What Is The Best Irish Whiskey

No1 Midleton Very Rare Series Since 1984

The BEST Irish Whiskey?! | Blind Tasting 8 Irish Whiskies!

Every year since 1984, Midleton Distillerys, Master Distiller gets the opportunity to release the ultimate expression of his art and expertise. The Midleton Very Rare tradition began when Barry Crockett handpicked the finest and rarest whiskeys available and carefully blended them to create a rare and unique vintage. Each year Midleton Very Rare is vatted from a select number of casks that are deemed of superior excellence and rarity to bear the Midleton Very Rare name. This is the Pinnacle of Irish Whiskey. What vintage was your favorite release?

One of the rarest of the rare was made in 1974 at the old Midleton distillery, before it closed later that year. The first release in Midletons Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection is a 45-year-old peated Irish single malt matured in a third-fill sherry cask for more than four decades. Refined aromas of fresh leather, old oak, nutmeg, grapefruit, boiled sweets and toffee pennies fill the nose. The palate offers notes of tropical fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, salted caramel and black cherries. This bottle is presented in a hand-crafted box from Irish designer John Galvin using up to 200-year-old wood from ancient reclaimed whisky vats.

A History Of Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey, despite having been a more popular and prestigious spirit in its golden age than Scotch whisky, did not have the best time of the mid-20th century.

Now though, there are a profusion of both invigorated old brands and exciting new entrants to the market, all seeking to rectify our ignorance of what its adherents claim is the original whisky.

Firstly, the Irish claim to have been making whiskey before everyone else. This is based on a note dating to 1405 in the Annals of Clonmacnoise, about the head of a clan who died after taking a surfeit of aqua vitae at Christmas. The earliest Scottish record of distilled spirits apparently dates to a tardy 1494.

Hibernian-Caledonian bragging rights aside, this is of less interest than the fact that Irish whiskey was, by the late nineteenth century, absolutely massive. Like with beer, whiskey scaled well to the possibilities of the industrial revolution and it was the Irish who ruled the roost.

In 1823 a 31,618-gallon pot still was commissioned for the Midleton Distillery in County Cork, and was so large that it required the room to be built around it. The largest pot still currently in operation today that we could find reference to is a mere 16,498 gallons.

As the Victorian era waxed, the five main distilleries in Dublin alone could produce up to 10 million gallons of spirit a year between them.

N07 Method And Madness From Midleton Micro Distillery

Midleton are the true master of distilling in Ireland and Innovation is nothing new from the Masters and Apprentices of Midleton Distillery. But the new micro-distillery in Midleton has given them a real playground of freedom to experiment and create magnificent flavours. Method and Madness is the first branded spirit to come out of the micro-distillery and the whiskeys are not only esquite but they are blazing the way for new taste and wood varieties in Irish whiskey history.

When great minds collide, incredible creations can emerge. At Midleton, our Master and Apprentice relationship runs deep, with generations of know how meshing with restless curiosity. There will be trial, and error, and brilliant bottled breakthroughs that start with What if? Restless hearts making inspired spirits.

Midleton Master Distiller

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Kinahans Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Matured in American oak, first-fill, ex-bourbon casks, this single malt takes on a shiny gold hue. In terms of its nose, youll get a mix of bright citrus and moody cigar/tobacco vibes, that create a complementary contrast. The brand has a legacy dating back to the 1700s, with generations of the same family at the helm. This is perfect for those who like a traditional single malt, with a gentle and refined taste.

Midleton Method And Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

The 12 Best Irish Whiskeys to Drink in 2021

Best Irish whiskey using alternatives to oakStar rating: 4.5/5Size: 70clABV: 46%

Method And Madness is a small, experimental offering from within the Midleton distillery. The single pot still comes in a striking bottle with contemporary labelling, but the beauty is in the taste. The nose is rich and sweet, with spices led by ginger and cinnamon. On the palate, it continues sweet, the caramel edging into toffee, with the malt toasty. It finishes long and rich, still sweet, but more of the chocolate and cocoa amongst a nutty, woody spicing. The unconventional flavour notes, including hints of chestnut, set this whiskey apart. Read our full Midleton Method and Madness review.

Available from:

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Peaky Blinders: The Real Story By Carl Chinn

The Peaky Blinders may be fictional, but the characters and plot do have roots in historical fact. In this Sunday Times best-seller, social historian Carl Chinn unpacks the true story of illegal bookmakers operating in Birmingham in the inter-war period, including Chinn’s own great grandfather.

The book adds fascinating context to Tommy Shelby’s world and shines light on the activities of the real Birmingham gang, as well as the violent warfare that took place between real men who appear in the series like Billy Kimber, Alfie Solomon and Darby Sabini.

Single Malt Is More Expensive Than A Blend

Although rules are meant to be broken, single malt, single pot still and single grain whiskeys all tend to be more expensive than blends. Thats because blends are far less intensive to produce. However, you can find expensive blends that incorporate older whiskeys into the mix.

