Irish Whiskey

Irish Whiskey Murdock's Augsburg

Irish whiskey’s distillation derives from an eleventh century practice – Irish monks, returning from the Mediterranean, brought with them the technique of distilling perfumes. This was modified over the course of the twelfth century to produce Irish whiskey.

With some notable exceptions, distillation of Irish pot still whiskey is a three-stage process whereas most types of Scotch whisky are double-distilled. Similarly, whilst Scottish producers commonly use peat during malting, this is rarely done in Ireland. As a result, whilst Scotch whisky has a predominantly earthy and smoky taste, Irish whiskey offers a markedly smoother finish. Exceptionally, an Irish malt from the Cooley Distillery is both peated and twice-distilled.

The distillation process of Irish whiskey can produce a variety of spirits. While these differ in character and taste, they are all bound by the parameters of the legal definition of Irish whiskey. This means that both the distillation and aging process must take place in Ireland. This definition also outlines key ingredients and a maximum alcohol by volume level for Irish whiskey. In addition to these requirements, Irish whiskey must be aged in wooden casks for a minimum of three years.

The existence of the Bushmills Distillery, active since 1608, is clear evidence of a strong demand for the product. However, having risen to become the world’s favourite spirit, Ireland’s whiskey production went into severe decline towards the latter part of the 19th century. Though bolstered by early 20th-century demand from the US, American prohibition and the Irish War of Independence later accelerated the decline.

In modern times, Irish whiskey has experienced a renaissance led by traditional producers like the Bushmills Distillery, Midleton Distillery and Cooley Distillery. Strong market growth, often led by brands such as Jameson’s from Midleton Distillery, is driving increased capacities and the building of several new distilleries.

Irish Single Malt Whiskey


10 years old, Bushmills Distillery, 40%

Triple distilled from 100% malted barley and matured for a minimum of 10 years mainly in Bourbon-seasoned barrels, it has aromas of honey, vanilla and milk chocolate. Malted barley is dried in a closed kiln without peat resulting in a clean, unsmoky taste.


16 years old, Bushmills Distillery, 40% - not available at the moment

Aged for 16 years in a combination of Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon-seasoned casks, then matured for several months in Port wine barrels - a unique maturation which imparts distinct notes of juicy fruits, nuts and spice, as well as a hint of ruby redness.

Full whiskey description: Bushmills Three Wood


21 years old, Bushmills Distillery, 40%

An exquisite Irish whiskey, matured in a mixture of Oloroso sherry and bourbon casks, before a two year marrying period spent in Madeira casks. Produced in limited numbers, each bottle is numbered.


10 years old, Midleton Distillery, 40%

The whiskey takes it name from the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Refined vanilla, caramel, dust, toasty wood and delicate spice flavours. A slight sweet palate with toffee, roasted nuts, wet hay, and brown spices. Finishes with a long, sweet caramel, wood, and spice fade.


10 years old, Cooley Distillery, 40%

Smokey peatiness with hints of honey and oak. The taste is silky smooth with a honey sweet start, followed by more complex aromas of malt and fruit giving way to the intensifying full bodied peat. A well-balanced yet complex taste with vanilla oak notes.

CONNEMARA Cask Strength

10 years old, Cooley Distillery, 58% - not available at the moment

Delicate aromas of toasted grains and nuts, honey, lemongrass, pepper, and spicy caramel custard follow through on a virile entry to a dry-yet-fruity full body with great depth and a long, sweet warming, vanilla cream and wet limestone finish.

CONNEMARA Distiller's Edition

no age statement, Cooley Distillery, 43%

Connemara produced a peated Irish single malt, named for the area in Ireland.
Nose: Well-smoked and peated, heather freshness and floral notes with a honeyed sweetness and a little wood.


12 years old, Cooley Distillery, 40%

Each year a small number of the oldest and most exceptional casks are hand picked to create Connemara 12 year old peated single malt. Smoky peatiness balanced by heather floralness with hints of honey, oak, sweet grass, chocolate and vanilla.

