There are so many great Irish whiskeys now that it’s impossible to pick just one “best.” Or ten, for that matter.
Still, we tried. Mash & Grape is extra-excited for these Irish whiskeys in the year to come. They showcase the energy, innovation, diversity, and enthusiasm that permeates the Irish whiskey industry today–plus, they all taste amazing.
But don’t let this list limit you. Our selection is curated by experts, which means we’re excited about every Irish whiskey we have in stock. That means you can shop with confidence knowing you’ll enjoy whatever bottle you choose.
Green Spot was originally introduced by the Mitchell & Sons Wine Merchants Company, a blender and warehousing firm headquartered in Dublin, in the early 1800s. The company used different blotches of paint, or “spots,” to mark exceptional barrels for release.
Today, Green Spot is still made in the traditional Irish single pot still style, which means it’s distilled on a pot still at one distillery from a mix of malted and unmalted barley. Aged in a mix of ex-bourbon and sherry casks, it delivers a delicious honeyed sweetness complemented by ripe fruit, warm cinnamon, and ginger.
Ireland’s most famous (or at least distinctive) whiskey style is the single pot still, which uses both malted and unmalted barley. But Ireland also produces some amazing single malt whiskeys made entirely with malted barley.
The Knappogue Castle line showcases this style. Triple-distilled from unpeated barley, Knappogue Castle’s 16-year-old Twin Wood release was aged in bourbon barrels before a finishing period in Oloroso sherry casks–the “twin woods” mentioned in the name. It’s rich, dense, and chewy, with notes of dried fruit, black pepper, and honey.
This limited release of 12 year old single malt was aged for a minimum of 12 years in ex-bourbon casks, then finished in rum casks, Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, or Port casks for about 110 days. West Cork says they keep the finishing period brief to keep the focus on the bourbon cask maturation and natural sweetness of the whiskey.
Aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks, followed by a yearlong finish in first-fill Spanish oak Oloroso casks from Bodegas Lustau, Redbreast Lustau is one of the most popular Irish whiskey brands. While there’s no age statement on the label, the brand says it’s aged nine to 12 years.
Named for a historic distillery that closed in the 1920s, Roe & Co. Irish Whiskey is a blend of malt and grain whiskeys aged in bourbon casks. Look for soft spice and sweet flavors like pear and vanilla with a light, silky body. Bonus points for a stylish modern bottle that looks great on the shelf.
Ready for a splurge? Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey is an annual bottling of the best casks at the Midleton Distillery, a historic Irish distillery that boasts the largest pot stills in the world. Each release of Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey is made from a vatting of fewer than 100 casks of whiskey.
Over the years, it’s picked up some of the most coveted awards in all of whiskeydom, including a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and Irish Whiskey of the Year by Whisky Advocate.
Bushmills might strike you as an entry-level Irish whiskey that belongs on the shelf next to Jameson and Tullamore DEW, but this 16-year-old expression from the historic brand takes things in a decidedly more premium direction. It combines two whiskeys, one aged in ex-bourbon and another in sherry casks, and marries them together in a Port cask. The result is one of the easiest-drinking whiskeys we’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting, with flavors like chocolate, dried figs, dates, and sweet toffee.
This new entrant to the Irish whiskey world is the product of three longtime friends who share a vision of blending as a true art form. This blended whiskey features a combination of grain whiskeys aged in ex-bourbon and new American oak barrels, then bottled at cask strength to preserve every bit of flavor. Look for grilled pineapple, shortbread, tropical fruit, and dried tobacco with just a hint of peat in this remarkable high-proof whiskey.
Barrell Craft Spirits is best-known for their bourbons and other American whiskeys, but for this bottling the team turned its attention across the Atlantic to Ireland. This deliciously leathery Irish whiskey was finished in decadently sweet Spanish brandy casks, layering in flavors of dried fruit and chocolate. Like all Barrell products, it’s bottled at cask strength and without chill filtration so you can appreciate its full flavor.
Many Irish single malts are triple-distilled, but Tyrconnell opts to double-distill its malted barley for extra richness and texture. This delicious Irish single malt is aged in ex-bourbon barrels, then finished in casks that once held Madeira, a fortified, oxidized wine. The finished whiskey is fruity and subtly saline with a long, dry finish.
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