It's no secret that Irish Whiskey has found newfound appreciation and has become increasingly popular over the past few years. While it used to be the world's most popular spirit, sales fell off dramatically in the 1960s with only two distilleries operating but have now rebounded to over five million nine-liter cases sold in the United States every year.
Because Irish Whiskey is now readily available in the United States, you may be wondering which bottles to try as a starting point in your exploration of this incredibly smooth spirit. Increasingly more Irish Whiskey distilleries have opened, increasing the odds of getting overrun by what's excellent and what's bad, but you're in luck since you've got us.
Now that the Irish Whiskey industry has developed and new distilleries have opened, we know you're eager to experience some of the best. Most Irish whiskey, in our opinion, is reasonably priced, and there are many fine Irish whiskeys available for less than $50. The bottles listed below are all standouts, absolutely enjoyable, great value for money, and readily accessible for delivery through The Bottle Haus.
Jameson Original Irish Whiskey
To truly appreciate Irish whiskey, one must first get familiar with its most well-known brand, Jameson. There's a good reason this Irish whiskey is so popular. It's inexpensive, accessible and it tastes great.
There's nothing better than this timeless classic, and you won't regret picking up a bottle for yourself. It’s made from malted and unmalted barley that's been triple-distilled. The barley, maize, and pure Irish water in the mash give it a unique flavor. Because it was aged in ex-sherry and ex-bourbon barrels, it has spicy and sweet overtones as you sip.
While the basic Jameson is a must-try for Irish whiskey newbies, the distillery's other products are great for those looking to try something new: Check out the Jameson Caskmates Editions (a collaboration with different brewers) and the Jameson 18 (aged for nearly two decades). Whether you’re in the mood to drink it straight, over ice, or in a variety of cocktails, you can be sure that this smooth Irish whiskey will deliver.
Bushmills Irish Whiskey
Bushmills said to be the world's oldest licensed distillery, is another classic in Irish Whiskey and of the most known. If you're just getting started with Irish whiskeys, start with Bushmill's original single malt whiskey. The original Bushmills is a great option for both novice and experienced drinkers since it is both delicious and cheaply priced.
Since 1888, the formula has stayed relatively unchanged, making this whiskey one of the most approachable on the market. It's a mix of a heavier Irish grain whisky and a triple-distilled single malt whiskey and matured for at least five years in American oak barrels. It boasts a rich and pleasant flavor of fresh fruits and vanilla with a lingering hint of honey, and it's frequently referred to as an approachable whiskey because of that.
Despite its low price, this whiskey is clearly of superior quality. Whiskey lovers like it neat or on the rocks, but due to its lightness, it's great in whiskey cocktails as well.
As the second most popular Irish whiskey in the world, Tullamore Dew is such an Irish whiskey staple that you may be missing out on something special if you have never tried it before. A really excellent whiskey at a good price, this is a great alternative to more well-known yet pricier Irish whiskeys.
Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey is aged to perfection in a blend of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon barrels. Their process gives the whiskey a silky smoothness that contributes to its worldwide recognition. Despite the fact that it's a combination of grain, malt, and pot still spirits, this whiskey is exceptionally well-balanced. Spicy, citrus, and malty flavors mingle nicely with charred wood overtones in this spirit. It’s warm on the palate and finishes quite smooth.
Among other things, its smoothness and citrus flavors make it a popular choice among Irish whiskey connoisseurs. Since it has a zesty flavor, it's a perfect option for fruitier beverages like a traditional sour. However, you can also serve it plain as an after-dinner drink or combine it with soda for a light refreshing cocktail.
Kilbeggan Traditional Irish
Kilbeggan's is your best bet if you're seeking something different from the rest. Traditionally made, Kilbeggan is distilled in a 180-year-old pot still and then matured for at least three years in bourbon barrels before it is released. It comes from Ireland's oldest licensed distillery.
This amber-hued whiskey has a wonderful flowery and honey flavor on the palate, as well as some spice from the oak and a touch of peat, which is unusual for Irish whiskey. It's very smooth and silky. You also get an aroma of citrus and honey along with some nuts and grain. Finally, the finish is lengthy and dry, yet it has a unique woody flavor.
Drink it straight, over ice, or in a cocktail; you'll like it all three ways. Do yourself a favor and get a taste of authentic Irish whiskey from one of the world’s oldest and most acclaimed distilleries, and share it with your friends and family.
Connemara Original Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
If you want a peaty whiskey, but don't want to settle with Kilbeggan, consider Connemara.
It’s a single malt Irish whiskey with a sweet malt flavor and peat notes that add depth; quite the novelty in the Irish whiskey market but very drinkable. The use of smoked peat makes it more akin to a Scotch but it's still a wonderfully smokey spirit with the signature smoothness and honeyed characteristics of an Irish whiskey.
As to be expected, peat smoke, barrel char, and a hint of honey are all present on the nose. Charred bitterness, akin to dark chocolate, is followed by honey on the palate. The aftertaste lingers for quite some time and is a tad spicy.