Full whiskey description: Connemara Peated


no age statement, Cooley Distillery, 58.2%

The Gaelic for Big Peat, Turf Mór is the peatiest expression of Connemara and the peatiest bottling of Irish whiskey in the world. The taste offers a sweet start with a gunpowder explosion of deep earthy peat on the tongue, lifting to a fresh cut grass spiciness.


no age statement, Glendalough Distillery, 42%

Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey is a single grain Irish whiskey, initially matured in American bourbon barrels before enjoying a finishing period of six months in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. This comes bottled at 42% ABV, brought down to this strength by Wicklow mountain water. A rather tasty release presented by Glendalough, rich in vanilla, caramel, Christmas spices and dried fruit notes.


8 years old, Cooley Distillery, 40%

Greenore has a taste of vanilla and honeyed sweetness that emanates from its many years of maturing in rum and Bourbon oak casks. Its silky smooth and robust character is a truly delightful experience to the discerning drinker. Only available in very limited quantities.


12 years old, Bushmills Distillery, 40% - not available at the moment

Distilled twice, one batch at a time, in copper pots. Lightly chill-filtered with no colouring added. Aged in Bourbon casks. Aromas of fruit and honey. Grassy with a touch of muesli, sweet almonds and juicy malt. The flavour is soft and clean with notes of honey, malt and fruit.


14 years old, Bushmills Distillery, 46%

Irish single malt from the Knappogue Castle range, matured for 14 years in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks. If you've enjoyed the Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old but felt like it could do with a good helping of fruit notes at its core, this'll be a treat!

KNAPPOGUE 16 Twin Wood

16 years old, Bushmills Distillery, 40%

Twin Wood is a 16 Year Old single malt from the Kappague Castle range, which was initially matured in bourbon barrels before being transferred over to casks seasoned with Oloroso sherry for a finishing period. Very good value Irish whiskey, right here.


8 years old, Cooley Distillery, 40%

Malty nose, sweet and smooth at first with a full malty and spicy middle and a delightful honeyed sweetness. Rather oaky and peppery with notes of caramel and a certain fruitiness. Medium long finish, slightly drying but balanced, with notes of candy sugar and cooked apples.


8 years old, Cooley Distillery, 43% - not available at the moment

A Pure Pot Still matured in Bourbon and Sherry Casks. Aromas of malt and grain, boiled sweets. Light, nutty, dried peach, mixed herbs, turf and wood shavings. An elegant trace of citrus. Creamy, slightly smoky, with floral notes. A peppery and spicy, dry finish.


12 years old, Midleton Distillery, 40%

Pure Pot Still Whiskey, distilled and bottled in Midleton, Ireland. Triple distilled in heavy pot stills using malted and unmalted Irish barley combined with Irish spring water. Aged in oak barrels for a smooth, refined taste. Aromas of ginger cake, brazil nuts, treacle.

Full whiskey description: Redbreast

REDBREAST Cask Strength Edition

12 years old, Midleton Distillery, 57.2%

Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Edition isn't simply the excellent Redbreast 12 Year Old bottled at a higher abv, the whiskeys used for each batch are specially selected for these superb natural cask strength releases. A must-try Single Pot Still Whiskey.


15 years old, Midleton Distillery, 40%

A beautiful pure pot still whiskey (or "single pot still" as it's now officially known). Redbreast 15 is a rich, thick, sweet, pungent whiskey with loads of flavour and complexity - really good stuff!


10 years old, 40%

The Seamróg Irish Whiskey is distilled in pot stills. Only hand-picked ex-Bourbon barrels from high-quality oak are used for the 10-year maturity. It is gentle on the palate, with nuances of honey, vanilla and fresh spice. 'Seamróg' or 'Shamrock' is the three-leaf clover, the inofficial Irish national symbol; it symbolizes St. Patrick and the Christian Holy Trinity.

TEELING Single Grain

No age statement, Teeling Distillery, 46%

Irish single grain whiskey from Teeling! There are only an elite few Irish single grain whiskies out there at the moment, but Teeling went ahead and made theirs unique by maturing it in Californian Cabernet Sauvignon casks. Deliciously sweet with a good deal of spice and fruit hide within the Teeling Single Grain.

