Whiskey is a spirit produced by distillation of fermented grain mash, usually malted barley, and often peated or smoked. It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Ireland.
The term 'whiskey' is used to describe whiskey made from malted barley, but it can also refer to any type of whiskey, including Scotch, Japanese, Canadian, American, Indian, etc.
In Ireland, there are two types of whiskey that are manufactured: single malt and blended. A single malt is made exclusively from one particular type of malt, whereas a blend is made up of different varieties of malt and/or grains.
Blended whiskeys are cheaper than single malts, as they use cheaper ingredients such as corn, wheat, rye, etc., instead of barley.
There are many great Irish whiskeys on the market today. Some of them are very expensive, while others are a lot more cost effective.
This article will help you find the best Irish whiskey for your budget, taste, and requirements. Read on to learn more about our top picks for the best Irish Whiskey on the market today.
OUR TOP PICK
Powers Gold Label Single Malt Irish Whiskey is an award-winning single malt whiskey which has been crafted using only the finest quality malted barley grown in Scotland’s Speyside region.
It was first released in 1989, and it is now considered to be one of the world’s finest single malts. The whiskey is rich with complex flavors and aromas, and its smoothness makes it perfect for sipping.
Jameson Irish Whiskey is the oldest brand of Irish whiskey on the market today. It was founded in 1780 and since then it has become one of the most well known brands all over the globe.
Jameson Irish Whiskey is regarded as being among the best Irish whiskeys available anywhere in the world. It has flavor notes of vanilla, caramel, honey, and oak. It is smooth and sweet, with a hint of spice.
Furthermore, it is recommended for those who prefer their whiskey to have a bit of sweetness, or those who like to mix whiskey based cocktails.
Bushmills 16-year-old cask strength golden pot still Irish whiskey is a premium Irish whiskey. It is aged in specially selected oak casks for a minimum of 16 years. It is bottled at 40% ABV (alcohol by volume).
Furthermore, it has a deep amber color, and a strong aroma of fresh fruit and spices. Its flavor is full bodied, with a soft finish. It is recommended for people looking for a high alcohol content, and a bold whiskey.
A triple distilled Irish whiskey matured in Oloroso Sherry casks. The flavor profile includes notes of dark chocolate, marmalade, spices and dried fruits. This gives the whiskey a fresh and lively taste, with a spicy finish.
As it is matured in different types of barrels, this drink is utterly packed with flavors. If you enjoy sweet, light whiskeys, then don't miss this delicious bright gold spirit.
This whiskey is aged in casks made from both American and European oak sherry barrels. The result is a smooth, light-bodied whiskey with a delicate flavor profile.
This is really not one to be missed, and is a great all rounder starting point if you are just a beginner when it comes to appreciating a fine malt. You can never go wrong with a Slane Triple Casked Whiskey.
The Irishman whiskey contains a unique blend of malt whiskey and pot-still whiskey. Their flavor is sweet, caramel, and spicy, as well as boasting an aroma of vanilla and peach.
A reliable and inexpensive whiskey, the Irishman is made by distilling bourbon barrels for 9 years and finishing them in Madeira casks.
After that, they're put back into bourbon casks again, for an unrivaled depth of flavor at not too big an expense. Buy this for a delicious drink full of nutty, coffee, and caramel nuts.
A perfect whiskey for the summer! This whiskey is triple-distilled and aged in bourbon barrels for 12 years. It tastes of lemon and fresh apple.
It is a great whiskey for the summertime because of these qualities, and makes a great refreshing cocktail for those heady summer evenings.
That being said, it is by no means a simple flavored whiskey, coming with a rich and spicy finish.
This whiskey is very popular among Irish people because it tastes great, and is definitely worth its high price point. The manufacturers have called it an ode to a traditional kind of whiskey that used to be made in Dublin.
Because of this traditional manufacturing process, it is first aged in antique bourbon casks, before being swapped into a sherry cask, meaning that the resultant drink has tasty notes of both chocolate and mocha.
A mature pot still whiskey that tastes sweet and spicy with hints of vanilla and oak. The single malt carries an unmistakable chocolaty flavor with a slight hint of honey. It boasts fruity and spicy notes, and a full body.
This whiskey is a tribute to the whiskey made in the Kilbeggan distillery in Ireland during the late 1800s. It was aged exclusively in bourbon barrels, and it was distilled using a single pot still.
Breakfast oats are used as the base flavor, and there are distinctive flavors and scents of oatmeal, which take the center stage.
This is a unique collaboration between Midleton Distillery in County Cork, Ireland and Bodega Lustau S.L. in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The whiskey is aged in Bourbon barrels for nine to twelve years before finishing in first-fill Sherry butts for an additional year.
