Irish Whiskey Brands to TryBy Stephanie Moreno
Irish whiskey brands such as Jameson, Bushmills and Powers are well-established and known to even those who don’t drink whiskey. Widely available, they are great whiskey portfolios to explore as you’re getting started and generally are very quaffable. But if you’re looking for other Irish whiskey brands to explore, you’re in luck. We’re smack dab in the middle of an Irish whiskey renaissance with dozens of bottlings to choose from with many more on the way.
As you look to expand your whiskey drinking horizons, make sure to check out a few of these Irish whiskey brands below.
Boann Distillery located in the Boyne Valley of Ireland is the home of this Irish whiskey brand. While we wait for their own whiskey to age, The Whistler features a variety of cask finishes in its portfolio. Most recently the brand released the second batch of its Calvados and Stout finishes. But they also have what they call their Trilogy for us here in the US — a Double Cask Irish Whiskey, an Irish Honey Whiskey and a Irish Cream liqueur.
While Teeling’s flagship small batch bottling is a blended Irish whiskey, the Dublin-based distillery has a wide range of Irish whiskeys on offer. This includes a single grain whiskey and a single pot still in addition to its many single malt whiskeys. And while age statements beyond 18 years are not often seen in Irish whiskey, Teeling has released several exceeding that age over the past few years including their most recent 30 year vintage bottling distilled in 1991.
Founded in 2011, this Irish spirits brand first released a Poitín (think Irish moonshine). But they have since added gin and Irish whiskeys to their portfolio. In addition to a double barreled single grain whiskey, they have a single pot still whiskey finished in Irish oak and a few single malt whiskeys to choose from. Most recently Glendalough released a 7 year single malt with a Mizunara oak finish.
Roe & Co.
Launched in 2017 by drinks giant Diageo, this Irish whiskey brand is named in honor of George Roe, a once world-famous whiskey maker in the 19th century. At over 17 acres, his distillery, George Roe and Co, was once Ireland’s largest distillery. The flagship whiskey was crafted by Master Blender Caroline Martin using her 30 years of experience.
Opened in 2018, Clonakilty is a small, family-run distillery located on the southwestern tip of Ireland. This is another one of the new Irish whiskey brands which is currently awaiting their own distilled whiskeys to fully mature. In the meantime, Clonakilty has a few cask finishes on offer including a port, a Bordeaux and a cognac finish. Each one is kissed by the sea air as they finish their maturation in the brand’s Atlantic ocean warehouse which is perched 200 feet above the ocean.
Limavady is an Irish whiskey brand which dates back to 1750. The distillery shuttered its doors in the 1910s, but the brand has recently been revived by one of its descendants, Master Distiller Darryl McNally in 2021. Their first release is a single barrel single malt Irish whiskey which is made with 100% Irish barley. It’s triple distilled in copper pot stills and aged in ex-bourbon initially. Then it’s finished in PX sherry casks and bottled as a single barrel with around 846 bottles per barrel. Dog lovers take note: Limavady means “leap of the dog” and you’ll find one embossed on the unique glass bottle and on the label itself.
Lost Irish is the debut release from entrepreneur Neil Sands and Irish whiskey ambassador and author Tim Herlihy in partnership with Casa Lumbre. It is a blend of all three styles of Irish whiskey – grain, malt, and pot still — matured in casks sourced from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America. The whiskey has just recently hit our shores so keep an eye out for the striking bottle.
Method & Madness
Method and Madness is the experimental microdistillery located at Midleton Distillery. If that name sounds familiar, it’s where Irish whiskey brands like Jameson and Redbreast among many others are produced. In the US we have a single grain finished in virgin Spanish oak, a single pot still whiskey finished in Chestnut casks, and a single malt finished in French oak barrels to choose from. However, expect to see a new trio of single pot still whiskeys to arrive on shelves this year, each finished in rare Japanese casks and each in very limited quantities.
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