The Irishmen

The Irishmen

Irish Whiskeys rising through the ranks

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The ruling dons of the Irish Whiskey clans have had a stronghold on their juice for a great many years , each infamous in their own right. You know who we’re talkin’ about. But there’s some young blood with their eyes on the global prize and they ain’t ones to be underestimated.

Spry, bold and thirsty for fame, these fresh upstarts aren’t the typical Eire old guard. They’ve got their own method for making things happen and the top dogs are taking notice.

Now, we’re not saying they "paint houses" or nothin’, but these Whiskey wildcards aren’t afraid of trying new things to get the attention they deserve, all while honoring Irish tradition.

So, what exactly makes Irish Whiskey, well, "Irish Whiskey"? Unlike the Scots, the Irish traditionally triple distill their juice from unmalted barley (Scots have a penchant for malt and double-distillation). Irish law also decrees that all Whiskey must be aged for a minimum of three years in barrels, most of which previously housed Sherry, Bourbon or Rum. All of which to say, Irish Whiskey is a hell of a smooth talker — especially when compared to its peaty Scottish brethren.

History hasn’t been exactly kind to Irish Whiskey. After a blindingly bright peak in the late 18th century, Irish Whiskey pulled an Icarus and plummeted to its near death in the 20th century, with only two distilleries holding down the fort for almost a century. But that’s all changing. A new crop of distilleries are taking up the torch and lighting the path beyond the island of Eire with great Irish Whiskey.

Take Hyde, for instance. Their Hyde 4 President Cask is not only aged in ex-Bourbon barrels for 10 years, but it’s then finished in Rum casks. J.J. Corry ‘The Gael’ took two years to develop and has won the Irish Whiskey Awards for two consecutive years. And finally, Jack Ryan ‘Beggar’s Bush’ Single Malt Irish Whiskey, a revival of a classic brand that won Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

You don’t have to be a mob boss to know that when it comes to good talent, it’s best to bring ‘em into the fold. Time to raise your glass and make a toast to the next generation. Slainte!

Smartass Corner:

1) About 250 years ago, Irish Whiskey was the most popular Spirit in the world, boasting 1,228 registered distilleries in Ireland. But several bad historial turns — like the introduction of the Coffey still and U.S. Prohibition — devastated the industry, slashing the number of operational distilleries to just two by the 1980s.

2) Today, the number of Whiskey distilleries operating in Ireland has increased to 31, which is the highest number of operational Irish distilleries on record since 1900.

3) Danny "The Irishman" Greene was a gangster who came to power in the 1970s with his gang "The Celtic Club." They often battled the Italian-American mafia to control loan-sharking, racketeering and gambling in Ohio.

4) The infamous Irish coffee got its start at the Foynes airport back in the 1940s, when a chef by the name of Joe Sheridan would spike visitors’ coffee with a generous pour of Irish Whiskey. Travel writer Stanton Delaplane was so smitten with the drink, he took it back to the Buena Vista bar in the U.S., who eventually hired Sheridan to make it for their customers.

5) Hyde Irish Whiskey is named after Ireland’s very first president, Douglas Hyde, who helped define Ireland’s national identity.

6) J.J. Corry is Ireland’s first modern Whiskey Bonder. During the 19th century, most Irish Whiskey was blended by and sold to consumers by the Bonders. However, the practice died out in the 1930s before being revived under the brand of the renowned 19th century Whiskey Bonder, J.J. Corry from Co. Clare.

7) Jack Ryan ‘Beggars Bush’ Single Malt Irish Whiskey was named after Ireland’s Ryan family, a distinguished line of Whiskey producers known for making Ryan’s Malt. To celebrate the Ryan's 100th year anniversary in 2013, the family decided to revive their Jack Ryan's Malt Whiskey with a 1,450-bottle-strong limited production.

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Dog Dogson
Dog Dogson's
Irish Whiskey has many varieties: grain Whiskey, malted barley pot-still-distilled, and ‘pure pot-still’ (or ‘single pot still’ as it is now officially known). Then there is Poitin, one of the first Spirits ever made.

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Ratings & Reviews
Member Reviews and Ratings of The Irishmen
I really did not enjoy these. The alcohol was very harsh and while I could taste hints of the flavors, they were overwhelmed by the strong, bitter bite of the alcohol. I enjoy whiskey neat, but I had to put all three of these on the rocks and let them water down.
I liked the Jack Ryan also, smoother than I anticipated. Still, I prefer bourbon as my first choice.
So I tried this trio with my wife and my brother. All three of us liked the Jack Ryan, a lot. My wife, the wine and Crown drinker didn't care for the Hyde, she's not a fan of it's spicy notes. My brother, the scotch fan and me, the bourbon guy enjoyed all three but dubs the Hyde had more to say and the Jack Ryan was a smooth, yet robust drink. While everyone has their own preferences, we all liked them.
Agree with others that no favorites here. Unlike others, I did enjoy the Jack Ryan. The Hyde and Gael were too scattered in bold flavors for me.
Gets a six as a group. Finished the J.J. Corry as a Irish Mule and even then it wasn't good. Pretty sure the Jack Ryan was rubbing alcohol. Only the Hyde was enjoyable. I'd buy a bottle, if it was on the essential list.
Nothing here is a new favorite but I didn’t spit any of it out.
Irish whiskey must not be my thing. Im starting to learn when you find the right Bourbon it’s hard to try something that isn’t bourbon...
First attempt at Irish Whiskey, not my style. Not really sure why but it tasted a bit thin.
Really liked the JJ Corey, then the Jack Ryan, and the Hyde was my least favorite. I liked them all but would purchase JJ and the Jack Ryan. Would not purchase the Hyde. But would drink it if a host had it.
Not the best Irish whiskeys. There are better representations of one of the best classes of drinking alcohol around.
It was good my sister even tried it with me and she don’t like whiskey
Disappointed. Irish is our favorite whiskey, but wouldn't buy any of these, especially at their relatively high price points. At first sip, neither my wife nor I enjoyed the harshness, and we don't think the 90+ proof works for what we want from an Irish. They were a little better at second try the next day, but still not what we'd hoped. Prefer Jameson Black Barrel, Tullamore D.E.W. 12 Year, among others.
While I like Irish whiskey very much, I did not especially care for this selection. I'm glad I was able to try samplers prior to buying a larger bottle. I enjoyed the Hyde, but the Jack Ryan was offputting, and not what I'd expect from a typical Irish whiskey.
Great taste and quality. Not as sweet, but in a good way?
Super impressed by Hyde and Jack Ryan. JJ didn’t do much for my wife or myself
Good stuff. I recommend for sure
Not as sweet as I thought it would be. A little waxy, chocolate?
Order: JJ Corey, Jack Ryan, Hyde. See each review for details.
Great selection
Great tasting flight. Some up front fruit with a smooth oaky/tannin finish in them all. Thumbs up to JJ Corry as rank one, Jack Ryan as rank two and Hyde as three.
Turned out i was not a huge fan of Irish whiskey. Honestly, i’m sure many love them but they are just simply too harsh on the way down. Spicy for sure and not smooth enough for my taste.
This is a great sample! It takes one out of the everyday “typical” Irish whiskeys and takes you down a road of diverse flavors and incredible smoothness.
Some classic Irish taste, some newfangled. Liked ‘em all!
Good Irish whiskeys but there are better Irish whiskeys out there. Good experience. I had never tried these before.
A little harsh for my liking.
Tasty but all a hint smokey. Good for drinking straight up or on the rocks, not for mixing
A very good assortment of Irish Whiskey!
Great flavors. Good sipping whiskeys.
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