TEELING Single Malt

No age statement, Teeling Distillery, 46%

The eagerly anticipated Teeling Single Malt Irish Whiskey, made with 100% malt whiskeys. A selection of five wine-cask-finished-whiskeys were used for this release, including Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon. Exciting, delicious stuff from the Teeling chaps in Dublin.

TEELING Small Batch

No age statement, Teeling Distillery, 46%

Produced by the Teeling Whiskey Company, this is a delicious small-batch blend with a very high malt content. Interestingly enough, it's also been matured in rum casks for added spice.


12 years old, Walsh Whiskey Distillery, 43%

It's the 2015 release of The Irishman 12 Year Old single malt Irish whiskey, matured exclusively in first-fill bourbon barrels. As ever for this yearly release, only 6,000 bottles were produced.


8 years old, The Quiet Man Irish Whiskey Co. Ltd., 40%

Now that I am making my own whiskey, I am naming it after my father. As a bartender he saw a lot of things and heard a lot of stories, but like all good bartenders, he (…) told no tales. My father, John Mulgrew, “The Quiet Man”, or as they say in Ireland “An Fear Ciuin.”
Sweet and crisp floral fragrances with notes of vanilla and oak. Hint of honey, warm vanilla and spicy oak, smooth finish.

(Whiskey of the Month March 2018)


10 years old, Tipperary Distillery, 47%

This is a 10 Year Old Irish single malt whiskey released by the Tipperary Boutique Distillery Company Ltd, boasting a name that honours the Knockmealdowns mountain range. Drawn from a handful of ex-bourbon casks, this is sweet and enjoyable creamy.


14 years old, Tullamore Distillery, 41.5%

A 14 Year Old, triple distilled Irish single malt whiskey from the Tullamore DEW range, which has been finished in bourbon, Port, Madeira and Oloroso sherry casks - an expression not often seen on these shores.


10 years old, Cooley Distillery, 40%

Named after the colt that won the 1876 Irish National Produce Stakes against 100 to 1 odds. Golden-yellow colour. Floral fragrance with notes of citrus and grain. Medium-bodied with flavours of sweet, toasty malt and a touch of caramel. Smooth, sweet finish.


No age statement, Cooley Distillery, 40% (43% since 2017)

A single malt Irish whiskey from the Cooley distillery, Tyrconnell is incredibly creamy and smooth.

WEST CORK Single Malt

10 years old, West Cork Distillers, 43%

It’s a simple, crisp whisky, but nicely done. And to be applauded is the fact that you wouldn’t notice the strength – some would have this at 43% or maybe 46% at a push. Given all of those qualities, this would make a perfect everyday drinker – especially during the summer months.


No age statement, Cooley Distillery, 43%

A bottle from the Cooley distillery, this whiskey tastes like baked apples , with a touch of woodiness and bitterness that prevents it falling into sweet territory. Sparks of lemon. Grassy and Herbal.


No age statement, Midleton Distillery, 53%

It's the 2016 edition of Writers Tears Cask Strength Irish whiskey, which has been bottled at 53% ABV. A release of 2,640 bottles. Yummy Irish whiskey that pairs well with fine literature.


12 years old, Midleton Distillery, 46%

This is the second addition to the 'Spot' range of Irish whiskies, which contains the famous Green Spot Pot Still Whiskey. The Yellow Spot is a single pot still Irish whiskey which has been matured in three types of cask: American bourbon cask, Spanish sherry butts and Spanish Malaga casks for a sweeter flavor.

Full whiskey description: Yellow Spot

Irish Blended Whiskey


Bushmills Distillery, 40%

A uniquely high proportion of malt whiskey matured in former Oloroso Sherry casks with a sweet, batch-distilled grain whiskey. The unique recipe gives Black Bush its rich fruity notes, floral nose and deep, intense character, balanced by a unique smoothness.


Bushmills Distillery, 40%

A blend of Bushmills triple distilled malt whiskey with a lighter Irish grain whiskey, making it an approachable whiskey with a rich, warming taste of fresh fruit, a burst of peach and vanilla. Sweet and floral notes, smooth with a fruity dryness, a touch of cinnamon.


