“It’s delicious and it reminds me of the very best work days. Barley on the nose, palate and finish, mixed with a little iodine and bourbon-soaked fruitcake.,” as Lisa Wicker, President/Master Distiller of Widow Jane Distillery, told us last year.
Another favorite of Wicker’s, this tipple was inspired by the “Golden Age” of Irish whiskey (late 19th/early 20th century). It’s a marriage of aged Single Pot Still and Single Malt Irish whiskey, and distilled entirely from barley, both malted and unmalted. Vanilla, orchard fruits and chocolate notes dominate here.
Glendalough Double Barrel
As Jessie Smyth, bartender at L.A.’s Genever told us recently, this Irish whiskey is exceptionally smooth but there’s just enough sweetness to make it super sippable or great in an Irish Coffee. (Bonus, the brand also makes a rather fantastic gin).
Bushmills Black Bush
Another favorite of The Dead Rabbit’s Sean Muldoon (who told us a few years back it was a great entry-level Irish whiskey), this expression features a high amount of malt whiskey married with a lighter grain whiskey. It’s then matured in former Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon casks, giving it some fruitiness and depth.
Redbreast 12 Years
Trey Zoeller of Jeffferson’s loves this expression. “It’s matured in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels and sherry casks, which gives it a great combination of spicy and creamy notes,” he told us.
Teeling Small Batch
“It’s very easy to approach because of its subtle citrus notes,” says New York bartender Mike Di Tota. “It doesn’t have a lot of ‘sting.’ It’s more rounded out.”
This one is double distilled, as opposed to the usual Irish triple-distillation process. The whiskey is peated, so “you get these lovely chalky, phenolic tones off the nose that lead into a lovely smoked orchard fruit tone on the front palate (think barbecued pears),” explains Tre Stillwagon of NYC’s Analogue. “The distillation style also makes the whiskey more viscous.”