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. While the younger 12- and 14-year expressions are impressive and cost less, Knappogue Castle’s 16 Year Old Single Malt is pure elegance. ", "This boutique whiskey keeps things local and small in order to produce a fine dram. 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. 7. "Irish whiskey is so much easier to drink," they say, "because it’s fruity and light, while scotch is smoky and harsh." 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. The latest, batch number four ($100), is made up of whiskey that was matured in bourbon barrels, PX and Oloroso sherry butts, and port casks before being blended together. “Single grain” means that the whiskey was produced in one location using malted barley and at least one other grain. The Watershed expression is a nice introduction to this top-shelf brand. According to their website, the flavor is "rich and complex" and leaves a "long, peppery and warm" finish.Such a fine whiskey is clearly best when served neat; adding it to a glass of coke would be royally screwing over your drinking experience.. A specialist in single malts, this is one of the few brands that focus solely on age statements. Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey, Best in Ireland: Also, look out for an extra mature Redbreast expression coming out this spring. Due to its rich, warm depth of flavor yet crowd-pleasing versatility — I give Teeling my seal of approval as Editor's Choice. Northern Ireland’s Bushmills is probably the second best known Irish whiskey out there, mostly for its signature blend. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. Since there are only a few distilleries in Ireland, the offerings are not as numerous as you’ll find with other whiskey styles. Three thousand bottles are available here in the U.S. One of the “Twin Wood” labels, this whiskey spends 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels. ", The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The finish is long, and the entire experience is as smooth you could imagine. It’s light and fruity on the nose, with a pleasing hit of dried fruit and nutmeg on the palate. 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. Tullamore D.E.W. One defender of drinking whiskey with ice is the late chef/travel-show host Anthony Bourdain. Northern Ireland’s Bushmills is probably the second best known Irish whiskey out there, mostly for its signature blend. 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 hard times of war, U.S. Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey, The 7 Best Bitters for Whiskey Cocktails of 2020, Best Special Barrel: 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. In Ireland's County Carlow, the Walsh Whiskey Distillery is doing fantastic things with Irish whiskey. Many people drink Baileys straight over ice, or use it as a mixer in shooters, martinis, and Irish coffee. The Irishman Single Malt, Best for Irish Coffee: It's hard to find a bottle of Irish whiskey that's truly disappointing. 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. 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. While it waits for this whiskey to reach its proper age, it also buys and blends whiskey for its own releases. The Single Pot Still ($65) has actually been available at the distillery in Dublin for a few years, but this is the first time it's in the U.S. ", "Aged in former bourbon and rum casks, this well-priced small batch whiskey offers a unique taste. 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. There have been a few recent developments going on with Jameson, perhaps the best known and certainly the best selling Irish whiskey around the world. Distilled three times and aged in oak for at least four years, the finished whiskey is a blend of pot still and grain whiskeys. Irish whiskey is smooth and creates impressive drinks. Pour between 30 to 60 ml of whiskey into a short glass tumbler (lowball glass). 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. That takes nothing away from the craftsmanship or allure of these smooth blended whiskeys. Impeccably smooth, you'll enjoy the warm flavors of vanilla and black pepper along with sweet fruits and a surprisingly long finish. Jameson Irish Whiskey – one of the best Irish whiskeys. 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. Knappogue Castle 16 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Best Small Batch: The best Irish whiskey tastings are conducted in a bright, sterile room to fully embrace the complexities of Irish whiskey. "But it is during the maturation phase in these different climates that the resulting whiskey would become very different." TIPPERARY Watershed Boutique Selection, Best to Drink Straight: 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. 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. 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. The Irishman is one of two labels produced there and the Single Malt is not only top-rated and award-winning, but is also a mid-range bottle that’s relatively affordable. While other products from Aberlour are not exactly popular, A’bunadh has gained a cult following. Also, you’ll be in good company with this drinking method. Madeira is a fortified wine that’s noted for its caramelized fruity flavors, and that juicy sweetness translates wonderfully into the whiskey. The booming popularity of Irish whiskey—sales jumped 13 percent in 2017 alone, and even Conor McGregor is getting in on it—mostly has to do with one whiskey… Jameson is the most popular Irish whiskey in the world by far, with 70% of the global market. Original is the perfect everyday whiskey with a hard-to-beat price tag. 