8 Irish Whiskies Beyond Jameson Slideshow
Bushmill's, the biggest Irish whiskey you've never heard of, is as standard an Irish whiskey as you can get. Bushmills is triple distilled in pot stills from an un-peated malted barley mash, a typical mix you'll find in an Irish whiskey. And like most Irish whiskies, Bushmill's offers a range of blended and single malt whiskies for everyone. While the standard Bushmill's is as close to a Jameson as you can get, the other offerings are what gets everyone excited.The Bushmill's Black is aged in bourbon and sherry casks for a blast of velvety fruit notes, while the 10-year old has a lighter fruit taste and is the easy drinker of the bunch. The 21-year old malt takes the sherry and bourbon-aged whiskies and blends the malts in a madeira-infused cask for a truly unique whiskey, with dark chocolate and toffee notes.
Clontarf 1014 (named for the historic Battle of Clontarf in 1014) is a bold and smooth Irish Whiskey, triple distilled, aged in bourbon barrels and blended to perfection. Masterfully crafted from the best Irish ingredients and mellowed through Atlantic Irish Oak charcoal, Clontarf is smooth, full flavored and perfectly balanced.
For those of you who love a good peated whiskey, you'll love Connemara. The whiskey is inspired by the island of Connemara's ancient distilling tradition of drying malted barley over peated fires. That gives the whiskey a rare flavor profile: a smooth Irish whiskey taste matched with the complexity of a typical Islay peated whisky. You'll still get a honey sweet and silky taste to start, with an end note of full-bodied peat, chocolate, vanilla, and oak.
It's the world's only Irish single grain whiskey, distilled from corn in continuous column still and aged for eight years in bourbon barrels. That translates to an easy-sipping, versatile whiskey that has hints of bourbon — making it the natural companion or mixing spirit for your Irish whiskies.
Knappogue Castle is a family tradition of exceptional quality Irish single malts. Mark Edwin Andrews, the first modern-day owner of the 15th century Knappogue Castle in County Clare, Ireland, followed his passion. First, he restored Knappogue Castle to perfection, then he turned his passion to bottling exceptional quality single malt Irish whiskies. He was bottling single malt Irish whiskey when everyone else was bottling blends. He's also the man behind the extremely rare Knappogue Castle 1951. But what can you find on your own Knappogue Castle? The 12-year old single malt has a bright, light lemon-orange color (no caramel coloring is added) and a mildly spicy, citrus taste. The 14-year old is rich and fruity with hints of green apple and grapefruit zest, with vanilla notes from the charred oak cask it's aged in.
Michael Collins Irish Whiskeys are proudly handcrafted at the Cooley Distillery. Recognized by Malt Advocate as “2010 Distillery of the Year” and as “European Distillery of the Year” for the last three consecutive years by the International Wine and Spirit Competition Awards, Cooley is the only distillery in Ireland to double distill their whiskeys and use peated malted barley. Made with locally harvested Spring barley, Michael Collins Irish Whiskeys are distilled with local mountain spring water that is soft and pure and matured in small bourbon seasoned casks where the cool, moist Irish air brings the whiskeys to maturity. The blended whiskey is double distilled and then matured in bourbon seasoned casks from four to twelve years. The result? A whiskey with aromas of honey, citrus and malt give way to a delicate balance of these flavors with a fresh oak finish. The 10-year old single malt, on the other hand, is a surprisingly complex whiskey. It's double distilled in small, long-necked copper pot stills, from both malted barley and peated malted barley and matured in small bourbon seasoned casks for a minimum of 10 years. The result is a single malt, with a slightly sweet nose, that is rich and complex with hints of ripe fruit, meadow flowers and peat.
When Redbreast Irish whiskies came back to the forefront of the Irish whiskey market, the whole world took notice. Enter in the Redbreast 12-year old cask strength, the winner of the Whisky Advocate's 2012 Irish Whiskey of the Year. Wrote Dominic Roskrow of the whiskey: "A rich, bittersweet plummy, red berry, oaky-spiced delight, the increased strength gives an already great whiskey a richer, fuller, fruitier dimension, and makes an already complex whiskey…even more complex. For me that makes it not just the best Irish whiskey of this year, but of any. An utter joy." This four-pot, three times distilled, and chill-proofed whiskey is one to always be on the look out for.
The all pot-still whiskey made from barley offers a smooth flavor with a complex character. It's got the oily sweetness with a tang of oranges and lemons, with a full, citrus, and spicy aroma that makes it stands out from other Irish whiskies. (And, fun fact: the whiskey is named after a famous racehorse hat won the Irish Classic at 100 to one odds.)