Move over green beer. Here are our top 10 Irish Whiskies for St Paddy’s Day

IRISH WHISKEY

 

Did you know Irish whiskey was once the most popular spirit in the world?

No one ever thought of true quality Irish Whiskey becoming extinct until the 19th century when its popularity waned. From the late 19th century until the 1990's Irish whiskey brands and distilleries slowly disappeared until there were only about seven left in all of Ireland. Seven.

Fortunately for this generation Irish Whiskey has been making a steady comeback, with sales growing by twenty percent each year and prompting the expansion and opening of many distilleries. What this means for you is a higher amount of quality Irish dram at every price point.

Peat is rarely used by the Irish whiskey brands, giving Irish whiskey a smoother finish than Scotch whiskey. The smooth finish can also be attributed to Irish whiskey being distilled three times as opposed to most Scotch whiskeys being distilled twice. The perfect beginner whiskey.

In celebration St Paddy’s day and the growing popularity of Irish whiskey, here is a list and description of some of the finest selections. Our top 10 Irish Whiskey Gifts. Each of these could and would be considered a top notch, memorable gift for any special occasion. 

Black Bush Irish Whiskey ($) - Distilled by Bushmills, the oldest licensed distillery in the world. Black Bush is a triple distilled single malt aged in sherry casks for eight to ten years.This Irish whiskey was awarded best in its class in 2010 and is known for its rich color and smoothness.

Green Spot Pot Still Irish Whiskey ($$) - Once only available in the Dublin grocer, Mitchell's, Green Spot has now been introduced to the rest of the world. Once regarded as a cult whiskey because of its rarity. Green Spot is renowned for its floral scent and creamy, long finish.

The Irishman Small Batch Irish Whiskey ($$) - An excellent mid range Irish whiskey, The Irishman is a triple distilled single malt. Aged in both sherry and bourbon casks for over ten years with batches limited to only 6000 bottles. Each bottle is numbered and carries the signature of the distiller. A complex whiskey for the mature palette.

Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve Irish Whiskey ($$) - Black Barrel Select Reserve is a limited edition release blend of two types of Irish Whiskey. First malted and unmalted barley is distilled and aged in sherry casks, then it is blended with whiskey which has been aged in charred bourbon barrels giving the Black Barrel Select Reserve a rich and long finish with notes of toasted nut and spice.

Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey ($$$) - An extremely limited release Irish whiskey. This whiskey is a blend of triple distilled, hand selected whiskeys by Midleton's Master Distiller, all aged 12 to 25 years. Each bottle has its own serial number and signature from the Master Distiller guaranteeing its quality. A complex nose, creamy palette, and long finish.

Powers John Lane Release 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey ($$) - Aged in both sherry and bourbon casks, Powers John Lane is a celebration of the now closed Powers Irish whiskey distillery. A rich whiskey with notes of vanilla and spice, perfect for sharing with guests.

Red Breast 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey ($$) - Widely viewed as the finest Irish whiskey available, Red Breast 12 Year Old won top prize at the World Whiskey Awards and the Whiskey Bible Whiskey of the Year in 2010, as well as Overall Irish Whiskey of the Year at the 2013 Irish Whiskey awards. Another must have for the display shelf, consider keeping this one for your own drinking pleasure.

Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey ($) - A newcomer to the scene, sweeter notes give this high malt Irish whiskey a unique palette. Aged in rum casks instead of the traditional sherry or bourbon gives the Teeling Small Batch a tropical note.  For those cocktail connoisseurs and hipster drinkers - this is for them.

Jameson 18 Year Irish Whiskey ($$$) - This 18 year old is a blend of pot still and single grain whiskeys which are first aged in sherry casks and then finished off in bourbon casks for the last six months. Considered a must have for the Irish whiskey connoisseur, it is best taken on the rocks or with crisp water to bring out the notes of dried fruit and citrus.

Tullamore Dew Phoenix Limited Edition ($$) - A surprisingly versatile Irish whiskey which is sweet on the palette ending with a long and warm finish due to the high proof. The Phoenix Limited Edition can be smoothly blended into cocktails or sipped on its own. This Irish whiskey was given an usually high 94 point rating by Wine Enthusiast. 

*The dollar signs accompanying the Irish whiskey brands name indicate range of price. 

Don’t be shy this St Patrick’s Day and break out the good stuff this March 17th. What's your favorite Irish Whiskey? 

First Published on SPIRITEDGIFTS.COM

 

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