Those who enjoy peaty whiskey will find this to be an excellent choice. Take your time with this enigmatic spirit by sipping it neat.
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whisky
Teeling Irish Whiskey Small Batch, distilled in Dublin, is the distillery's top-of-the-line mix of Irish whiskies. Its distinctive flavor and aroma come from being aged in ex-American rum barrels. This gives it an entirely new level of complexity.
To start, the nose picks up on molasses, baking spices, and a hint of vanilla bean. It has flavors of caramel, oak, spice, and vanilla on the palate. It's rich and viscous. The whiskey has a lengthy, dry finish that is a little warm, but it's a great choice for Irish whiskey enthusiasts seeking something fresh and unique.
Its complexity adds character and reflects the brand's long family heritage, which dates back to the 18th century when Walter Teeling established a distillery in Dublin, encouraging his descendant John Teeling to do the same in 1987.
Sip it with an ice cube or work with its dark sugar and light spice flavors in cocktails. It also makes a good base for an Irish coffee with just a splash of muscovado sugar.
Powers Gold Label
Fans of the Jameson are sure to love this. It's a good place to start if you want to learn about Irish whiskey and Irish pub culture. It's a beautifully crafted whiskey that's readily accessible in most Irish pubs and almost everywhere in the city if you happen to visit. It's a part of Dublin and is a staple of the city's drinking culture.
Finished in American ex-bourbon casks for five to six years, Powers Gold Label has a distinct flavor. It’s bold, honeyed, with hints of cereal grain and a spicy rye-like aftertaste.
In 1966, the Powers family helped guarantee that Irish whiskey would survive its worst days owing to their contributions, and now we may honor them with a drink of the Gold label.
Initially, you'll notice honey, lemon, and a hint of hazelnut on the nose. On the palate, it’s creamy, honeyed, with a subtle malty flavor. Towards the beginning and end, a touch of spice comes through. This remains throughout the long and easy finish.
The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey, $27.95
While the Sexton is one of the newer whiskies on the market, it is undoubtedly a favorite of many. For smoothness, The Sexton Single Malt Irish whiskey is distilled three times in a copper pot still using 100% Irish malted barley. It is then aged in ex-Oloroso sherry casks for four years before being bottled, giving it a distinctive and complex flavor.
The Sexton single malt Irish whiskey is one of the most inexpensive on the market, and it delivers incredible flavor for the price. The whiskey has a honeyed, malty flavor and is exceedingly palatable. Stone fruit, sea salt, roasted almonds, and custard all contribute to a lengthy, unfolding aftertaste.
It's a fantastic choice at a very affordable price point. You can drink it straight, but you can also use it in cocktails like the Old Fashioned or a Manhattan, where its nuttiness works perfectly.
Proper Twelve Irish Whiskey
Created by legendary Conor McGregor, the former UFC featherweight and lightweight double-champion, Proper 12 has a reputation for being somewhat controversial. McGregor wanted to make a true, “proper” whiskey and looked for the best people who could do it. As a result, you get a blend made with the supervision of Master Distiller David Elder of Bushmills. Ultimately, Proper 12 is a blend of 100 Irish whiskeys aged in ex-bourbon barrels.
Contrary to its reputation, this is a remarkably palatable dram. It's not overly complex or powerful, but it has just the right amount of flavor for just about anybody. On the nose, you'll get touches of butterscotch, orchard fruit, and vanilla bourbon. At 40% ABV, it's a little hot. Apple and honey flavors may be found on the palate, as well. Generally speaking, it's a light and approachable spirit that works well as a mixer in cocktails and highballs alike. We think you'll enjoy it with a splash of ginger ale and a few ice cubes, or with a can of Coke.
Egan’s Vintage Grains
Egan's, like Teeling, is a younger whiskey from a resurrected legacy brand. The Egan family has been hard at work distilling Whiskey since the 1800s. The current batch is now being produced by the sixth generation of the family. Despite having fallen on hard times in the 1960s, it was resurrected as a bottling company by descendants in 2013, and its first expression was launched the following year.
Egan's Vintage Grains is a single grain whiskey that has been matured in American bourbon barrels for eight years, giving it a more subtle scent and flavor than other single grains. This iteration has floral undertones as well as an earthy, somewhat sweet cereal core. A variety of honey and peach tastes emerge on the palate. It's not too hot, but it's just right for some warmth. We believe this is one of the best single grains on the market and a true testament to our forefathers' dedication to the craft of malting, brewing, and bottling.
Today, Irish Whiskey pertains to any whiskey produced in Ireland that has been triple-distilled and wood-aged for at least three years. This triple distillation procedure is responsible for Irish whiskey's trademark silky smooth taste.
While the majority of Irish whiskey is blended and triple distilled, few distilleries are experimenting with single malt variants.
Still, no matter what you choose, Irish whiskey's distinct flavor profile and smoothness is extremely sippable, and we have no doubts about its appeal. We're confident that you'll love some (if not all) of the Irish whiskey on this list