The “pinot noir of whiskies” is being reimagined by a new generation of craft distilleries – with rocket-fuelled results | Source: Gentl & Hyers

Whiskey Collecting: Eight of the Best Irish Drops to Try Today

Ofter referrd to as uisce beatha – meaning water of life – in Irish, there’s no denying the world-famous drink is a big deal on the Emerald Isle.

Known as the earliest distilled drink in Europe during the 12th century, Irish whiskey was once the most popular spirit around the world. In the last decade, the famed spirit has surged again with Irish distilleries growing from just four to 32. It’s an exciting time to be in the Irish whiskey world as heavyweights like Bushmills and Jameson find competition with innovative startups like Slane.

The only tour of the original Jameson distillery in Dublin is located close to the heart of Dublin City, and the Jameson Family has been a constant presence in the city since 1780 | Source: Do Dublin

Falling into four distinct categories; blended, single malt, single grain and single pot still, Irish whiskey is known for its lighter taste than Scotch or Bourbon. If you’re looking to enjoy this legendary tipple, here’s the best Irish whiskies to try this season.

The Sexton Single Malt

A hearty whiskey for its young four-year age, The Sexton takes generous flavours from sitting in the oloroso sherry casks. Triple-distilled in copper pot stills, the honey and dried fruit notes have a slight sherry twist making a versatile Irish whiskey that works wonderfully in cocktails.

Price: A$70

Nose: Baked apple, sultana, rolled marzipan, sesame seeds and roasted spices
Taste: Dark fleshy fruits, mixed peel, chocolate, walnut
Finish: Woody and honeyed sweetness

The Sexton Single Malt
Source: Irish Whiskey Magazine

Slane Blended

A smooth and complex mix of toasted grain and malt whiskeys, Slane gains its mature flavour by being aged in three casks – virgin oak, ex-American whiskey barrels and oloroso sherry casks. Rich in dried fruit, baking spice, and vanilla aromas it’s a deep flavoursome Irish whiskey.

Price: A$55

Nose: Oak spice, rich dried fruity notes, butterscotch, earthy spices and vanilla 
Taste: Toasted oak and vanilla, caramel, banana, butterscotch, raisin and spice
Finish: Dry finish, earthy spices and a hint of sweetness

Knappogue Castle Single Malt 16 Year

This well-rounded triple-distilled single malt is aged for at least 14 years in ex-bourbon casks and a further two in an oloroso sherry cask. It has a fruity sweetness on the palate with a nutty, wood undertone and pepper and spice flavours. The smooth character and deep and complex flavours show its age – a great Irish whiskey to drink straight or over ice.

Price: approx A$160

Nose: Aromatic, malty and fruity
Taste: Deep, complex with sherry maltiness and fruity, sweet notes
Finish: Long lingering sweetness

Bushmills 28-Year-Old Single Malt Cognac Cask

A limited edition from the famous Bushmills distillery, this single malt was distilled in 1992 and aged separately in ex-bourbon and oloroso sherry barrels for 11 years finished for 17 years in Cognac casks. The first release from Bushmills “The Rare Casks” series is blended by Helen Mulholland with less than 500 bottles available.

Price: approx A$2000+

Nose: Fruity, juicy and sweeter notes of toffee and cocoa
Taste: Light and delicate, fruity citrus elements, almond, cinnamon
Finish: Nutty, rich, long-lasting with baking spice notes

Bushmills 28-Year-Old Single Malt Cognac Cask
Source: Drink Hacker

Redbreast 27-Year-Old Single Pot Still Whiskey

The oldest core release in the cult Redbreast family, this pot still whiskey is aged for 27 years across bourdon, sherry and ruby port barrels. The whiskey is a rich mix of exotic fruits, wood spices and sweet treacle notes with a wonderfully luxurious feel.

Price: approx A$1400

Nose: Orange peel, pine cone, vanilla, and walnut
Taste: Raspberry, cherry, plums and active spices
Finish: Fruits, spices, pepper, chile and menthol 

Redbreast 27-Year-Old Single Pot Still Whiskey
Source: The Irish Times

The Busker Triple Cask Triple Smooth

A mix-match blend of single pot still, single grain and single malt whiskeys, The Busker’s flagship drop is aged across bourbon, sherry, and marsala casks. The triple maturation process provides a smooth, light palate featuring sweet notes of vanilla, sherry, and orange peel.

Price: A$76

Nose: Rich malt, caramel, and tobacco
Taste: Vanilla, sherry, oak and orange peel
Finish: Green apple

The Busker Triple Cask Triple Smooth
Source: The Busker

Green Spot Single Pot Still

Comprising of pot still whiskeys aged between seven and ten years, Green Spot has a nice depth of flavours and a complex texture. The mix of flavours like vanilla, cinnamon, and cranberry make this Irish whiskey a favourite and the aromatic oils, spices, fruits and toasted wood make it a true representation of the Emerald country’s spirit.

Price: A$115

Nose: Floral and fruity, apples, cream, light vanilla, fresh mint
Taste: Semi-sweet, oily, elegant, apple, stone fruits
Finish: Oak spice and peppermint

Green Spot Irish Whiskey
Source: TT Liquor

Jameson 18 Year Old Blended 

From the world-famous Jameson distillery, the 18-year-old is a unique blend of three signature distillates matured in fine oak for almost two decades. A triple distilled process makes the drop elegant and smooth with sweet tastes, toffee, spice and vanilla notes.

Price: A$300

Nose: Aromatic oils with a touch of wood and spicy toffee.
Taste: Mellow, smooth, toffee, spice, hints of wood, leather, sherry nuttiness and vanilla
Finish: Long-lasting wood, spice and toffee

Jameson 18 Year Old
Source: Jameson

If you’re drinking fine Irish whiskey check out our complete guide to the best quality glasses so you’re drinking from the best vessel.

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