Irish whiskey shouldn't be reserved only for St. Patrick's day- it's delicious straight or in mixed drinks year round! There are so many different types of Irish whiskey to choose from, so the key is in finding the type you enjoy most. Everything you need to know about Irish whiskey, the different types, and the most popular brands, can be found right here!
What Makes A Great Irish Whiskey?
Irish Whiskey, or 'Irish Whisky' or 'uisce beatha Eireannach', is whiskey produced in Ireland including the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
To be considered Irish Whisky, the whiskey must contain malted barley. The other ingredients and the method of distillation determine the four main Irish whiskey types.
The 4 Main Types Of Irish Whiskey
- Malt - Malt whiskey uses 100% malted barley that is distilled in pot stills. Single Malt Whiskey means that the whiskey comes from only one distillery.
- Grain - Grain whiskey consists of no more than 30% malted barley combined with other unmalted whole cereal grains (including corn, barley, or wheat) that are distilled in column stills. Single-grain whiskey comes from just one distillery.
- Pot Still - Pot still whiskey is made from a mash consisting of a minimum of 30% malted and 30% unmalted barley. It can contain up to 5% of other cereal grains and is distilled in pot stills. Single-pot still whiskey comes from only one distillery.
- Blended - Blended whiskey is a mixture of any two (or more) of the styles listed above (malt, grain, pot still).
Irish Whiskey Brands
Here are some great brands of Irish Whiskey (in completely random order) for you to enjoy any time! With Irish Whiskey growing rapidly in popularity in the United States, there are literally tons to choose from!
- Tullamore D.E.W. Original - A triple-distilled blended Irish whiskey that is known for its smooth flavor with a gentle complexity.
- Kilbeggan Single Pot Still - This whiskey is distilled at Ireland's oldest licensed distillery. It is known for its signature mash of raw barley, malted barley, and 2.5% oats.
- Jameson Triple Distilled - One of the most popular Irish whiskeys in the United States. Jameson is a combination of pot still and fine-grain whiskeys. It is then triple-distilled for smoothness and aged for 4 years in oak casks.
- Redbreast 12, 15, or 21 Year - This single-pot still whiskey has a strong bourbon flavor profile. It is triple distilled and then aged in bourbon casks straight from Kentucky USA.
- The Dead Rabbit - This 5-year blend whiskey features Irish malt and grain whiskey that is finished in an American oak cask.
- Writers Tears Copper Pot - A light and sweet Irish whiskey made with a blend of single pot still and single malt whiskeys. It has notes of honey and fruit.
- Green Spot Single Pot Still - Aged between 7 and 10 years, this Irish whiskey has a fully spicy body due to being aged in bourbon and sherry casks.
- Powers Gold Label - Powers Gold Label whiskey has a bold and spicy flavor profile. It is triple-distilled and aged in American oak casks.
- Knappogue Castle Single Malt - An exceptionally smooth, triple-distilled whiskey that is aged for 12, 14, or 16 years. They are aged in bourbon or Oloroso sherry casks which lends them a complex flavor profile.
- Glendalough Pot Still - Made from a combination of malted and unmalted barley, this whiskey is aged in a New Charred Irish Oak cask.
- The Irishman Small Batch - Matured in both oak and Oloroso sherry casks, this small batch single-malt whiskey is medium-bodied with a warm finish.
- Midleton Very Rare - This limited-production whiskey is a pricier vintage release. It has a prominent spicy character with notes of green apple, mint, and toffee. It is said to have a velvet-like finish and is often sold at auctions.
- Slane Triple-Casked - A combination of grain and malt whiskeys come together to make this complex triple-casked whiskey. The flavor profile starts out spicy but quickly sweetens with notes of banana, vanilla, butterscotch, and dried stone fruits.
- Peaky Blinder - This Irish whiskey is made by Sadler's distilling. It is triple-distilled and finished in bourbon barrels with prominent notes of apple and black currant.
Single Malt Irish Whiskey Brands
- Sexton Single Malt - Made from 100% Irish malted barley, this whiskey is rich with subtle notes of oak and dried fruits.
- Celtic Cask Single Malt - From a small distillery in the midlands of Ireland, this double-distilled whiskey can be aged anywhere from 12 to 24 years.
- The Quiet Man Single Malt - A single malt whiskey aged in oak bourbon casks. It has a smooth and mellow flavor that does well when served neat over ice.
- Hyde Single Malt - This single malt whiskey is triple distilled from 100% malted Irish grain barley on a copper pot still. It is creamy and fruity with notes of honey, though it has a rich and spicy finish.
- Tyrconnell Single Malt - Rich notes of nougat, roasted nuts, and mild oak make up this double-distilled single malt whiskey.
- Dingle Single Malt - The signature potent licorice smell of Dingle whiskey is followed by notes of anise and citrus. It is aged for 6-7 years in bourbon casks. This whiskey is delicious as part of a cocktail or served neat over ice.
- West Cork Single Malt - Not only is West Cork single malt Irish whiskey triple distilled, but it is made with Irish grain and natural spring water. It is smooth with notes of vanilla, citrus, and butterscotch.
- Connemara Peated Single Malt - This medium-bodied whiskey has notes of nuts, light spice, and vanilla oak.
- Bushmills Single Malt - Bushmills has 10, 12, 16, and 21-year single malt Irish whiskey. They are each triple distilled from 100% malted barley and then aged their respective years in sherry and bourbon-seasoned casks.
- Teeling Whiskey Single Malt - This single malt whiskey is distilled from 100% malted barley. It is then finished in wine casks with flavors from port, sherry, cabernet sauvignon, Madeira, and white burgundy.
Whether you are a whiskey connoisseur or not, each label on this list is worth a taste. If there's an Irish whiskey you love that didn't make the cut, drop the name in the comment section!
🍸 Cocktail Recipes To Try
- Blue Lagoon Cocktail - An fruity vodka drink made with lemonade and blue curacao that's perfect for summer.
- Dark N Stormy - A classic drink made with Gossling's Black Seal rum, ginger beer, and lime.
- Bay Breeze Cocktail - A sweet and fruity cocktail made with vodka or rum, cranberry, and pineapple juice!
- Royal Hawaiian Cocktail - This beautiful cocktail is made with purple gin, pineapple juice, orgeat syrup, and lemon juice!
- Gingerbread Eggnog Cocktail - A fun and festive Christmas cocktail complete with whipped cream!
- Appletini - A sour apple martini that is tart and sweet. You won't want just one!
Irish Whiskey: Irish Coffee (+ The Top Brands Of Whiskey To Try!)
- Start with a heat proof cup and some really good dark brewed coffee. *It is recommended that you add hot water to your cup to warm it prior to mixing your cocktail.
- Slightly warm and then aerate your heavy cream by stirring rapidly with a whisk or fork, or whip heavy cream to a whipped cream consistency. Set aside.
- Remove hot water from your glass. Begin with your brown sugar, add hot coffee and stir.
- Add the Irish Whiskey and stir.
- Pour aerated heavy whipping cream over the back of a spoon and into your coffee mug, or dollop whipped cream onto the top of your Irish whiskey cocktail. Do not use the aerated cans of commercial whipped cream, as they can ruin your coffee drink.
- Top with optional garnish of nutmeg, shaved chocolate, or 2 - 3 coffee beans if desired.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!