a long finish.
Easy Sipping And Even Easier On The Wallet
Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.
The Irish invented whiskey! as every Irish whiskey brand ambassador and bartender has told me in the last few years.
And its true. Plus, Irish whiskey is the fastest growing spirits category in the world, and these are all really fun facts to know and tell when youre imbibing on St. Patricks Day which, thanks to falling on a Sunday, pretty much means youll be drinking Irish style the entire weekend, even in non-Irish bars.
Which is fine: Irish whiskey is a smooth sipper and extremely versatile in cocktails. And, bonus, theres a lot to love if youre working within a budget. So while wed love to sip on Knappogue Castle 16 or Red Spot, your St. Patricks Day drinking certainly wont suffer with one of these 10 extremely affordable Irish tipples all of which weve personally tried and approved.
Sláinte, as the Irish say. Which means health, and is the local way of saying cheers and take care of yourself this Sunday.
West Cork Bourbon CaskMatured in first-fill bourbon casks, this young independent distiller crafts an approachable spirit that our office easily polished off over a few late-night work sessions.
Kilbeggan Single GrainHailing from Irelands oldest licensed distillery, this complex Irish whiskey is double-distilled and aged in ex-bourbon and fortified wine barrels.
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Best Mixers For Irish Whiskey
You can enjoy Irish whiskey either neat or on the rocks. But if mixing whiskey is more your style, consider these great mixer options when you are sampling the best Irish whiskey:
The sweetness of Coca-Cola helps offset the sometimes bitter flavors of whiskey. Heres how to properly mix a little Coca-Cola with the best Irish whiskey:
- Fill a tall glass with ice
- Add 60 mL Jameson
- Enjoy with a lime garnish
- Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer
Bring out the floral aspects of your Irish whiskey by adding the sweet zing of some ginger ale or ginger beer. Heres how:
- Fill a tall glass with ice
- Add 60 mL Irish whiskey
- Top off with ginger ale or ginger beer to taste
- Add lime juice, and feel free to go ahead and drop that lime wedge in the mix
Try this recipe for an Irish lemonade at your next St. Paddys Day party:
- Mix one part Irish whiskey, two parts lemonade, two parts ginger beer, and a dash of bitters in a pitcher or punch bowl
- Serve in a tall glass with ice
- Garnish with a lemon slice or fresh mint
Irish whiskey, particularly Jameson, mixes well with coffee. To find out for yourself, try this recipe using Jameson and espresso:
- Dissolve two parts Demerara sugar and one part muscovado sugar in three parts boiling water to make a syrup
- Stir sugar syrup into 35 mL Irish whiskey
- Add whiskey to 90 mL of espresso coffee, or two espresso pours
- Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon
Two Stacks Cask Strength
Yes, the core release is available in a can. But go for the bottle here a blend of grain, malt and pot still whiskey thats matured in virgin oak, ex-bourbon and former Oloroso sherry casks, the Cask Strength has real sweetness, some malted biscuit notes, spice , caramel, fruit, etc., but at 65%, its also the strongest Irish whiskey weve ever tried.
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Two Stacks The Blenders Cut Cask Strength
Though common in American whiskey, cask strength releases are a rarity on the Emerald Isle but this whiskey makes a compelling case that there should be more of them. Comprising a complex blend of grain, pot still, double malt, and peated malt whiskeys, the nose leads with banana, toffee, and caramel aromas, and a subtle puff of smoke. The palate is charged and spicy, with a rich fruit core. Average price: $60.
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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Is Irish Whiskey Smoother Than Scotch
It is a misconception that all Irish whiskey is smoother than Scotch, since all Irish whiskey is triple distilled.
The fact of the matter is many Irish whiskeys are triple distilled, and some Irish whiskeys are smoother with more mellow flavors than Scotch.
But not all Irish whiskey is triple distilled, and not all Scotch is double distilled.
Another misconception about Irish whiskey is that its smoother than Scotch because its made without peat. This is sometimes true, but is now a hard and fast rule about Irish whiskey vs. Scotch.
