Top 12 Irish Whiskeys Hand Picked by The Whiskey Trail Team
What an amazing year this has been for Irish Whiskey and the future looks bright. We have compiled a list of our favourite 12 Best Irish Whiskeys of 2019 that we have tried, tasted and reviewed over the last year.
With the release of so many great whiskeys this year we couldn’t try them all, but we did try. This year really saw some exceptional releases such as the Redbreast Dream Cask series, Redspot 15 years old and possibly my favourite the Glendalough 13 Mizanara release. We look back to some amazing drams that won awards this year like the Irishman 17 year old and Sonny Molloy’s Redbreast (it really was a great year for Redbreast check out their new look bottles here.) Not to mention the most expensive Irish whickey ever sold on release from JJ.Corry which hopefully I get to sample some day.
This was a hard year to narrow it down to 12 as it was one of the most exciting years for Irish Whiskey. Here is our list of the top 12 Irish Whiskeys that wowed us in 2019, let us know yours in the comments below.
Redbreast Dream Cask Birdhouse Limited Edition 32 Year Old
Redbreast Dream Cask 32 Year Old represents the perfect contribution of flavours through a careful maturation journey, rounded out by a particularly sublime sherry butt. This is a Redbreast Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey All Sherry Single Cask bottling.
As a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey it has those wonderful spices that are so characteristic of single pot still distillate.”– Billy Leighton, Master Blender
This is a truly rare and unique whiskey, Redbreast Dream Cask is a dream that started 32 years ago, from the first parcel of Redbreast 21 ever laid down. Back in 2017 Dream Cask was unveiled by Redbreast Master Blender Billy Leighton to mark a special celebration of World Whisky Day.
The Irishman 17 Year Old Single Malt
Crowned overall Irish Whiskey of the Year at the annual event, the accolade tops off what has been a fantastic year for The Irishman 17-Year-Old Single Malt. It was also named Best Irish Single Cask Whiskey at the Irish Whiskey Awards on top of taking home a Masters medal at the Irish Whiskey Masters earlier this year and being crowned Irish Single Cask of the Year by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2019. Read our review…
Sonny Molloys RedBreast 16 Year Old
This is a real contender for #1 this year, read our review about the launch party and you’ll see why. Aged in a 500 litre Spanish Oak sherry cask, only 570 bottles have been yielded. The result is a limited-edition and truly collectable whiskey. Just 200 bottles will be released for general sale by Sonny Molloy’s this Friday, November 16th, originally launched at the exclusive price of €345. Each bottle forms part of an exclusive gift set, featuring two specially engraved Galway Irish Crystal tumblers and a certificate of authenticity, signed by Master Distiller, Brian Nation. Read More…
Glendalough Mizunara 13 Year Old
The winner of World Best Irish Whiskey, was the first Irish Whiskey released with a Japanese minuzara finish. Extremely rare, and expensive, virgin Japanese mizunara, comes from Hokkaido, the rugged most northern island of Japan. The mizunara puncheon amplifies much of what is already there while layering on more vanilla smoothness, sandalwood notes and even a little coconut, or gorse flower if you’re from our neck of the woods. This is a whiskey that’s hard to make. It is unique in terms of what is being done with Irish whiskey and it is very limited.An easy choice for the 12 Best Irish Whiskeys of 2019 This is one to savour. Read our review here…
Red Spot 15 Years Old Single Pot Still
This one is special, Red Spot was Last seen 50 years ago, the re-imagining of Red Spot began in the early 2000’s when Marsala fortified wine casks were procured from the Florio winery in Sicily. In 2004, these were filled with a five-year-old Bourbon matured single pot still Irish whiskey. Read More…
Method & Madness Single Pot Still Whiskey In French Chestnut
This is quite a unique and special single pot still whiskey. Thanks to our Irish regulations our whiskey has to be aged in wood; making no one wood specific to us, hence the ability to play around. This is the main mantra for the Method and Madness range. This pot still is finished in chestnut casks sourced from the Isére region in France.
