Growing up my Grandpa taught me that real Irish folk drink whiskey, and as you may know, I have taken this bit of knowledge to heart. Being the proud Irish lass that I am I really have no choice but to consume the liquid gold on a regular basis.
On a day to day basis I can be found sipping on bourbon, scotch, rye or any number of different whiskeys but this time of year my attention is often turned to Irish whiskeys. Irish whiskeys are distilled three times which tends to make them lighter in mouth feel than Scotch whisky. All Irish whiskeys are aged at least three years in oak casks, good ol lucky number three. Another key difference is that the Irish spell whiskey with an e while those silly Scotsmen leave out the e. While some Irish whiskeys are made with a column still, traditionally they are made in pot stills, a process uniquely Irish. Raw barley is often used in Irish whiskeys in addition to malted and kiln dried.
From young and hot to aged with rich caramel smoothness I love them all. Here are a list of a few of my all time favorites.
Jameson Gold Reserve
This beautiful whiskey is fairly new to the states and can be somewhat hard to find but it is well worth it. It is a blend of three older whiskeys aged in three different kinds of casks, virgin oak, bourbon and sherry. On the nose this whiskey has rich dark wood and copper. The taste is rich and creamy butter toffee, honey and vanilla. At the tale end a hint of pepper spice comes through that rounds out the flavors of this gem.
Michael Collins Single Malt
This whiskey has a special place in my heart because it was the first higher end Irish whiskey I had the privilege of trying. The nose is sweet with an herbal anise quality to it. The mouth is incredibly light with tons of spice to it. A very unique finish for this whiskey as it has a smokiness to it that is reminiscent of Islay Scotch.
Powers 12 year
Released to the US only a couple of years ago this beast can also be a might bit challenging to find. The big brother of the always delicious Powers whiskey is aged for twelve years in charred oak barrels. The extra aging softens the edges while adding layers of depth not found in younger whiskeys. The flavors are just as gold as the whiskey with vanilla, honey, sweet juicy fruitiness. Not so much spice to this guy but a bit of heat on the back end.
This whiskey is another relatively new to the American consumer product. At 100 proof one would expect to get some dragon breath from this whiskey but that is not the case at all. This dangerously deceptive whiskey is one of the sweetest that I have tried with super rich dark caramel on the nose and tongue. It is mind boggling that a whiskey so high in alcohol could drink like a cordial. The Knot is absolutely fantastic for mixing.
This is my go to well Irish whiskey. Originally released to the US as a one time deal the response was so positive that it is now year round and becoming available in more sizes. This is you typically Irish whiskey, like Jameson but better.
Now that you know some of the gems of the Irish whiskey world it is you duty to go forth and seek them out. Some of my favorite places to do just that are Scruffy Murphy’s, Whiskey Bar, The Irish Snug, Pints Pub, and Fado. Many of the larger liquor stores in the greater Denver are also carry these whiskeys for example Total Beverage Westminster and Argonaut Wine and Liquor.
Give them a taste and let me know what you think. Are there any you feel I have missed out on? Please share in the comments below!
Tags: Argonaut Liquors, Fado Irish Pub, Irish Snug, irish whiskey, Jameson, Knot, liquor, Michael Collins, Paddy, Pints Pub, Powers, scotch, Scruffy Murphy's, St. Patrick's Day, Total Beverage, whiskey, Whiskey bar, Whisky