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 … ", "This smooth Irish whiskey is begging to be mixed into an Irish coffee. While most Irish whiskeys tend to follow tradition perhaps too closely, this dandy is a bit less conservative. Though it’s not entirely clear what its future will be, hopefully it’ll stick around for more releases like this. There's nothing fancy about this one and that's perfectly fine. While we're on the subject, let's settle this age-old debate: whiskey vs whisky. The goal of a drink served neat is to go straight from the bottle to the glass with as little interruption as possible. 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. What you need for your Irish whiskey tasting. 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. The resulting whiskey is bright and vibrant, with floral, vanilla, raisin, and unsweetened dark chocolate notes on the palate. The first clues of its wild but controlled nature is its deep, slightly red color and its oak, leather, fruit and smoky nose. Connemara 12 Year Old is the best of the portfolio. The well-balanced whiskey has a ton of character and a full force of peaty spice to tantalize the tongue. Each batch changes up the types of casks used and the age of the whiskey (and also comes in 93 proof and cask-strength versions). Every bar needs at least one Irish whiskey that's always in stock so you can mix up a drink or pour a shot whenever you want. It’s also the best-selling Irish whiskey in the United States, where it competes with Tennessee whiskey, Kentucky bourbon and Canadian whiskey. 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. 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. 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. "This world-class whiskey is simply beautiful and worth every penny. 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’. “Redbreast was the first Irish whiskey that I had that wasn’t Jameson,” says Josh Jancewicz, bartender at Gold–Diggers in Los Angeles. The well-balanced and simply delicious taste perfectly showcases the country’s tradition of distilling fine whiskey. That's what happened in The Tyrconnell 10-Year-Old Madeira Cask, which is produced at the Cooley Distillery (best known for Kilbeggan and the makers of Greenore). The taste offers delicious fruits, vanilla, and almond flavors wrapped in a perfectly sweet, exceptionally smooth, 80-proof whiskey. 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. 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. 1792. The best whisky to drink straight is Glenfiddich Gran Cru 23 Year which is a single malt whisky aged in French and American oak, then finished in French Cuvee barrels. Vanilla, malty woods and a pleasing array of fruits infuse this smooth 80-proof whiskey that’s a fantastic choice with or after dinner. Muddle the cardamom pods in the bottom of a pre-heated Irish coffee glass. Colleen Graham is a beverage writer with over a decade of experience writing about cocktails and bartending. Laphroaig. 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. 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. The previously used wood soaks up flavors from its former inhabitant and imparts those qualities to the new liquor. Its core range consists of a few different sourced whiskeys, but the latest release was distilled onsite. Knappogue Castle is an Irish whiskey to keep on your radar. For a world-class whiskey that's worth every penny, we recommend the renowned Redbreast 15 Year Irish Whiskey. "I see Irish whiskey a little like the Wild West for whiskey drinkers," says Teeling Whiskey founder and managing director Jack Teeling, "as there is still so much to discover, particularly in the U.S.". The said “original” is a nod to James Fleming, who founded Aberlour. If adding a couple of ice cubes makes the drink more palatable for you, then who are we to say you shouldn’t? 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. It’s had its ups and downs over the years, with the stills going silent from the 1950s until restarting again in 2007. Kilbeggan has a long and storied history dating back all the way to 1757. In this case, it’s corn, which adds a wonderful sweetness that plays remarkably well off the flavors of bourbon barrel aging. There are three new releases this year. 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. This … You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, The Hands-Down Best Single Malt Scotch to Drink, The 35 Best Gifts for Serious Whiskey Drinkers, 25 Gift Ideas for the Beer Snob in Your Life, Why We're Leaning Into Batch Cocktails Right Now, Everything We'll Miss About Bars This Winter, Blackwell's 007 Rum Marks 60 Years of Bond, The Portable Beer Keg You'll Make Great Use Of, The Orange Liqueur Still Asked for By Name, How LA-Based Mixologist ‘Hawk’ Makes A Sidecar, Glendalough Pot Still, 17 Year Old, and 25 Year Old, The Tyrconnell 16 Year Old Oloroso & Moscatel Cask Finish, Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey's Marchesi di Barolo Cask. The 10 Best Irish Whiskeys to Drink in 2020. Bushmills held a tasting last fall during which three variants were unveiled to positive acclaim, and the word is that these could be released as limited expressions sometime in the near future. Get easy-to-follow, delicious recipes delivered right to your inbox. Matthew Kelly / Supercall Whiskey is really the only alcohol that you can drink straight out of the bottle. Tullamore D.E.W. Next up from J.J. Corry is a whiskey that commemorates International Women’s Day and a private client bespoke offering for Asia. 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. Alcohol by Volume 40%. So, bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbon because there are many other types. The higher proof offers an unadulterated whiskey-drinking experience with an amplified range of flavors. The whiskey is small-batched from hand-selected barrels and bottled at … However you drink Baileys, it will be a welcome addition to your liquor cabinet. 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