The Best Irish Whiskey, Picked by a Whiskey Pro
Irish whiskey is the "water of life," but don't take our word for it. The brands on our list are so delicious, you'll want to drink them neat (no judgment if you'd rather mix them into your coffee).
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If you’re looking for an introduction to Irish whiskey, you’ll likely reach for a bottle of Jameson. It’s light, sweet and smooth, making it as approachable as whiskey gets. It’s also available at a decent price point, so you won’t break the bank. Give Jameson a try in one of these Irish cocktail recipes.
When you don’t want to go with the obvious choice, pick up a bottle of Slane. It’s available at a similar price point to Jameson, but it’s triple casked: aged in virgin oak, Tennessee whiskey barrels and sherry casks. It all comes together to taste toasty and rich. Psst: Do you know the difference between whiskey and whisky?
Tullamore D.E.W. is light, easy-drinking and inexpensive. It’s not as complex as aged Irish whiskeys, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a classic whiskey available for a reasonable price, and that’s good enough for us! It also happens to make a perfect Irish coffee.
When Irish UFC champion Conor McGregor puts his name on a whiskey, you know it has to be good! Proper No. Twelve is surprisingly affordable considering that it’s owned by a celebrity. It’s extremely sippable, with light notes of vanilla and honey, but it’s also a great mixing whiskey. Try this whiskey in these fun St. Patrick’s Day shots!
If you’re ready to upgrade your whiskey experience, drop a few extra coins on Green Spot. It’s lightly fruity with a creamy, toffee-like finish. While it’s not the most expensive whiskey on this list, it is one of the most exclusive. For a long time, it was only available in the Dublin grocer Mitchell’s. Pair Green Spot with a traditional Irish dish you’ve never heard of.
This whiskey is as Irish as it gets, although it was created in collaboration with a famous New York saloon. Dead Rabbit is aged in bourbon casks and finished in virgin American oak, giving it a spicy finish. It’s super oaky and full-flavored, and it isn’t too expensive all things considered. Round out your home bar with these Irish pub decor items.
Named after an island off the east coast of Ireland, Lambay whiskey is aged in bourbon barrels and finished in cognac casks. That gives it a honeyed flavor and a smooth finish, making it a nice upgrade from standard Irish whiskeys without the high price tag. And—not that this should really make a difference—but the puffin on the label is absolutely adorable.
When you’re ready for a serious upgrade, level up your whiskey game with Redbreast 15. It’s absolutely worth its higher price tag, with a super-smooth flavor that almost feels velvety as it goes down. It has a fruity characteristic, a touch of ginger spice and just enough oak flavor to add depth.
Dingle was awarded Best New Irish Whiskey in the 2018 Irish Whiskey Awards for a good reason. This whiskey is aged in both bourbon and port casks, creating a product that’s both velvet-smooth and fruit-forward. It’s a small-batch product so it may be hard to find, and it won’t come cheap, either. But, if you can get your hands on a bottle, savor it neat!
If money isn’t an object, pick up the 2018 Irish Whiskey Awards winner for Best Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey. It’ll run you close to $200, but it doesn’t get any smoother than this. Midleton Barry Crockett has a ton of fruit-forward flavors, from spiced apples to dried papaya, but it finishes sweet like honey. If you’re looking for a special occasion bottle, this is the one.