Know Your Irish Whiskeys

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, we know what you’ve got on your mind- Irish whiskey!  It may come as no shock to you that three out of every four bottles of Irish whiskey sold in the U.S. are Jameson, and, this being Buffalo, that percentage is is likely to be way higher.  But if you’re looking for a change, check out some of these beauties:


Teeling Whiskey Co. Small Batch ($36.99)

The Teeling family has been crafting whiskey since the late 18th century and their newest distillery, opened in 2015, is the first new distillery to be built in Dublin in over 125 years!  Traditionally styled, small batch production, the flagship whiskey from Teeling is finished in ex-rum casks to add extra character and smooth flavor.  Super approachable- and very affordable!

Jameson Caskmates ($40.99)

Yes, I realize that I’d added a Jameson product to a list of Jameson alternatives, but I did this for two reasons: a) it’s new and different and b) it’s super fun and delicious!  After the whiskey has been aged normally, the Jameson Caskmates is then finished in Irish stout-seasoned barrels, adding a rich, smoky element featuring notes of coffee, cocoa and butterscotch.  

West Cork Black Reserve ($35.99)

One of the only independent distilleries in Ireland, West Cork has become increasingly more well-known, racking up awards left and right.  The Black Reserve is “polish matured” in Bourbon casks, adding smoke, spice and woodiness to the palate.  Intense and full-flavored, but super smooth.   

Redbreast 12 year ($64.99)

What makes Red Breast so special is that this whiskey is distilled in a single pot still, as opposed to the more common column still.  Because of the shape of the still, the Redbreast is more concentrated and fuller in flavor, and then the whiskey is aged in Oloroso sherry casks, giving it a “trademark Christmas cake character.”  Now, for those of you who are not Irish and aren’t familiar with Christmas cake, this just means the whiskey features notes of ginger, vanilla, toffee and spice.  Totally intense and delicious!

Midleton Very Rare 2015 ($159.99)

Not cheap but worth every penny!  The Midleton is dated with the year of release, not the year of harvest.  The whiskey itself is aged generally for about 12-20 years in ex-Bourbon barrels.  2015’s release was just given the Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge and given a 97 point rating!