In general, the older the whiskey is, the more expensive it will generally be. Whiskey is a spirit that tends to get better with age, but there are limits to that concept and older whiskey doesnt necessarily mean better whiskey.

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Teeling Small Batch: Best Irish Whiskey Under $50

Small batch whiskey often gets held in higher regard, thanks to the extra attention to detail it receives over mass-produced bottles. Not only does Teeling Small Batch excel as a brilliant example of just that, but its also available at a deliciously friendly price.

This delicate bottle is intricate and unravelling, something youll want to sip once or twice just to get your bearings before properly understanding the complexities at play here. Made with a blend of malt and grain whiskeys, its initially aged in ex-Bourbon barrels before being moved over to casks that previously held Central American rum. That extra resting time is responsible for its fresh fruit and creamy vanilla notes.

Connemara Peated Single Malt 12 Year

Whats the Best Redbreast Irish Whiskey Blind Tasting

With a smoky flavour from peat, Connemara Peated Single Malt 12 Year appeals to Scotch fans, and its the only peated Irish whiskey on the market today.

At 40% ABV, this whiskey is very pale and has no caramel colouring. On the nose, Connemara 12 Year is fresh and lively, with zesty orange, lemon, and a touch of creamy vanilla. There are also fruit and honey aromas.

The peat smoke is a constant throughout the experience, but it remains well-balanced in the mix, from the first inhale to the finish.

When you taste this whiskey, it is initially sweet and fruity, with the flavour of pears, apples, vanilla cream, ginger, and spicy oak. You may also experience honey, vanilla, cinnamon, dried apples, and light woodiness.

Overall, Connemara 12 Year is light in body, with some typical Bourbon cask character. The long finish includes notes of dried fruit, pine, sugary sweetness, char, and old wood.

Try it, and youll agree this rare peaty Irish whiskey belongs on any list of the best Irish whiskeys.

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Redbreast 15 Year Old

Another one of the more premium whiskeys on the list is the Redbreast 15 Year Old Single Pot Still whiskey. A delicious Irish whiskey that is created in a pot still, that has a lot of beautiful complex flavors for you to discover. I know this is starting to sound like a sales-pitch, but I think you will not be disappointed when you try this whiskey for the first, second and even 20th time.

This whiskey has been aged for 15 years, as the age label says. The whisky is triple distilled and bottled at 46% Alcohol By Volume .

Taste: There are many notes of honey, vanilla, fruits, cut hay, guava, green spices, pepper and other tropical fruit. You may also find hints of cucumber, green melon, kiwi and other green notes. And this is just on the nose. The freshness really shines with a lot of fresh fruity notes. Now for the palate, the whiskey has creamy, soft texture. There are many aromas of cooked fruits, fried banana, gooseberry, butterscotch and even nutmeg.

Now there are so many tasting notes you can be looking for in this whiskey that you could be overwhelmed. I want to say that you are not alone, and that the taste of the whiskey can be subjective as well! I could get cucumber, and you could get other tastes. This bottle of whiskey is very complex and can keep giving new experiences.

This fine whiskey can be found over here on Master of Malt.

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Bushmills 16 Year Old

Aged in a combination of Oloroso Sherry and bourbon-seasoned barrels, before going through a final finishing period in Port wine casks, the unique maturation process creates a truly fantastic whiskey. With complex notes of juicy fruits, nuts, and spice, as well as a hint of ruby redness, the 16 Year Old Single Malt is best enjoyed neat or with a small ice cube to unpack its unique flavours.


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Best Irish Whiskeys For The Money

Last Updated on October 11, 2022 by Lydia Martin

While the oldest Irish whiskey has been around since the early 1600s, its tough competition with Scotch whisky has led it to become almost obsolete .

Thankfully, theres a stronger demand for this spirit in recent years, and weve seen Irish distilleries pop out one after the other. If you want to know which bottle you should spend your hard-earned money on, here are our picks for the best Irish whiskeys for the money.

Get ready to say Sláinte!

Buyers Guide To The Best Irish Whiskeys

10 Bottles of the Best Irish Whiskey to Sip Right Now

A novice will take a sip of this silky smooth amber liquid and tell you its whiskey. But a true fan will breathe in its delicate aromas and pinpoint immediately that what youre sipping on is not just a whiskey, but an Irish whiskey.

Because not all whiskey is created equally, even if it does all stem from the same part of the world. Irish whiskey as an industry is on the rise, which means plenty more delicious and unique drams to try, and also plenty more opportunities to learn more about your preferences in the whiskey drinking world.

Irish whiskey is also known as uisce betha, which translates to water of life in Gaelic. So, when we say Irish whiskey is something worth trying, were not just speaking from opinion.

