The Best Irish Whiskey You Can Buy

The Temple Bar, a pub famous in Ireland that serve some of the best irish whiskey brands

Ireland is a country that is commonly associated with whiskey. Some of the most distinctive and iconic blends of whiskey ever distilled came from the Emerald Isle. But a lot of people are unsure of where they should begin when they are interested in exploring the wonderful world of Ireland’s whiskey.

Here is a rundown of the best Irish Whiskey that you can buy. Some of these brands are world famous, some of them are more obscure.

 

Sipping this article:

  1. Best Irish Whiskey – 16 Brands Worth Tasting
        1. Spots Whiskey and the Blue Spot Expression
        2. The Devil’s Keep
        3. Teeling
        4. Bushmills
        5. Redbreast
        6. Egans
        7. Jameson
        8. Dublin Liberties
        9. Waterford
        10. Tullamore D.E.W
        11. The Busker
        12. Grace O’Malley
        13. Knappogue Castle
        14. The Tyrconnel
        15. The Whistler
        16. Writer’s Tears

Bunch of four leaf clovers and shamrocks

 

Best Irish Whiskey – 16 Brands Worth Tasting

Spots Whiskey and the Blue Spot Expression

Bottle of Blue Spot Whiskey

Blue Spot is one of the newest Irish whiskeys to hit the market. Each bottle of this whiskey is aged for at least seven years and it has also been aged in combinations of bourbon, sherry, as well as wine casks.

Blue Spot is just the latest in a long tradition of Spots products and, in terms of flavour, it has a strong hint of wine, because it has been aged in wine casks. The unique flavor of Blue Spot includes almond, mango, and a touch of black pepper.

 

The Devil’s Keep by Craft Irish Whiskey Company

Even by the already high standards of Irish whiskey, The Devil’s Keep is some of the best of the best irish whiskey expressions you can have on your cabinet. This limited release run is offered by the Craft Irish Whiskey Company.

The Devil’s Keep has spent nearly thirty years maturing in several different casks. The first of these was a set of bourbon casks, then in Tawny port French oak casks. Finally, The Devil’s Keep was matured barrels of Hungarian oak.

This delicate aging process is one of the reasons why The Devil’s Keep is more expensive than the average whiskey, but it is not the only reason. The packaging is another important part of The Devil’s Keep’s high price point.

For one thing The Devil’s Keep is a whiskey that is sold to you in a locked case. The case also includes a carafe that contains water from where the whiskey was distilled.

It also comes with a gold-plated pipette. You then use this pipette to drop the water into a specifically designed glass that you are supposed to sip whiskey from.

This locked case also includes a couple of other things. It contains a couple of obsidian stones as well as an atomizer. This atomizer contains perfume that is meant to reproduce the rich, oaky, whiskey aroma of the warehouse where the whiskey was matured.
The Devil’s Keep is a specialty whiskey so if you are interested in purchasing it, you will have to talk directly to the company about ordering it.

 

Teeling

Did you know that Teeling was the first distillery in well over a hundred years to operate in Dublin? They started in 2015 and ever since then, business has been booming.

Nowadays there are lots of distilleries that are operating in Dublin, but Teeling is still the best of them. They have released several different wonderfully sourced high quality and some of the best irish whiskey expressions that were distilled in-house.

Small Batch is a staple of Teeling. This is a uniquely blend of grain and malt whiskeys and it is aged for a year in bourbon and rum casks.
They also have several other expressions within their range, besides Small Batch. They also offer Single Malt, Single Grain and a classic type of Irish Whiskey known as Single Pot Still.

Single Pot Still whiskey is finely aged in American oak barrels and casks of bourbon and sherry. It is then distilled on site in Dublin.

This is also true of Blackpitts, Teeling’s new single malt whiskey that is aged in wine casks as well as bourbon casks.

 

Bushmills

Bushmills is a very inexpensive and palatable brand of Irish whiskey. It is also unique in that it is one of the brands of Irish whiskey that is distilled in Northern Ireland rather than the Republic of Ireland.

If the Bushmills Original brand is something that you enjoy, you should try some of the other single malts that are made in the same distillery. They have a core range of whiskeys aged 10, 16, and 21 years. They are each aged in a different type of cask.

If you are looking to invest in the best quality drink that money has to buy, you should check out the first whiskey that was produced as part of their Rare Cask series. This is a single malt that is almost thirty years old. It was aged in casks of bourbon and sherry for eleven years. After this, it was aged for an extra seventeen years in barrels of cognac.

