Top Irish whiskeys

What better way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than with a tipple or two of some of the world’s best Irish whiskeys.

Connemara, County Galway

Connemara, County Galway

Despite there now being just a handful of operational distilleries producing Irish whiskey, the category features a range of diverse products from blends to Irish single pot stills and single malts.

Irish whiskeys are usually triple distilled and are known for their less-smoky-than-Scotch flavour.

All Irish whiskey’s are required to be aged in wooden casks for at least three years with single malts made in pot stills from malted grains.

The majority of growth within the Irish whiskey category is led by Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard’s Jameson, which soared by 4.1% in 2012, but a host of other brands are now clipping at its heels.

So this 17 March, why not raise a toast to the patron saint of Ireland with one of these top rated Irish whiskeys as rated by

Scroll through to see the site’s top 10 rated Irish whiskeys…

30 Responses to “Top Irish whiskeys”

  1. Bob T. says:

    I’m flabbergasted to learn that Irish whiskey in general, and The Irishman Cask Strength Blended Irish Whiskey in particular, are “… distilled in wooden casks for at least three years ….”

    No wonder Irish whiskey tastes so distinctly different. Who knew?

    • Richard d'Auteuil says:

      Scotch whiskeys are aged a minimum three years, but with the competition of other whiskeys,, i.e. Irish and later canadians and american whiskeys, the Scots decided to pass a law of not bottling thier whiskeys at less than four years of aging…also in casks that HAD BEEN USED BY THE WINE AND PORT people in France and Portugal. The higher blends would use casks that had been used by exporters (mostly Dutch ) who, wanting to carry more than before, had distilled the wine to its smaller form,(to carry more in the sailing ships)…with intention of remaking it on arrival. But this process is what brought us to know brandy (burnt wine as the Dutch called it). The French seeing it as an opportunity copied the process and discovered “Cognac”! The appelletion VSOP has two translations (?) the French would say “versez sans oublier personne” meaning pour without passing anyone . The other meaning and what is probably the more logicle version…would be ” very savory old pale.

  2. Jake says:

    You can’t beat Irish whiskey!

  3. Chestertnted says:

    Did you not get paid by Bushmill?…best Irish whiskey..!!

  4. Dale B says:

    12 day buddy golf trip & only the top ten… Any suggestions for the other two evenings? Bushmills & ???
    Which of the Irish Whiskeys should my playing partners stay away from?

  5. Mick says:

    I would go with Bushmills Black Bush and Tullamore DEW

  6. FYI – if you are going to write as an authority on Irish whiskey, get your facts right. No such hing as green spot 10 and 12 year whiskeys. Green spot is 10 years, yellow spot is 12 years.

  7. Matthew Kurowski says:


    The bottles of two of the selections in the slideshow are “Green Spot” and “12”. I’m not an authority on this but pointing out the probably source of the association. So I Googled Green Spot and Yellow Spot and found that both are brands from two different distilleries. Mitchell and Son for Green Spot and Irish Distillers for Yellow Spot.


  8. Bill Fulgenzi says:

    Redbreast 12, what happened? This is an excellent representation of Irish.

  9. RAf says:

    Hail Irish whiskey.

  10. Richard Huguenin says:

    I am 51 years old and have always chosen to drink sour mash. A couple of months ago I tried Jameson. OH MY GOD! It is so sad when you figure out just what you have been missing. It was not the 12 or 18 year old, just regular Jameson and I don’t have to go any further.

    • Sandy Cotton says:

      Sooo true about Jameson!! My son says, “Mom, the way you talk about Jameson is just weird!” He says if I am out with him, I can’t order Jameson!! Only a TRUE Irish Whiskey lover can understand!!!

    • Jeffrey mabe says:

      About 6 years ago I drank Bourbon (which I still love) and Johnny Walker black. One night in a bar a friend said he bought me a shot Jameson and I have loved Irish ever since. So far I guess because Jameson was my 1st, it is my favorite. I have tried Reg Jameson, 12,18,gold reserve and black Reserve. I have had Red Breast, Kennapoque Castle, Kilbeggans, Tulimore Dew, Two Gingers. I love them all. If I have to pick a favorite, have to be reg Jamesons, black and Ken. Castle, but the difference is ever so slight on all of them. Also, I will take any of them over any Scotch out there. As far a Bourbon 2 different things, they have their own place. I love my bourbons too.

