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.
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 winesearcher.com.
Scroll through to see the site’s top 10 rated Irish whiskeys…
Midleton 25 Year Old Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey, County Cork, Ireland
Released just before the millennium and increasingly difficult to come by, this 25 Year Old single pot still whiskey is “complex” with a “wild array of spicy, oily, fruity and warming flavours”, according to the Celtic Whiskey Shop.
Single pot still Irish whiskey is made from a mash of both malted and unmalted barley and must be produced in pot stills. The word ‘single’ indicates that it is produced at a single distillery.
Winesearcher rating: 158369
Average price: £1,020
The Irishman Cask Strength Blended Irish Whiskey, County Cork, Ireland
The Rare Cask Strength range is distilled three times in American Oak Casks with just 2,000 bottles produced each year, numbered and signed.
According to its makers, it has a “combination of soft bourbon notes and a light malty subplot with a light sprinkling of ginger” with a “long, chocolate, rich and sophisticatedly spiced” finish.
Winesearcher rating: 161783
Average price: £88
The Wild Geese Classic Blend Blended Irish Whiskey, County Louth, Ireland
This double distilled single malt and grain whiskey produced at the Cooley Distillery in County Louth, aged bourbon casks.
According to the Celtic Whiskey Shop, it has a “light, sweet, fruity taste, balanced and smooth with a “tingle of honey and citrus fruit.”
Winesearcher rating: 165322
Average price: £33
Greenspot 12 Year Old Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey, County Louth, Ireland
Released in 2005 this Single Pot Still, cask strength whiskey was created to celebrate Mitchell & Sons 200th year in business – Ireland’s oldest Wine and Spirit merchant – with only 200 bottles made. Each one was signed by by R. Jonathan Mitchell.
Winesearcher rating: 169022
Average price: £578
Jameson 18 Year Old Master Selection Blended Irish Whiskey, County Cork, Ireland
A limited blend of three select cask whiskeys, Jameson’s Master Selection is matured for at least 18 years in American bourbon barrels and European oak casks. On the palate it has a notes of “fudge, toffee, spice, hints of wood and leather, vanilla and a gentle sherry nuttiness”, according to its makers.
Winesearcher rating: 186892
Average price: £90
Kilbeggan Distillery Reserve Irish Malt Whiskey, County Westmeath, Ireland
The latest addition to the Kilbeggan portfolio, its Reserve Irish Malt Whiskey is produced from 100% malted barley producing “an exceptionally smooth and flavoursome Irish malt whiskey” due to the narrow necks of this distillery’s ancient pot still design.
The Whisky Connoisseur at connosr.com, said it has a nose of “asparagus in melted parmesan butter, with a little red liquorice on the side”. On the palate it was described as having notes of “vanilla creme brulee and molten brown sugar” to “kiwis, cornbread and barbecue chicken.”
Winesearcher rating: 202964
Average price: £38
Danny Boy 15 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey, County Louth, Ireland
Only 2,500 bottles of this single malt whiskey, produced at the Cooley distillery, were produced – each with a numbered certificate numbered and signed by the Cooley Master Distiller Noel Sweeny.
Double distilled and matured for 15 years in American White oak casks, this whiskey is “sweet and rich” and “full of deeply exotic fruits with vanilla notes” with “golden toffee notes”, according to its makers.
Winesearcher rating: 224067
Average price: £75
Green Spot 10 Year Old Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey, County Cork, Ireland
Released in 2005, along with its 12 Year Old counterpart, only 1,000 of this limited edition Greenspot was released to celebrate 200 years of trading of Irish Merchant’s Mitchel and Son’s.
According to the Celtic Whiskey Shop, Mitchel’s was one of many Dublin merchants to send their empty sherry butts to Jameson for filling with new spirit, which, after many years, would be used to make its Greenspot whiskey.
Winesearcher rating: 224067
Average price: £170
Powers Irish Special 15 Year Old Whiskey, Ireland
Powers was one of the first distilleries in the world to bottle its own whiskey. It was originally a pure pot still whiskey, but is now produced from a blend of pot still and grain whiskey and it the most popular Irish whiskey sold in Ireland, selling over 6 million measures per annum.
This 1970s whiskey is an old bottling by Powers whiskey which is now very rare. It would have been distilled at the old John’s Lane Powers Distillery in Dublin and originally exported to the Italian market.
Winesearcher rating: 233283
Average price: £408