Peat is what gives whiskey its strong and smoky flavor. Many Scotch whiskeys are made with peat, and most Irish whiskeys are made without peat, but not all of them.
The last misconception about Scotch and Irish whiskey is that the Irish invented whiskey and the Scottish just stole the idea. The Irish have been making whiskey for centuries, and were once the powerhouse in the industry.
That dominance eventually fell off to Scotch and bourbon, however. Lately, Irish whiskey has rebounded somewhat. But theres absolutely no evidence of who invented whiskey first, the Irish or the Scottish.
Thats a secret thats pretty much lost to history.
Best Single Malt: The Tyrconnell Single Malt
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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Is There Irish Rye Whiskey
You may have heard of rye whiskey produced in the States, but for the first time since the 1890s, it’s being made in Ireland. Irish rye whiskey is being created from a heritage mash of malt, barley, and ~30% rye and matured there by the country’s oldest continually licensed distillery, the more than 260-year-old Kilbeggan Distillery. Its 86-proof Small Batch Rye is proudly produced in their copper pot stills, one of which claims to be the world’s oldest in operation – and bottled at its plant in Westmeath, Ireland.
And how does this granddaddy of a whiskey taste? Just savor this description, straight-up from Kilbeggan itself: “Beautiful warming mouthfeel of textured vanilla cream, floral spice, clove and forest sorrel, building to a crescendo of warm spice and biscuit dryness.”
Teeling Single Pot Still
Teelings Single Pot Still contains an unusually high 50 percent unmalted barley in its mash bill. The whiskey is fermented in wooden washbacks and later ages in new American oak, bourbon, and sherry barrels. The finished spirit exudes character, displaying a mix of cereal, banana chip, green tea, and dried apricot notes. Each sip is nicely rounded and coats the palate, with gentle heat provided by its 46 percent ABV content. Average price: $68.
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Bevvy Of The Week Franciscan Well Jameson Stout And Launch Party At Wj Kavanaghs Dorset Street Dublin
This weeks Bevvy of the Week is a little bit different than some of Patricks previous posts. Why? Because Im involved
Franciscan Well Stout Aged in Jameson Whiskey Casks
Last night Edwina and I were lucky enough to attend the launch of a new stout called Franciscan Well.
Franciscan Well Jameson Stout is a stout aged in Jameson Whiskey casks. The presentation for this new product is very eye catching. Its a tall one litre size bottle with very distinctive lettering and a cool swing top lid to top it all off. The whole idea behind the size of the bottle is to encourage people to buy a bottle of Franciscan Well Jameson Stout with their meal instead of wine to share with friends and as J.W. Kavanagh on Dorset St who hosted the launch proved last night you can pair this brew up with a nice beef dinner, oysters and plenty more dishes. Ok back to the stout.
Franciscan Well Jameson Stout is a black stout with a nice cappuccino coloured head. The brewer highlighted that he did not want the stout nor the Jameson Whiskey to be the front runner in this drink, he wanted them to be evenly paired. A lot of time and effort has been put into creating this special drink and it take about 100 day for Franciscan Well to be ready compared to around 14 days for other stouts.
On the nose you get aromas of coffee, nuts, coco and theres even a little spice in there as well. This all follows through onto the palate with that nice warm Jameson character as it goes down.
Egan’s Legacy Reserve I
“Brilliant pale golden color. The nose reveals scents of toasted sweet malt with waves of baked apples, caramel, toffee, and vanilla with hints of nutmeg and oak. The palate echoes the nose delivering a complex and generous baked orchard fruit core with flanking notes of brown baking spices, toasted nuts and honey. Full-bodied with great proportions and ideal balance thanks to a bright dose of natural acidity that gives this complex Whiskey vibrancy and length”.â Sean Ludford, BevX.com. 4 Stars
“Egan’s Legacy Reserve I is probably the best whiskey I’ve ever tasted. It was so chewy, full-bodied and smooth. Sweet, smokey and perfectly-balanced. The finish lasted forever, but I was totally okay with that flavor lasting as long as possible. I highly recommend this whiskey for any connoisseur’s collection”.â The Whiskey Wash – 4.5 Stars
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