The Rare Casks series is a wonderful sipping experience. In the future the Rare Casks series will include even older single malts that have been aged in wine and sherry casks. There will also be whiskey that has crystal malt in the mash bill.

Glass of Bushmills, considered to be one of the best irish whiskey brands
Bushmills is a very well known brand worldwide and considered to be one of the best irish whiskey brands of all times

 

Redbreast

Did you know Redbreast whiskey is distilled in the very same exact large distillery that Jameson whiskey is distilled in? It’s true. Both of these iconic Irish whiskeys are distilled in Midleton, which is right by Cork. There are a handful of other notable Irish whiskey brands that are also distilled here at this site.

Redbreast is one of the best examples of Irish whiskey that comes from a single pot still. This means that the mash bill consists of both unmalted and malted barley, as well as being distilled in a single distillery by way of pot stills.

There are different ages of whiskey in this line that are matured in both barrels of bourbon and sherry. The influence of sherry casks on this whiskey’s flavor is particularly strong. Some of the highliglhts of this drink include the strength of the cask maturation process that lasts for twelve years, as well as the fifteen year old flavorful taste.

If you are ever fortunate enough to travel to Ireland, you should take the time to stop by a quality whiskey bar and order a glass of Redbreast. You are sure to love it.

 

Egans

Believe it or not, Egans does not actually run its own distillery. However, this is a brand that sources both grain as well as malt whiskey from a number of highly reputable distillery operations across the Emerald Isle.

Egans has a Vintage Grain hat is especially good. This single grain whiskey has been distinctly matured in bourbon barrels.
In addition to their classic ten year malt, Egans also has a few deluxe quality releases. Their most recent high end releases is the Legacy Reserve III. The Legacy Reserve III was completed in Cadillac casks as a seventeen year single malt.

These casks had previously held a dessert wine. This gives a sweet and spicy vanilla undertone to this already deliciously fruity malt.

 

Bottle of Jameson Select Reserve, considered one of the best irish whiskey expressions
Bottle of Jameson Select Reserve, considered one of the best irish whiskey expressions

Jameson

Jameson is one of the most ubiquitous Irish whiskeys that has ever been distilled. The original Jameson blend is a classic and a staple of bars across the globe. Many people are not aware of the different varieties of Jameson that are available though.

One of the most popular variants of Jameson is Black Barrel. This one has been aged in charred oak barrels. This gives the blend a much deeper flavor because of the extra aging.

There is also the Caskmates Editions of Jameson. These show a collaboration with multiple different breweries. The breweries exchange barrels with each other and use them to finish off their whiskey blends.

However, Jameson 18 might be the ultimate edition of all the Jameson whiskey blends. This whiskey was aged for almost twenty years in oak from both Europe and America. These blends were finally finished by aging in barrels of bourbon. This one is definitely for sipping and not for shooting.

 

Dublin Liberties

Dublin is Ireland’s capitol and they have a new capitol quality whiskey on their distillery scene. Dublin Liberties is only a couple of years old and has only recently arrived on American liquor store shelves.

Because Dublin Liberties is so new, it means that they have to source their product while they wait for their original whiskey to fully mature. That said however, they carefully select their products and finish them in different casks. This gives each whiskey they product a distinct and bountiful flavor.

Many of the whiskeys that are produced by Dublin Liberties have unique and evocative names. Examples of these names include Oak Devil (a fantastic five year blend) and Copper Alley (a ten year old single malt that was completed in sherry casks).

They also have Murder Lane (a thirteen year old single malt whiskey that was completed in wine casks) and the Keeper’s Coin, which is a whiskey that was completed in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.

It will be a long time from now, but it will be exciting when the whiskey that Dublin Liberties distills themselves will be ready. It will be exciting to compare their very own distilled whiskey with the whiskey that they outsource.

 

Waterford

Waterford is one of the most fascinating, fresh and considered to be one of the best Irish whiskey brands that has recently been made available on liquor store shelves in the United States of America. Waterford is a distillery that is focused on displaying the benefits of using terroir.

How is this done? Well, Waterford makes a mash bill that includes barley that comes from independent farms. They do not use any sort of chill filtration before the whiskey is bottled. There is also no color that is inserted into the whiskey either.

Most whiskey distillers will use cask finishings so that they can alter the whiskey’s character. However, Waterford refuse to be a distillery like the others. The short version of the story is that Waterford believes using cask finishings is a cop-out for inferior whiskey products. To build the brand and the whiskeys, Waterford do not any cheats, short cuts, brand burnishings, or any of the other excuses for cask finishing that other distillers make that Waterford sees as methods of disguising bad liquor.

