Irish & Japanese Whisky Gift Ideas Under $100

Selecting just a few Japanese and Irish whiskeys to recommend is tough, but we’ve narrowed the list down to a dozen whiskeys. A range of styles is represented along with a range in price, but all are below $100.
Dec 19, 2017
  • 12
    Rich & Sweet
    Jameson Caskmates is a collaboration between the distillery and nearby brewery Franciscan Well. Brewmaster Shane Long asked to borrow some used Jameson casks to use for stout aging. When the casks were returned, they were refilled with cask strength blended Jameson and aged for about 6 months. 3,500 bottles were produced. Update: In 2019, the brewery used is Eight Degrees Brewing. Check the back of the bottle find info.
  • 11
    Fruity & Sweet
    It was inevitable that shortages of mature stock would lead to new releases sans the age statement, like this one from Nikka Whisky Distilling Company in Japan. Miyagikyo Single Malt was launched Stateside in September 2016 along with Yoichi Single Malt, made at Nikka's other distillery. Miyagikyo Distillery is located in the Miyagi Prefecture, northeast of Honshu, where the fresh waters of the Nikkawa and Hirose rivers meet. Mostly unpeated barley is used at the distillery, though this single malt contains a portion of slightly peated malt. Casks of sherry, new American oak, ex-bourbon oak, and others were utilized for maturation. It's bottled at 45% ABV.
  • 10
    From the Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan, the Ohishi Single Brandy Cask is a whisky distilled from rice and aged in ex-brandy casks. The Ohishi Distillery uses at least 30% gohyakumanishi rice grown on its own fields, rounded out with mochi rice Kumamoto. Founded in 1872, this is one of the oldest distilleries in Japan, located on the banks of the Kuma River, a water source that is prized for its purity.
  • 9
    Full Bodied & Peaty
    There was a time when peated whiskeys in Ireland were common, particularly on the Atlantic coast where peat bogs are plentiful. That changed in the 19th century when coal arrived. The Cooley Distillery launched Connemara Peated Whiskeys in the 1990s, reviving a once fine tradition of peating barley. Bottled at cask strength and non chill filtered.
  • 8
    Floral & Herbal
    Set to release in the summer of 2015, Japanese Harmony is the newest addition to the Hibiki lineup. It's a blended whisky representing a new foray into a younger, NAS expression, while it still utilizing many of the same whiskies from the original Hibiki blend. The largest component by volume is a cask-strength grain whisky from the Chita distillery. Other components include malt whiskies aged in a range of casks, including American white oak, ex-sherry, and Japanese Mizunara, along with a sparingly incorporated smoky, Islay-style whisky touted as the blend's "hidden player".
  • 7
    Sweet & Full Bodied
    Suntory Whisky Toki is a blend of selected malt and grain whiskies from the Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Chita distilleries. Unlike their previous blended expressions that focus on malt from Yamazaki as the key component, Toki highlights Hakushu malt aged in American oak and balances that with grain whisky from Chita distillery. Single malts from Yamazaki that have aged in American and Spanish oak complement the blend.
  • 6
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Nikka follows up its Coffey Single Grain Whisky with a Coffey Malt Whisky. Both were distilled in Coffey stills at their Miyagikyo distillery. In this case, the mash bill is 100% malt. However, even though the whisky was distilled at one distillery, it is technically not a single malt. That category must be distilled in pot-stills. This product was released in 2014 in European markets and the US as of May 2016.
  • 5
    Fruity & Sweet
    Bushmills 16 Year is a triple-distilled single malt aged around 15 years in a combination of oloroso sherry and bourbon casks. Then the whiskey is finished in port wine pipes to finish maturation. The single malt is bottled at 80 proof. (SRP $149.99)
  • 4
    Sweet & Rich
    Released to the US in 2015, this whiskey from Teeling is a predominately corn-based single grain whiskey. This is fully matured in California red wine barrels. Bottled at 46% ABV it is non chill-filtered.
  • 3
    Fruity & Sweet
    Launched in March 2017 is this limited edition single malt Irish whiskey made at the Cooley Distillery in County Louth, and part of the Jim Beam portfolio. Beginning with Irish barley, it is double-distilled in traditional copper pot stills and aged for at least 16 years in ex-bourbon American oak casks. Using Irish spring water, Tyrconnell 16 Year Single Malt is proofed to 46% ABV.
  • 2
    Fruity & Sweet
    The Hakushu Distillery is one of three owned by Suntory. Located in northern Japan in the forests of Mt Kai Komagatake this is a peated whisky, but it is one comprised of different whiskies produced at the same distillery. The components are a non-peated whisky aged in American oak, a non-peated whisky aged in ex-sherry/Spanish Oak, and a peated whisky aged in American oak. As such, the peat level goes down to a mild 7-9 ppm. Note: Announced in 2018, this product will be discontinued in some markets at some point beginning in 2019 with limited availability in the next few years.
  • 1
    Fruity & Sweet
    Re-released in the UK in May of 2010, Yellow Spot is being produced again after not being bottled since the 1950's. This is a Single Pot Still whiskey that is distilled at Midleton Distillery for the wine merchants, Mitchell & Son. This is not finished in ex-wine barrels but rather is a combination of whiskeys that have aged in American ex-bourbon, Spanish ex-sherry, or Spanish ex-Malaga wine casks (a sweet fortified wine) for a minimum of 12 years. This has finally been released (February 2015) in the US so those days of smuggling the whiskey in from your travels are finally over!