10 Irish Whiskeys You Must Try Now
December 1, 2016 –––––– Gavin D Smith
There's never been a better time to drink Irish whiskey. New distilleries are popping up left and right, brands are expanding with new cask finishes and other innovations, and of course,the classics continue to shine. We've rounded up ten recommended Irish whiskeys that represent an array of flavor profiles and styles. Think of this list as your roadmap to the treasures of the Emerald Isle.
Bushmills 16 year old—86 points
Matured in a combination of bourbon, port, and sherry casks. The result is a complex and very satisfying Irish single malt.
Connemara 12 year old—90 points
An innovative peated Irish single malt created by Cooley. It offers a maturity to match its natural ruggedness.
Green Spot Château Léoville Barton—89 points
The first Irish single pot still whiskey to be finished in Bordeaux wine casks, after aging in new American oak,oloroso sherry casks, and bourbon barrels. Different and delicious.
A notably characterful triple-distilled blended Irish that includes 70 percent single malt and 30 percent single pot still whiskeys, matured in bourbon barrels.
The senior of the Jameson range shows generous pot still character and considerable richness born of sherry and bourbon cask maturation.
After 15 to 22 years in bourbon barrels, this expression was finished in hogsheads made from virgin Irish oak. Classic pot still with a twist. (Plus it was Whisky Advocate's 22nd Annual Irish Whiskey of the Year award recipient.)
Redbreast 12 year old—96 points
The brand that did the most to maintain the profile of single pot still Irish whiskey. Older expressions are good, but the 12 year old is equally excellent.
Teeling Small Batch—89 points
One of the first releases from Teeling Distillery, Small Batch is a blended Irish whiskey with a high malt content, finished in rum barrels.
Tullamore D.E.W. 14 year old—87 points
Complex and flavorsome, triple distilled Irish single malt whiskey. Finished in bourbon, port, madeira, and oloroso sherry casks.
Yellow Spot 12 year old Single Pot Still—91 points
The return of Yellow Spot to the market comes with this variant, matured in a mix of bourbon barrels, Spanish sherry butts, and Malaga casks. It was namedWhisky Advocate's 19th Annual Irish Whiskey of the Year.