Because they refuse to use cask finishings, Waterford’s whiskey has a unique flavor that is untainted by finishing. This makes it the perfect whiskey for whiskey enthusiasts to get a pure sample of how whiskey is supposed to taste in its most pure form.

 

Tullamore D.E.W.

Tullamore D.E.W. is another incredibly popular brand of blended Irish whiskey. The brand have been distilling at their own distillery since 2014. Tullamore D.E.W. now has several lines that showcase the secondary flavors from their maturation process and some of them are considered to be the best irish whiskey expressions.

These whiskey lines include XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish and Cider Cask Finish.

Bottle of Tullamore D.E.W, one of the best irish whiskey brands

 

The Busker

The Busker is a new arrival in the wonderful world of Irish whiskey. They take an unusual approach to distilling Irish whiskey by simultaneously selling their distinctive whiskey blend, while also selling bottles of the inigredients that make up that blend.

Triple Cask Triple Smooth might be their iconic trademark Irish whiskey. This includes a single malt, single pot still, as well as a single grain whiskey. They have been aged in bourbon, marsala, and sherry casks.

Each and every one of these whiskeys can also be obtained individually as part of Busker’s collection of whiskeys that are distilled at the Royal Oak Distillery. This is a new startup distillery operation that was begun back in 2016. It was originally known as the Walsh Whiskey Distillery.

The Busker makes inexpensive whiskey blends that are ideal for beginners who know little to nothing about the world of whiskey, but are interested in trying it and exploring it more.

 

Grace O’Malley

If you are looking for another new blend of Irish whiskey that is made at yet another recently founded Irish distillery, you should check out the Great Northern Distillery.

Grace O’Malley is one of the Great Northern Distillery’s flagship Irish whiskey products. Grace O’Malley is named in tribute to a legendary pirate lord and queen. She is popular in local Irish folklore as a fierce Irish pirate lord from the 1500s.

This brand, which is one of the best irish whiskey blends, has an almost even mixture of malt and grain. Grace O’Malley whiskey has been aged for almost a decade in several different types of whiskey cask.

In addition to all this, there are also blends of whiskey that are completed in casks of cognac. They are then placed into deeply charred bourbon barrels. Another highly popular product from the Great Northern Distillery is their blend of eighteen year old single malt scotch that is finished in recently emptied casks of cognac, after being finely aged in barrels of bourbon.

 

Knappogue Castle

Knappogue Castle is part of the family of Irish whiskey that includes such iconic brands as Jameson, Redbreast, and Powers. They have 12, 14, 16, and 21 year old versions of this classic blend of Irish whiskey.

There are slight differences between these editions in the way that they are finished. Some versions are blends of bourbon and sherry casks, some are finished entirely in sherry casks.

 

The Tyrconnell

Not every single blend of whiskey in Ireland gets distilled three times. Some, such as The Tyrconnell are double distilled. They still have a variety of age expressions for you to check out. These include a few decade expressions that have been completed in Madeira, sherry, as well as casks of port.

They are also known for a malt that is sixteen years old that has been completed completely in aged bourbon barrels.

 

The Whistler

Boann Distillery was founded in 2019 and has been working hard ever since. They are committed to completing Irish whiskey in a single pot still. They also make single malt, gin, vodka, as well as apple flavored brandy.

Because they are still a new distillery, all of the different flavors in The Whistler are outsourced at the moment. They are most famous for their Double Oak variant, which is a member of their Trilogy Collection. This Trilogy Collection also includes Honey Whiskey and Irish Cream as well. In addition to the Trilogy Collection, Boann Distillery also makes Irish whiskeys that are finished in three different types of casks. These include Calvados, stout, as well as sherry.

 

Writer’s Tears

This is one of the Irish whiskeys that are distilled by the Walsh Whiskey company. This is a unique pot still and single malt blend Irish whiskey. There is absolutely no whiskey with grain that is included in this mixture in any way.

The centerpiece of this collection is called Copper Pot. It is completed in bourbon casks. However, other products in this line have different aging processes. For example, Double Oak is aged in both bourbon barrels and cognac barrels. They also have Japanese Cask which is from a single cask that has been completed in Japanese oak barrels.

Final Thoughts

Ireland has distilled some of the best whiskeys in the world. This is no surprise because Ireland is a country that is commonly associated with whiskey in most people’s minds.

 

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