The result is a sweet, fruity, spicy, and woody taste with notes of dried fruits, toffee, and chocolate. A must try!
Aged in ex-bourbon barrels, this Irish whiskey is made with whiskey matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. The result is an intense whiskey with flavors of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, and dried fruit. This whiskey is aged in American oak barrels.
This whiskey is then finished in red wine casks from the Bordeaux region of France, which have been remade specifically for this bottling.
This is a blended whiskey made from three to ten-year-old whiskeys. The whiskeys are aged in a range of barrel types including French oak wine casks, ex-bourbon barrels, and rum casks. The final product is proofed down to 92 proof.
A delicious treat, with the opening taste of caramel, vanilla, and almond shells. The taste progresses to fresh fruity notes, like orange peel and honey, followed by end notes of nutty pasty, and soft, fragrant wood.
Middleton Irish Distillers' craft whiskey ventures are very interesting. Their single grain spirits are aged in unused Spanish oak and used bourbon casks.
Bottled in an art deco style bottle, this whiskey is proofed with that soft county Cork water. Cinnamon bark and cloves drive this taste.
A hint of pink eraser lingers. Vanilla bean and vanilla beans move the palate into the mid-palate. Figs and earthy potting soil round out the end.
Double-barrel whiskeys are made by aging whiskey in two different types of barrels. The first type is used to mature the whiskey, while the second type is used to add extra flavor.
The whiskey is aged until it reaches an ABV of 40%. When you drink this, you'll notice the aroma of vanilla and oak. This is a really wonderful whiskey for cocktails, though fares a little less well as a sipping whiskey.
It opens with notes of vanilla toffee, and then progresses to notes of dark chocolate, aged leather, and even fresh raw sage.
The palate progresses to a more whole, plummy taste, with notes of almond, cedar wood, and holiday spice, as well as a thin high note of florals. The flavors can be a little overpowering when not mixed with a mixer.
This whiskey blends multiple Irish whiskeys, that are sources from distilleries all around Ireland. It is mostly aged in ex-bonded bourbon casks, with some sherry casks added.
It comes out as a smooth whiskey with a mild flavor profile. Not only that, but it is a very drinkable whiskey, excellent for sipping slowly, or making a classic old fashioned.
The nose is very pleasant, with a nice aroma of apples, bananas, and vanilla. On the palate, there's a touch of espresso, followed by notes of oatmeal and raisins.
The finish finishes with a hint of oak, and the overall taste is not dissimilar from a pleasant vodka.
This is a single malt whiskey that is made by distilling grain-based alcohol into a pot still, which produces an alcoholic beverage without any additives other than water.
Single malts are produced using different types of barley such as Maris Otter, Oat Malt, Pilsner, etc.
These malts are then matured in oak casks before bottling. The barrels are from all kinds of alcohol aging processes, such as Madeira, sherry, port, white Burgundy, and Cabernet.
Then, the whiskey is proofed with local Dublin water, giving it an authentic taste. This beer tastes like dessert. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It's fruity, but not overly fruity.
Not only that, but it's like a cake or a pie, with delicious dessert-y notes throughout, without being a flavored whiskey. It makes you feel warm inside, like all the best Irish whiskeys.
This barley-based whiskey is aged in a combo bourbon/sherry cask for an undisclosed amount of time. Those whiskeys are then blended and proofed down with local water.
The result is a smooth, easy drinking spirit. A nice blend of spices and flavors. There is a lot going on here. Spices and herbs combine with fruit notes to create an interesting flavor profile. This smells like a dessert wine, but tastes more like a beer.
A great Irish whiskey made by blending different single-farm whiskeys. It offers something new and distinct while staying true to the style.
It feels like an easy sipper, but has more depth than you'd expect. This is a pour that we want to go back to - and we’re sure that you will as well!
A red wine that tastes like an apple pie, with buttery notes, a hint of cinnamon, and hints of cloves. The finish is dry and spicy, with a lingering aftertaste of apples and cinnamon.
This is an Irish whiskey distilled and blended by the Irish Whiskey Company. The whiskey is aged 15 years in a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and ex-Marsala casks. It is then married and proof down to a very approachable 92 proof.
The nose is rich and complex, with a mix of caramel, chocolate, and coffee. On the palate, this whiskey is smooth and silky.
It has a light sweetness, with a slight spice and nutty note. The finish is long and balanced, with a hint of smoke.
Jameson Gold Reserve is a blend of several Irish whiskeys, including Connemara, Middleton, and Powers court. It is bottled at 107 proof, so it can be enjoyed straight up.