Its known for a few unique characteristics which keep it a world away from the rest of whiskey. When they say theres something in the water, theres a high chance the they in question are talking about Irish whiskey.

While whiskey from across the world might also be silky smooth and rich, the premium quality of Irish water provides a breathtakingly delicious base for Irish whiskeys thats difficult to reproduce elsewhere.

Irish whiskey is also generally easier on the throat than other types. Its lower ABV provides less burn that Scotch whiskey for example, making Irish whiskey a great option if youre only just venturing into the world of this spirit.

But where to start?

So, whatre the most important factors to note when buying Irish whiskey?

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Yellow Spot Single Pot 12 Year Old: Best Sipping Irish Whiskey

This warm, gold Irish whiskey warms you from the inside and the outside something youll spend a few seconds admiring the way it glows before you take your first sip. Yellow Spot Single Pot 12 Year Old is velvety smooth, aged in Bourbon barrels, Sherry butts and Malaga casks with a selective combination that promises a unique finish.

A bottle thats perpetually recommended, Yellow Spot Single Pot 12 Year Old is opulent and silky, with lots of umami and soft rancio notes and a slightly syrupy finish thats comforting and enjoyable. One of the best Irish whiskeys out there, its a safe blind buy for all kinds of drinkers.

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Top tipples from the Emerald Isle.

Whisky might make you think of Scotland but Ireland has a rich history of distilling and produces world class drams, as this best Irish whiskey guide showcases.

In fact, Ireland was the first place in the British Isles to distil, and Irish whiskey was once the most popular spirit in the world. The word ‘whiskey’ comes from uisce beatha, meaning water of life in Gaelic.

Following a huge decline in the late 19th century, to just three distilleries, Irish whiskey has been on the up. It is the fastest growing spirit in the world, well-known for its smooth and creamy taste – typically due to being triple distilled.

This rise isnt just due to big names like Jameson and Bushmills, although they deserve a lot of credit. Theres a lot of choice now, whether youre wanting something special or to sip on a regular basis.

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Best For Beginners: Jameson Irish Whiskey

Courtesy of Reserve Bar

ABV: 40% | Age: 4+ years | Volume: 750 ml

Jameson is arguably the best-known name in Irish whiskey. The familiar green bottle can be found in nearly any bar and liquor store in the world. Not only is it readily available and reliable, but its also extremely affordable. Overall, its a great introduction for anyone whos looking for their first taste of this whiskey style.

Distilled three times and aged in oak for at least four years, the finished whiskey is a blend of pot still and grain whiskeys. 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. Mix it into any cocktail or sip it straightthis one will not let you down either way.

Price at time of publish:From $31 for 750ml Bottle

“Got mint in your garden ? Make a whiskey smash by muddling three lemon wedges in a shaker. Add Irish whiskey, simple syrup, mint leaves, and ice, and shake until well-chilled. Double-strain into a rocks glass over fresh crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.” Humberto Marques, Owner/Entrepreneur and Lead Mixologist at Curfew Bar in Denmark

The Best Irish Whiskey

Best Irish Whiskey Under $35: Sexton, Jameson, Black Bush, Powers?

Bushmills Black Bush is a blended whiskey that carries no age statement. Here, a high proportion eighty-five percent of malt whiskey that has been matured in former Oloroso Sherry casks for between eight and eleven years is combined with a sweet, grain whiskey. The resultant whiskey is rich, fruity and intense, yet at the same time very smooth. It has a silky texture with a nutty character, and the sherry influence is very evident. On the palate, there are also hints of cinnamon and honey. It is extremely tasty great value for the money.

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Whats The Proper Way Of Drinking Irish Whiskey

You can take a look at the components of the spirit and see which one you gravitate towards. Below is a cheat sheet on flavors you can usually expect:

  • Blended or single grain Irish whiskey: soft and neutral flavors
  • Single malt Irish whiskey: oaky and woodsy
  • Single pot still Irish whiskey: rich and decadent

You can begin by drinking a single label first and branching out to different age statements to see how aging influences the final spirit. Lastly, test out different barrel finishes and see the difference.

After youve familiarized yourself with drinking it neat, you can go ahead and try them in mixed drinks .

A general rule of thumb is that youll surely love the whiskey in a cocktail if you like the whiskey neat. But what makes Irish whiskey different?

Find An Exciting New Bottle For Your Bar

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The Spruce Eats / Crea Taylor

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 St. Patrick’s Day 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.

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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Bushmills 10 Year Old

Bushmills is one of the most prominent distilleries among others. Its flagship product, the Bushmills 10 Year Old, uses 100% malted barley. It is an Irish whiskey with many characteristics similar to Scotch whisky really worth trying.

On the nose, youll be able to find banana skins and butter mint with lots of sugar and vanilla caused by using ex-Bourbon casks. The palate has a lot of fruity notes, with chocolate pudding as an aroma due to the use of copper stills.


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