The earliest record of Whiskey production in Ireland dates to 1405 -- for those of you who prefer not to do their own counting that’s over 600 years!
Irish Whiskeys have fewer hard and fast rules than some other Spirit families. The majority of them are triple distilled, but not all. The majority are made in a pot still, but not all. The majority are unpeated, but not all.
However, Irish Whiskey must be aged for at least three years in wooden casks of a capacity not exceeding 700 liters. The exemplars of Irish Whiskey are light, smooth, yellow, and gold in color with a spicy snap and a backdrop of fresh grain.
This list of best-rated Irish Whiskeys is based on the ratings and reviews of Flaviaristas, so rest assured, we’ve included only the best Irish Whiskeys of different styles, ages, and brands.
Best Irish Whiskey under 50$:
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
Teeling Small Batch Whiskey is Teeling's attempt to create the most interesting Blended Irish Whiskey. Have they succeeded? The Small Batch is a blend of malt and grain Whiskey, specifically 35% malt and 65% grain, which means it's quite high in malt content (good!).
It's bottled without an age statement, however, we've found out that they use Whiskeys aged from 4 to 7 years. What makes it extra interesting is a further 6 months of maturation in ex-Flor de Cana Rum casks, which imparts sweet molasses flavors and notes, yet, remains Irish in the core.
Fantastic? Oh yes. Teeling is making great progress towards reigniting the craving for Irish Whiskey Worldwide. We applaud.
Very smooth finish, with vanilla oak notes. Great on its own, or on the rocks. Quite possibly my new favorite. - Deana, Flaviar member
Try before you buy! Before you commit to buying a full-size bottle, you can find Teeling Small Batch featured in this Irish Whiskey-themed Tasting Box.
Best Irish Whiskey for sipping neat:
Redbreast 12 Year Old
Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 12YO is one of two Whiskeys on the market that are 100% single pot still Irish Whiskeys. It’s this — the process of making Whiskey in a copper pot still — from both malted and unmalted barley, that makes this Redbreast unique.
Moreover, no grain Whiskey is added to the 12-Year-Old. It’s highly regarded as one of the best (if not the best) Irish Whiskeys, by notable critics and laymen alike.
I have started a tasting club in my neighborhood. Redbreast got five out of five last Friday. All agreed that It is the best Irish we could ever want. - William, Flaviar member
Best Irish Whiskey for an Old Fashioned:
Jameson Black Barrel
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… when the Whiskey-drinking world thinks of Irish Whiskey, they think of Jameson’s. It’s not only the largest selling brand of liquid Irish culture, it is the standard by which all others are measured.
The core Jameson’s Whiskey Spirit comes from a single distillery in Cork, Ireland, but uses a unique mixture of triple-distilled grain and pot-still Spirits aged seven years in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks. Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey takes the extra step of re-charring the Bourbon casks ("black barrel," get it?). This diminishes the Bourbon influence and adds a more natural, vanilla character.
Surprisingly smooth and caramel-ly. Not like standard Jamison, which I like. Would definitely like this as a gift! - Ed, Flaviar member
Best Irish Whiskey for sipping on ice:
Spot Whiskeys Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
It’s unknown when exactly Green Spot was first produced, but by the 1920s Mitchell & Son had bottled over 100 Sherry casks of Whiskey per year. Usually, the Whiskey was matured for five years in casks by the distiller and later blended, then matured by the merchant for at least five more years, depending on the "Spot" brand name. The name comes from the practice of marking the different ages of casks with a different color.
Green Spot Single Pot Still bears no age statement and is composed of Pot still Whiskeys aged from 7 to 10 years. The Whiskey has been matured in new casks and ex-Bourbon barrels, as well as the ones that contained Sherry. This much-appraised drop of Irish Whiskey has become a cult favorite.
Easily One of the best Irish whiskeys I have ever had! The smell of oak in Apple is so perfect, the taste all blend together perfectly from start to finish. I would highly suggest this whiskey - Ryan, Flaviar member
Best peated Irish Whiskey :
Connemara 12 Year Old Peated Whiskey
Connemara is different… REALLY different. It says "Irish Whiskey" right up front on the label, but it is not what you expect. Sure, it’s a Whiskey and it’s made in Ireland. But Connemara is a Single Malt, where most Irish Whiskeys are a grain mixture.
And all Connemara Whiskeys are peated. Now, look at that map of Ireland again. The Connemara is made closer to Islay Scotland — just across the Irish sea. And that is what it tastes like.
I love the gentle smokiness of the 12 years First had Connemara TurfMor in Galway City. This takes me back. - Flaviar member
Best Irish Whiskey Single Malt:
Bushmills 10-Year-Old Single Malt
Bushmills 10-Year-Old Single Malt has been called a "benchmark Irish Whiskey." It’s the one other Irish Whiskeys compare themselves against. It’s been awarded "Best Irish Single Malt" and has been given 92.5 points in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible — along with a bushel of gold medals from competitions all over the world.
And on top of it all, it is an incredible value given its price point. It’s triple distilled and aged a full decade in ex-Bourbon casks — which accounts for the rich flavors of honey, vanilla, and milk chocolate.
And awesome find. One of my favs- Allen, Flaviar member
Best Irish Whiskey for Irish Coffee:
Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old
The good folks at Knappogue Castle are famous for doing everything well. It begins with the malt and distillate. But it is the unadulterated commitment to quality aging that makes this little Irish gem feel special.
Knappogue Castle 12 YO has sat in the castle "dungeon" for 12 years, undisturbed in charred ex-Bourbon casks. Boom… done… no spin here… that’s it then… Bob’s your uncle, so pour me a dram.
I really enjoyed this bottle with a few friends. I would recommend and will purchase more in the future! - Robbie, Flavuar member
Best Irish Whiskey Experience
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