  11. Jeff says:

    This list is horrible. Please anyone who doesnt know about Irish Whiskey dont listen to this.. If you want to start with the 2 best Irish Whiskeys go for Midleton (the regular midleton which runs about $140) and Redbreast 12 or 15 year (appx $50 & $75).. They are better than most popular scotches and most everything on this list.. Enjoy and your welcome..

  12. Cooney says:

    My last name is Cooney – I know Iriah whiskey and no of you are correct.

  13. Smarta$$ says:

    Whiskey is not “distilled in barrels”. It is distilled in a still and AGED in barrels. An “expert” website ought to be accurate, no?

  14. Sandra says:

    According to my Mom who just returned from Ireland Paddy’s is the best and most popular Irish Whiskey in Ireland. It’s hard to find in the US apparently. Matter fact she’s having a glass of it right now for New Year’s Eve.

  15. PETE says:

    Been a Scotch drinker since I was a teenager but I switched to Irish whiskey about five years ago because it is just as tasty but smoother. I can’t afford the really expensive Irish whiskeys but I have consumed almost all the less expensive ones. My favorite–hands down–Red Breast 12.

  16. jjames says:

    I remember being 8 years old, my great-uncles gave me a shot glass of Irish Whiskey, and said, boy you need to learn your heritage. I did, I went into the front room, my mother askef what I was doing, I told her. She stood up, and my great-uncles said sit down. This boy needs to know his heritage. She sat down, and I knew what IRISH was. GO NOTRE DAME AND AM PROUD!!!!

  17. Roy Houston says:

    Just try a Jameson’s, you won’t have to spend double the price for an Irish that is about 0.5% better. Unless you’re a whiskey snob of course. “Down the hatch” as we say in County Antrim.

  18. Mickey says:

    No real Irishman would name their whisky “Danny Boy.” Those lame lyrics were written and copyrighted by English lawyer Frederic Weatherly in 1913. While the melody was originally known as “Derry Air” after the Irish County, when Northern Ireland becamse subserviant to the British, both the county and the tune changed to “Londonderry.” Danny Boy is as Irish as Shel Silverstein’s “Unicorn Song” or corned beef – which was an export for the wealthy British, and not even consumed by the down-trodden Irish because we couldn’t afford it. That’s why we eat stew and praties!

  19. kevin o'connor says:

    hi …..have you ever heard of an irish whiskey called “inishargy”. I have found an old water jug with this name on it. I can send you pictures if you reply to this e.mail…….kevin

  20. Bill Fulgenzi says:

    Redbreast 12 is an outstanding example of what Irish Whiskey should be. It is a consistent winner at all serious spirits competitions. Additionally most publications and reviewers rave over this world class expression. The fact that Redbreast 12 was not listed in this review prompts my statement, “what happened.” This is not to say that other Irish Whiskeys are not good, but I would insist that Redbreast 12 is as good as or better than most listed in this review.

  21. Now this is my fav “uisce beatha” Irish for “water of life” or as ye all know it as Whiskey !!!! , expensive in my local ….”oconnors of Ballyboughal” @ €18.60 a shot but my god is she tasty!
    Midleton Rare Premium Irish Whiskey . Now who’s going tell me that’s not tasty????

  22. peter meehan says:

    love both green and yellow spot……but my favorite irish whiskey that won’t break the bank is …teelings….relatively new…i think it is only been in buisness for about 5 years…dying to try that middleton 25 yr though

  23. bernard ward says:

    Only tried Jameson and was happy until I read above comments. I have decided to spend some of my retirement sampling others. Knowledge is a wonderful thing. Jameson by far better than anything Scottish.

  24. Marv kleiman says:

    Teeling , your opinion

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