Bushmills Distillery, 46%

A very special edition of the Bushmills 1608 blend, this commemorates the distillery’s 400 year anniversary. Jim Murray awarded the blend 94 points.

CLONTARF Classic Blend - not available at the moment

Cooley Distillery, 40%

Meatier than the standard blends, it contains enough musky, raw-barley pot-still spirit to give it an ample body. A simple, sweet session whiskey. A velvety soft, cream toffee nose, lush taste, full textured, toffee-sweet. Lots of peach with sweet syrup and an earthy malty character.


Midleton Distillery, 40%

Distilled three times before undergoing long maturation in oak casks, leaving a mellow, light taste. Very rare, even in Ireland, with a yearly production of only 6000 bottles. Sweet, rich and full bodied. Quickly fills the mouth with a glorious spiciness. Remains soft, complex and busy.

JAMESON Original

Midleton Distillery, 40%

Light to medium amber colour. Sweet aromas of red apple. Very firm, oily, intense and mouth filling. Clean, tart flavours of oak, vanilla, red apple and grain resulting in a lovely fruitcake richness. Semi-sweet, medium-long finish with caramel, grain, and smoke overtones.

Full whiskey description: Jameson Original

JAMESON Black Barrel

Midleton Distillery, 40%

AKA Small Batch - a super release from Jameson, with a high proportion of Irish pot still whiskey as well as small batch grain. The result is an increased body and level of richness when compared to the core expression. It's aged in double charred first fill bourbon casks (black barrels). Well worth a look...

JAMESON Blenders Dog

Midleton Distillery, 43%

Jameson's Whiskey Makers Series is a trio of whiskeys celebrating the hard work of their Head Cooper, Head Distiller and Head Blender. This particular edition is named in honour of the latter, Jameson's Head (or indeed Master) Blender Billy Leighton! This release is all about harmony, complexity and balance.

JAMESON Caskmates

Midleton Distillery, 40%

Jameson Caskmates is an intriguing release. Having sent some of their casks to the local craft stout brewers at Franciscan Well, the casks were returned to Midleton where they were subsequently used to give a stout finish to Jameson! We tasted it before it was available in the UK when we visited Cork just before St. Patrick's Day 2015, and we know that some of the fine folk at Irish Distillers were worried that it may be seen as a bit of a gimmick. Perhaps to an extent it is, but more importantly, it works – a worthwhile experiment that's produced a unique and interesting Irish whiskey.


Midleton Distillery, 40%

A rebranded version of one Jameson's best kept secrets, the previously confusingly named Crested Ten, which wasn't ten years old and was hard to find outside of Ireland. Having dropped the "Ten", Crested has now been relaunched internationally.
The first Crested release came in 1963, with Jameson beginning to bottle their own whiskey (rather than selling to bonders) and it's known to have a healthy proportion of pot still whiskey as well as a high proportion of sherry casks used for maturation (bourbon barrels are also used)

Full whiskey description: Jameson Crested Ten

JAMESON Distillers Safe

Midleton Distillery, 43%

This is the Distiller's Safe expression from Jameson's Whiskey Makers Series, which celebrates the hard work of their Head Cooper, Head Blender and Head Distiller - this one honours the latter, Head (/Master) Distiller Brian Nation! Matured in ex-bourbon casks, the character of the spirit is allowed to shine through after around 5-6 years.

JAMESON Gold Reserve

Midleton Distillery, 40%

A harmonious blend of traditional pure pot still whiskey and a unique rare whiskey which has been specially aged in new casks of seasoned oak. A delicate, smooth and complex whiskey with a lingering hint of honey toasted sweetness. Very light and smooth.

Full whiskey description: Jameson Gold Reserve

JAMESON Select Reserve

Midleton Distillery, 40%

This Blend was originally known as Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch containing both Pot Still- and Small Batch Grain Whiskey and matured in a mix of First Fill and Re-Fill Ex-Bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks. The Grain Whiskey for this specific Jameson is only distilled once a year.

JAMESON Signature Reserve

Midleton Distillery, 40%

Formerly only available in travel retail, this whiskey is comprised of a high proportion of pure pot-still whiskey, much of which has been matured in oloroso sherry casks.

