Top-Flight Tasting: The Golden Age of Irish

Today’s Irish Drams Show Newfound Sophistication

     Once the most popular spirit in the entire world, Irish whiskey nearly went extinct after multiple wars, Prohibition in the U.S., and financial problems caused many Irish whiskey distilleries to close in the early part of the 20th century. Quickly, Irish whiskey was overshadowed by what was coming out of Scotland. For the last few decades, however, Irish whiskey has been steadily returning and today it is booming in a big way. Today’s sophisticated offerings shouldn’t take a back seat to scotch, whatsoever.

     In fact, and in many ways, Irish whiskey offers more diversity than scotch, with a variety of distillation methods and resulting whiskeys. Today you can enjoy Irish single grain whiskeys, Irish single malts, and even peated single malts coming from the Emerald Isle, offering a remarkably wide variety of flavor profiles fit for any kind of drinker.

Kilbeggan® Small Batch Rye
Double-distilled in Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery, this rare limited release is made from a mixed mash of malted barley, raw barley, and 30% rye. Based on traditional Irish pot still recipes, which used multiple grains, it offers a beautiful warming mouthfeel with a palate of vanilla cream, clove, and forest sorrel, and plenty of floral spice from the rye.

Connemara® Peated Irish Single Malt
A uniquely peated Irish single malt that offers an aroma of sweet barley with wafts of peaty smoke and brine. The palate is silky smooth, with notes of honey, malt, fruit, and intense full-bodied peat smoke.

The Tyrconnell® Irish Single Malt
This double-distilled single malt Irish whiskey has a nose of dry leather followed by stewed apples, pears, and vanilla cream. The palate is likewise soft, sweet, and creamy, with notes of citrus and a strong malt presence leading into a dry finish.

Kilbeggan® Single Grain
Traditionally used for blending, this innovative style of Irish whiskey has emerged to stand on its own, with a corn-based mash and bourbon-like profile. It offers a biscuity sweetness with light spice and drying oak tones. The finish is crisp and fruity with lingering spice.

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“I am a huge proponent of blind tastings, because I want people to appreciate whisky that you think is good, not what someone else is telling you.”