The Irish Bucket List: 5 Irish Whiskies You Need to Try During Irish Heritage Month
March is Irish Heritage month and while you're sporting your finest green and orange attire, you should also be pouring the best Irish Whiskey in your glass. But rather than the same old whiskey you are used to drinking, it's time to try something new, there is a world of whiskey waiting for you out there. Below are 5 awesome Irish Whiskies that are worth trying this month...and any month. So do yourself a favor and stop following rainbows hoping for a pot of gold (unless it's a double rainbow, then follow it immediately) and try these Irish Whiskies that have won more gold medals than any leprechaun has stowed away.
1. Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
This Irish whiskey has obtained more awards than your average 12 year old, and not the ones for participation. It was named "Irish Whiskey of the Year" at the Irish Whiskey Awards in 2013, received the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits competition on four separate occasions and scored a 96 points from Whisky Advocate. And the accolades have been obtained for good reason. Redbreast 12 is crafted from a marriage of malted and unmalted barley, which are milled and mashed before being triple-distilled through traditional copper-stills. After distillation, the whiskey is matured in a combination of casks that were previously used to mature Spanish Oloroso sherry and bourbon for 12 years, after which, it is bottled without the use of chill filtration. The body is complex and vibrant with notes of ginger, Brazil nuts, oak and whipped caramel that give way to a spicy finish of raisins and sherry.
Pick up a bottle here. $54.99
2. Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
If being dubbled the "Pappy of Irish Whiskies" is not enough to get you to try it, then you should also know that Whisky Bible author, Jim Murray, also called it "unquestionably one of the world's greatest whiskies" and we can confirm that both of these claims are accurate. Introduced into the U.S. just last year, this whiskey is aged for nearly a decade in oak casks that were previously used to age bourbon and sherry. Green Spot has notes of citrus, tart apples, plums and apricots on the palate that finish with a smooth yet slightly spicy touch of cinnamon and ginger.
Pick up a bottle here. $49.99
3. Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve Irish Whiskey
Jameson may just be the most iconic Irish whiskey brand in the world - but they have taken their time honored distilling tradition to another level with the Jameson Black Barrel Select Irish Reserve. Matured for 12 years, this whiskey is aged considerably longer than the traditional Jameson, which is aged for 5 years. The Black Barrel is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks giving it a unique combination of fruity flavors. After its initial maturation, al aliquot of grain whiskey that was matured in in deeply charred American oak barrels is sourced from Wild Turkey is added. The result of this unique combination gives this whiskey notes of citrus, sherry and raisins on a smooth body that is finished with a whisper of smoke.
Pick up a bottle here. $37.99
4. Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey
Aged for up to 25 years, this is the eldest Irish Whiskey on our list. Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey is a marriage of fewer than 100 casks of whiskey, each of which was personally selected by the master distiller, out of nearly a million casks of whiskey that are currently maturing at the distillery. And being so selective has served this whiskey well: in 2014 Whisky Advocate named it Irish Whiskey of the Year, it earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition as well as a score of 96-100 points from Wine Enthusiast. Enjoy notes of creamy vanilla, butterscotch and summer fruits (particularly strawberries and peaches) on the palate that give way to a long and slightly sweet finish.
Pick up a bottle here. $139.99
5. Powers John Lane 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Another 12 year old with one of the highest accolades on our list. Powers John Lane 12 Year Old Single Post Still Irish Whiskey was named the Irish Whiskey of the Year in 2012 by Jim Murray's Whisky Bible. With this bottle you'll enjoy notes of leather, charred wood, milk chocolate and apricots on the palate followed by a finish that is chewy and bold with touches of herbs, fresh citrus and honeyed oak.
Pick up a bottle here. $72.99