Building Your Bar, One Bottle at A Time: Irish Whiskey

Building Your Bar, One Bottle at A Time: Irish Whiskey

As winter begins to wane and the promise of spring lingers in the air, march symbolizes renewal and rebirth. With longer days and milder temperatures ahead, this month invites you to shed your higher proof winter whiskey ways and try something a little more subtle. Today we take a stroll across the Emerald Isle and talk about a few Irish Whiskeys to help build you bar no matter your budget. 

If you are new to this series, we discuss different whiskeys that you can use to help make your home bar the number one destination of all your friends and family. Some of these will be by price point, some by proof point, and others by types. These won’t be the end all be all whiskeys in these categories, but they should help you find something to add to your ever-growing collection.

Irish Whiskey

Known for is smooth but complex flavors, Irish whiskey hold a storied place in the world of whiskey. As one of the oldest distilled beverages in Europe, it boasts a rich heritage dating back centuries reflecting the resilience and craftsmanship of its people. Irish whiskeys often has a lighter, fruitier flavor profile, that tends to captivate whiskey newcomers as well a more rounded whiskey connoisseurs.

Bar Budget: Under $20 – $14.99

Paddy’s Irish Whiskey

In the early 1900, a man by the name of Patrick J. O’Flaherty, Paddy to his friends, traveled all across Ireland selling Cork Distilleries’ Map of Ireland Whiskey.  His special method to selling his whiskey was to have a great personality, make good conversation, and buy the pub a few rounds. It didn’t take long for people to start asking for more of “Paddy’s Whiskey”. So, in his honor, the name was changed. 

Proof: 80

Category: Blended Irish Whiskey

On the Nose: Very soft sweet fruit notes with a mix of cheerios, and a light vanilla

On the Palate: Medium body, notes of vanilla, Floral, a little butterscotch and grain

Finish: short, dry and oaky

Bar Budget: $20 to $30 – $21.99

Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey

Tullamore D.E.W. was first distilled in 1829 in the small town of Tullamore Ireland.  The name comes from the initials of an early owner, Daniel E Williams – DEW. 

Proof: 80

Category: Triple Distilled Irish Blended Whiskey

On the Nose: Sweet fruit notes, mainly apple, vanilla, and a slight toffy

On the Palate: slight burn, a mix of red and green jolly rancher candy, and caramel

Finish: short and sweet

Bar Budget: $30 to $40 – $34.99

Powers Irish Whiskey Gold Label

Established in 1791 by a Dublin Inn Keeper James Powers. James set up a small distillery named James Power & Sons on the property of the Inn. Starting out they began to produce around 6000 gallons of whiskey a year. A few years later they would move locations to open a larger distillery. Within a few years they would be producing around 300,000 gallons of whiskey a year. They became one of Irelands largest whiskey producers and owned the worlds largest pot still at the time. In the late 1880’s they became the first Irish distillery to bottle their own whiskey. 

Proof: 80

Category: Blended Irish Whiskey

On the Nose: Light notes of honey and lemon zest with a slight spice and oak

On the Palate: Fruit, honey, and a slight cinnamon and baking spice. 

Finish: Medium to long finish with a slight black pepper

Bar Budget: $40 to $50 – $41.99

Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey 

In 2015 Teeling became the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years. Teeling’s owners, Jack and Stephen Teeling, are no strangers to the whiskey industry. Their family had been a huge part in the founding of another well-known Irish distillery, the Cooley Distillery. Since their opening, they have been combining old stock whiskey from Cooley (now owned by Beam-Suntory) and blending it with their own distillations.  The small batch whiskey is fully aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in rum barrels for up to 12 months.

Proof: 92

Category: Blended Irish Whiskey

On the Nose: banana, citrus, honey with brown sugar and short bread cookie

On the Palate: Honey, lemon, caramel, brown sugar, and fruit

Finish: medium finish with the honey and fruit note that hand out for a while.

Bar Budget: $50 to $60 – $59.99

Bushmills Single Malt 12 Year Irish Whiskey

Going all the way back to 1784, Bushmills is the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland and has a history going back even further. In 1608, King James I granted a license to Sir Thomas Phillips and gave him permission to distill whiskey in River Bush, now in Northern Ireland.  Whiskey has been produced in that region ever since. This single malt is aged 12 years and matured in bourbon and oloroso sherry casks then Finished in marsala wine-cask

Proof: 80

Category: Single Malt 

On the Nose: rich syrup sweetness, plum, apricot, and shortbread

On the Palate: lots of dark fruit notes mixed honey, vanilla, and a slight cheerios note 

Finish: long chocolate, honey, fruit finish

Bar Budget: $60 to $70 – $65.99

Redbreast 12 Yr Irish Whiskey

In 1903 W & A Gilbey released a 12-year-old whiskey known as John Jameson & Sons Castle “JJ Liqueur.”  In 1912, the Redbreast branding first appeared in marketing materials around ireland. Ownership of the brand has changed hands a few times over the years, but contiues  to be one of the most recognizable and respected brands in Irish whiskey. Redbreast is currently owned by Irish Distillers

Proof: 80

Category: Single Pot Still

On the Nose: Honey, buttery shortbread cookie, cinnamon and fruit

On the Palate: Honey, vanilla, shortbread, carmel and spice

Finish: Long finish, of oak and spice

Bar Budget: $70 to $80 – $79.99

Green Spot Irish Whiskey

Green Spot was originally made as an exclusive whiskey for the Mitchell family who sold fine wines and candies in Dublin. In 1887, the Mitchell family expanded their business into whiskey. They would send their empty wine, port, and sherry cask to the local Jameson Distillery who would then fill them with their spirits and return them to the Mitchells to be stored in their boned cellar until ready to be sold. Now, after four generations, the company is still under the leadership of the Mitchell’s wine and spirit business. Green Spot is a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey that is aged between 7 & 10 years and matured in a combination of new bourbon, refilled bourbon casks, and sherry casks.

Proof: 80

Category: Single Pot Still

On the Nose: Bright vibrant notes of green apple, caramel, and vanilla icing

On the Palate: sweet, caramel, green apples, slight spice, and oak 

Finish: medium to long finish, green apple and spice

Are you an Irish Whiskey fan? Have you tried any of these? Do you have one that I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments below. You know I love conversation and will reply to you. As always, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read this. As they say, “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.” Until the next Whiskey Wednesday, if you’re going to enjoy a little smoke & oak just remember, “Life’s too short, enjoy the good stuff…” and do it responsibly!

Charles Ruth

Charles Ruth

I am the husband of an amazing woman who shares my love for cigars and the father to 3 wonderful kids. I am the president of the Tri-Star Herf Crew. A social cigar club based in Tennessee with family all around the country. I grew up in Kentucky where I fell in love with the taste and history of Bourbon and American whiskey. I applied for the review position at CP when it first started and was reviewer number 4. I love sharing my love, thoughts, feeling, and knowledge of cigars and Bourbon with all our readers.