This a great example of a marriage between a good sherry bodega and whiskey producer. Enjoy and avoid adding water as it will dull it. Some Irish Whiskey is perfect straight from the bottle and this is a fine example… Read More…
Tullamore DEW 14 Year Old Single Malt
A triple-distilled Irish single malt that has been patiently aged for up to 14 years in ex-Bourbon barrels and then finished in 4 different cask types being old ex-Oloroso Sherry Butts, ex-Port Pipes and ex-Madeira Drums for a minimum of 6 months for a perfect balance and then bottled at 41.3%
This is a fan favorite on all our tours, once you try it you’ll be a fan too. A really complex whiskey that is perfectly balanced. We love to pair this Irish Whiskey with chocolate or cheese, it’s delicious.
Green Spot Château Léoville Barton
Two very distinguished and admired families come together and marry their talents. Mitchells and Léoville Barton. This whiskey is aged in Cabernet Sauvignon Casks from Château Léoville Barton.
On the nose this pot still whiskey sings beautifully. With apricots mingling among the wild strawberries and ripe autumnal fruits. It leads you on to some earthy notes to floral & spicy touches with a hint of vanilla. It has quite a seductive nose.
On the palate you get this delicious hit of honeyed fruits but with the fresh floral and berry note. It tastes full but not heavy. The vanilla and spicy tones join in to give it another dimension. Add some bramble and barley giving you quite an elegant whiskey that will captivate you from the first sip. It does soften out a bit with the water try it out soon as this edition might disapper from our shelves before you know it. Château Léoville Barton.
Egan’s Legacy Reserve 2
The new Egan’s Legacy Reserve 2, has been aged for 16 years in ex-American bourbon barrels. It was then finished in ex-Banyuls casks, which were used to age a sweet wine made from old vine grapes on the slopes of the Catalan Pyrenees in France. The production process, known in France as mutage, is similar to that used to make Port. Alcohol is added to the must to halt fermentation while sugar levels are still high, preserving the natural sweetness of the grape. The wines are then matured in oak barrels. The resulting flavor profile has a chocolate nose and a sweet and fruity palate that concludes with a slight cassis finish.
Jameson 18 Cask Strength Bow St
Jameson 18 Year Old Bow Street Cask Strength was launched earlier this year to much excitement; this whiskey is a rare release and is bottled only once per year, at cask strength. It is a unique blend of rare pot still and grain Irish whiskeys produced at the Midleton distillery. These whiskey’s were aged in a mix of sherry and bourbon barrels. They were married in the Midleton distillery in county cork before their final finishing of at least 6 months in fresh Bourbon barrels at the Jameson Distillery Bow Street in Dublin. You have to visit Bow Street to really taste every element…
Midleton Very Rare 2019
The 36th edition in the renowned and highly collectable range has been masterfully blended from whiskeys laid down at Midleton Distillery, Co Cork, over the past four decades. Crafted by Master Distiller Brian Nation, Midleton Very Rare 2019 combines only hand-selected single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys. This is Irish Whiskey of exceptional quality and rarity within the Midleton inventory. With each whiskey having been matured exclusively in lightly-charred ex-bourbon American oak barrels for between 13 and 34 years. 2019 marks the oldest collection of casks used to create a Midleton Very Rare.
Pearse Lyons 5 Year Old
And now for final whiskey on the 12 Best Irish Whiskeys of 2019. We choose the first new five-year age statement Irish whiskey in Ireland in more than 25 years. Gearoid Cahill, Head Distiller at the Pearse Lyons Distillery said, “The release of the Pearse Single Malt 5-Year-Old Irish Whiskey marks a historic milestone in the re-evolution of the Irish Whiskey distilling industry. Using Irish malted barley and our own special yeast strain, the whiskey spirit was produced on Pearse Lyons unique copper pot stills whose unusual design is credited with giving the whiskey a special character.”
So lets raise a glass to Pearse Lyons, Irish Whiskey and the amazing future that lies ahead!! Sláinte
Every Whiskey Tells a Story, What Will Yours Be?Sláinte from The Whiskey Trail
#EatDrinkExplore – by Paul Kavanagh