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17 Most Popular Irish Whiskeys to Try

glass with irish whiskey and ice on a glass table

Irish whiskey is a classic spirit that has been enjoyed for centuries, known for its smooth and mellow taste. Made from a blend of malted and unmalted barley, Irish whiskey is distilled three times, resulting in a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other types of whiskey. It’s a versatile spirit that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or mixed into your favorite cocktails.

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Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or just looking to try something new, Irish whiskey is a great choice. Its rich history and unique flavor make it a popular choice among whiskey enthusiasts, while its smooth taste and versatility make it accessible to anyone. So if you’re looking for a classic spirit that’s sure to impress, grab a bottle of your favorite Irish whiskey and raise a glass to the Emerald Isle.

Jameson

Jameson
Source: jamesonwhiskey.com

Jameson has been around since the 1700s, and it is one of the most popular Irish whiskeys that people enjoy today. Jameson is readily available in any store, and it has a smooth, vanilla, and nutty taste. This whiskey is an excellent choice for people who want to mix their alcohol with other flavors and drinks.


Bushmills

Bushmills
Source: bushmills.com

Where Jameson has nutty undertones, Bushmills has more of a fruity taste. The recipe for this Irish whiskey involves aging the alcohol in sherry and bourbon barrels, giving it rich, fruity notes.  Bushmills is excellent on its own, but it’s also good in coffee and tea-based mixed drinks.


Green Spot

Green Spot
Source: spotwhiskey.com

Green Spot is an Irish whiskey that manages to hit the spot every time. This fragrant whiskey smells of fruits and wood but tastes of cloves and green apples, adding to the “green” feel of the flavor. These whiskeys age for 7 to 10 years to obtain their unique, mellow taste. You can enjoy it on its own or over ice.

See also  12 Must-Try Jameson Cocktails

Knappogue Castle

Knappogue Castle 1995
Source: knappoguewhiskey.com

Knappogue Castle boasts three excellent options for single-malt Irish whiskey. They have a 12-year whiskey that is peppery, mildly spicy, and fruity, a 14 -year that maintains a pleasant, fruity taste, and a delightfully malty 16-year with a soft, sweet aftertaste. You can’t go wrong with such a wide variety of whiskeys!


Redbreast

Redbreast
Source: redbreastwhiskey.com

Redbreast produces several excellent whiskeys. The most popular is their Redbreast 12. The 12 is the perfect choice for a fall evening; the spiced notes in this Irish whiskey taste of nutmeg and vanilla. While the Redbreast 12 is excellent served neat, the whiskey is also well-suited for an Old Fashioned.


Teeling

Teeling
Source: teelingwhiskey.com

Teeling Irish whiskey ages in bourbon barrels and then, unlike most other Irish whiskey, ages in rum casks. Teeling has the traditional woody-vanilla taste that most Irish whiskey has, but it also has some extra sweetness and fruitiness from the rum casks. This whiskey is well-suited to summer cocktails, where hints of its rum-aging shine through.


Tullamore D.E.W.

Tullamore D.E.W.
Source: tullamoredew.com

Tullamore D.E.W. is a blended Irish whiskey with hints of fruit and nuts. This whiskey is smooth and gentle, suitable for beginning drinkers of Irish whiskey. Tullamore D.E.W. does well in mixed drinks that lean into its fruity undertones.


Connemara

Connemara
Source: connemarawhiskey.com

Connemara is a peated single-malt whiskey, which is very atypical for an Irish whiskey. While this whiskey tastes like honey, apples, and vanilla, the peating causes this drink also to taste smooth and smokey. Connemara is also available in cask strength. The undiluted option increases the woody and smokey flavors.


Powers

Powers
Source: powerswhiskey.com

Powers has three styles of Irish whiskey, but only two are available outside of Ireland. The first, the Powers Gold Label, is spicey and peppery with a hint of sweetness. The other whiskey, John’s Lane Release, distills into rich, dark flavors, with hints of coffee, chocolate, and tobacco.

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Slane

Slane
Source: slaneirishwhiskey.com

Slane Irish whiskey has the typical vanilla and fruity notes that many Irish whiskeys have, but Slane is unique in having banana and butterscotch in the flavor profile. The distillers at Slane have made Irish whiskey for over 250 years, and their masterpiece whiskey is best if you drink neat.


The Sexton

Sexton Single Malt
Source: thesexton.com

Drinking the Sexton standard single-malt Irish whiskey is a smooth and pleasant experience. This whiskey ages in oak and sherry barrels and has the typical fruit and nut taste many Irish whiskeys share. This whiskey is an excellent choice for a spooky fall evening. The company has even paired with the C.W. to create a Walking Dead themed Limited Edition.


Writer’s Tears

Writer’s Tears
Source: walshwhiskey.com

Writer’s Tears is a homage to all of the famous literary giants who came from Ireland and enjoyed Irish whiskey for a bit of extra inspiration. The single-pot still is an exceptionally fruity option for Irish whiskey drinkers. This whiskey tastes of candied apples and dessert wine underneath a warm, woody taste, making it an excellent addition to a cider.


Midleton

Midleton
Source: midletonveryrare.com

Midleton Irish whiskey is difficult to find, but it’s worth it when you do! This smokey, woody whiskey has a light floral hint and afternotes of almond. Midleton Very Rare Irish whiskey, like the name suggests, is rare. Production sizes are very limited, but this results in a more personal touch in each of their bottles.


Glendalough

Glendalough
Source: us.glendaloughdistillery.com

Glendalough makes several variations of their Irish whiskey, but their 7-year single malt is one of the most popular. Glendalough takes a unique stance on the distilling process; they are not afraid to use unique woods to age their whiskey in, resulting in whiskey with hints of orange, cinnamon, and chocolate.

See also  15 Most Popular Whiskey Mixers to Try

Dead Rabbit

Dead Rabbit
Source: quintessentialbrands.com

Dead Rabbit whiskey has an interesting story behind its name; the Dublin-based distillery was a rabbit tanning location before it was a distillery. This whiskey doesn’t have a long history, but its flavors are just as stunning. This whiskey is very woody but tastes like caramel, vanilla, apricots, and macadamia nuts underneath.


Roe & Co

Roe & Co
Source: roeandcowhiskey.com

Roe & Co is a newer Irish whiskey. Their standard is a blended whiskey that ages in bourbon barrels. Along with the sweet, woody, and vanilla notes typical in many Irish whiskeys, Roe & Co also incorporates pear flavors. Roe & Co is good on the rocks, neat, or in a mixed drink.


West Cork

West Cork
Source: westcorkdistillers.com

At around 20 years old, West Cork has made a name for itself in Irish whiskey in a short period. Today, they produce over 1 million gallons of whiskey each year. One unique feature of West Cork is the variety, as they have a dozen varieties of Irish whiskey. One of their best is the Port Cask, which brings in fruity notes but preserves more sweetness.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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