The nose is full of peaches, apricots, and plums. On the palate, the whiskey is smooth and creamy, with a hint of citrus and honey. The finish is slightly bitter, with a lingering peachiness.
Green Spot Irish Whiskey is a blend of various Irish whiskeys, including Bushmills, Kilbeggan, and Tullamore Dew. It is aged 10 years in a combination of first-, second-, and third-fill oak casks.
It is bottled at 108 proof, so it can also be enjoyed straight up. On the nose, there is a strong aroma of vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar.
On the palate, it is smooth and mellow. It has a mild spice and a slight bitterness. The finish is clean and crisp.
Laphroaig Quarter cask is a blend of three different types of malt whiskeys (see also 'Knowing Your Whiskey — Different Types'). They are aged in refill American oak casks, which were previously used to age Bourbon. This gives the whiskey a unique flavor that is reminiscent of bourbon.
It is bottled at 114 proof, so it can easily be enjoyed straight up. In the glass, it looks dark, amber and clear. The nose is sweet and fruity, with notes of raisins, figs, and dates.
On the palate, there is a subtle sweetness and a slight smokiness. The finish is dry, with a hint of spice and tobacco.
The only Irish cream included in this list, Baileys Original Irish Cream is a blend of Irish whiskey and cream. It is bottled at 43%.
The whiskey is made by blending two single malts, one from Glenkinchie and another from Lagavulin.
It is then aged in sherry butts for 6 months before being blended. The nose is sweet, with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. On the palate, its smoothness makes it easy to drink.
It has a hint of spice and a slight bitterness on the back end of your tongue. The finish is long, with a hint of chocolate and coffee.
Irish Mist is an Irish whiskey blended with water. It is bottled at 45%. The whiskey is produced by blending three single malts, one each from Tyrconnell, Midleton, and Glendalough. It is then aged for 2 years in first-fill bourbon barrels.
The nose is rich and spicy, with notes of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. On the palette, it is smooth and creamy. It has a light bitterness on the back end. The finish is quite short, with only a hint of spice.
Paddy Whelan's Irish Whiskey is a blended whiskey made from four different single malts. It is bottled at 40% ABV. The whiskey is produced by mixing three single malts, two from Middleton and one from Tyrconnel. Then, it is aged in sherry buttes for 3 years.
The nose is sweet with flavors of dried fruits, caramel, and nuts. On the palate, Paddy Whelans is smooth and creamy. There is a slight bitterness on the finish.
The alcohol content is low enough that you can enjoy it without getting drunk.
Jameson Irish Whiskey is a brand of blended Irish whiskey. It is distilled using pot stills, and then matured in first- and second-fill bourbon barrels. It is bottled at 46% ABV. The whiskey comes in a variety of styles.
The most popular is Jameson Redbreast, which is a blend of Jameson Gold Label and Powers. On the nose, it smells like peaches, apricots, and oranges.
On the palate, the flavors are similar to those found in the nose. The taste is slightly bitter, with a hint of smoke. The finish is very smooth, with a hint of fruit.
Bushmills Single Malt Scotch is a blend of two single malts. One is from Bushmills and the other from Bowmore. They are both blended together and then aged in first- and second-fill bourbon barrels.
It is usually bottled at 50% ABV. The aroma is complex, with notes of honey, citrus, and spices. On the palate, it is full bodied and smooth. It has a hint of sweetness on the front end of your tongue. It finishes with a hint of smoke and wood.
Johnnie Walker Black Label Irish whiskey is a blend of five single malts. Two are from Bushmills, one from Lisdoonvarna, and two from Tullamore Dew.
These are all blended together and then aged for 5 years in first- and second refill American oak barrels.
It is bottled between 48%-50% ABV. The nose has a strong flavor of vanilla and caramel. On the palate, there is a hint of spice and toastiness. The finish is dry and clean.
Kilbeggan Irish Whiskeys are blends of six single malts. Three come from Bushmills, two from Lisdoonvarna, and one from Tullamore dew. All these are blended together and then aged 4 years in first- and third-fill bourbon barrels.
This makes it a triple distilled whiskey. It is bottled at 47% ABV. The nose is sweet and fruity.
On the palate, this is a medium bodied whiskey with hints of chocolate and coffee. The finish is long and smooth.
In conclusion, we hope that this article helped answer some questions about what Irish whiskeys are, how they’re made, and why they’re so special, as well as all the options that are open to you. Try something from this list to kick-start your lifelong love of Irish whiskey.
- All Major Differences Between Prosecco And Moscato (And Which You Should Choose) - January 7, 2023
- Know Your Wines: The Driest Red Wine That Is Available Today - December 5, 2022
- A Comprehensive Guide To Wheated Bourbon - November 22, 2022