KENNEDY Original Whiskey

Midleton Distillery, 40%

Flavored Irish Whiskey is a recent trend, joining the likes of other flavored spirits, such as vodka, gin and tequila. Flavors include honey and apple with cinnamon. These are generally on the sweeter side and more like liqueurs than traditional Irish whiskies and are meant for use in cocktails, especially those with fruit juices. Kennedy is flavoured with caramel and other natural flavours.


Cooley Distillery, 40%

Made from a mixture of barley, corn, rye, wheat, oats, and lime-softened water. Soft gold colour. Scents of wet cotton and spice. Sweet flavours of corn, honey wheat and toffee. Medium. Smooth. Very toasty, malt character. Well-balanced. Medium-long, sweet aftertaste.


Midleton Distillery, 40%

The most exclusive whiskey ever produced in Ireland. Only available in strictly limited quantities as just a small number of casks of the finest distillates are personally selected by the Master Distiller each year. Flavours: lilac, oak, toffee. Very long finish. Deserves a try at least once in life.

Full whiskey description: Midleton Very Rare


Midleton Distillery, 40%

Paddy Whiskey is light and fresh being one of the softest of all Irish Whiskeys due to the low percentage of pot still content. Mild, with a distinctive mellow maltiness, a touch of sweet oil, spiciness and background notes of honey, vanilla, toasted wood.


Midleton Distillery, 40%

‘The father of all Irish Whiskeys’. Warm and full-bodied flavour, a mixture of spices, which linger on the tongue. The Powers flavour is the product of the whiskey’s triple distillation in both old-fashioned copper pots and column stills, aged in Bourbon casks for five to six years.


Midleton Distillery, 40%

A very special premium edition of Powers Gold Label. Chosen from specially selected whiskeys, aged from 12 to 24 years and matured in carefully chosen American oak barrels. An Irish characteristic strong pot still presence, classic honeyed, full bodied character and style.


Various Distilleries, 45%

Released in March 2017, Roe & Co blended Irish whiskey marks Diageo's return to the Irish whiskey category having sold Bushmills a couple of years earlier. Roe & Co is bottled at 45% abv without chill filtration and is a blend of single malt and grain whiskeys matured exclusively in bourbon casks (a high proportion of which are first-fill).

THE IRISHMAN Founders Reserve

Walsh Whiskey Distillery, 40%

A fabulous Irish blend of 70% single malt whiskey and 30% single pot still whiskey. After being triple distilled, the Irishman Founder's Reserve is aged in bourbon casks. Bernard Walsh, you should be proud!

THE IRISHMAN Rare Cask Strength

Walsh Whiskey Distillery, 53%

The Irishman is a beautiful blended whiskey, bottled at natural cask strength (unusual for Irish whiskeys) in 2010. Jim Murray gave the previous edition a whopping 93.5 points in his Whiskey Bible - we expect great things from the 2010 release!


Midleton Distillery, 40%

Irish whiskey from Tullamore in the county of Offaly, situated in the heart of Ireland. The Tullamore Distillery was founded in 1829. Medium amber hue. Intensely fruity aromas. Flavours of toffee, caramel and wood. Lighter than other Irish whiskies. Clean medium long finish.

TULLAMORE Special Reserve

Midleton Distillery, 40%

Originally launched for the travel retail market, this 12 year old Irish blend is full of sweetness and sublimely smooth.


Walsh Whiskey Distillery, 40%

Writers Tears is a light, sweet Irish whiskey made using a mix of single pot still and single malt whiskies, resulting in oodles of honey'd, fruity notes. Wonderfully easy to drink, it would make for a great introduction to Irish whiskey for folks new to the spirit. No writers were harmed in the making of this whiskey.


St. Patrick's Distillery, 40%

This whiskey is blended from 3 year old grain blended and 21 year old malt, matured for more than 3 years in Bourbon barrels.



A nice Irish whiskey, blended from70% malt whisky and 30% Pure Pot Still Whiskey. Aged in bourbon casks. Sweet and spicy at the same time.

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