IIrish whiskey is one of the fastest growing spirits categories in the United States. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, consumers purchased more than six million cases of Irish whiskey last year, with the premium and super-premium segments performing particularly well. growth.
The pillars of Irish whiskey like Jameson And Tullamore DEW are still good options, but with more bottles hitting shelves every year, you have options whether you’re browsing the aisles for St. Patrick’s Day or any day. New Irish whiskeys include newcomer expressions like Shortcross and Clan Colla as well as what’s old is new operations like McConnell’s. You’ll also find some new additions to the core Bushmills portfolio that might test your wallet, but will give you a taste of some of the oldest juices on the market. These are six new Irish whiskeys to drink now.
Shortcross Rye & Malt Irish Whiskey
Shortcross got its start in gin, launching its first product in 2014, but the Rademon Estate Distillery in Northern Ireland always planned to make whiskey. Shortcross Rye & Malt Irish Whiskey is made from a mash consisting of 30-50% malted rye, with the remainder malted barley. The mash is double distilled then aged in a blend of ex-bourbon and virgin oak barrels for five years before the barrels are married and bottled. No coloring is added and the liquid is not cold filtered. The whiskey features sweet, creamy caramel and citrus on the nose, and flavors include ginger, rye spice, apricot, milk chocolate, dark fudge and sweet orange marmalade.
46% ABV / £65
McConnell’s 5 year old Irish whiskey
The McConnell’s brand dates back to 1776, was relaunched in 2020, and today is readily available in the United States and many other markets around the world. For the moment, McConnell the whiskeys come from blends, but they will open a distillery in Belfast later this year and will soon be distilling on site. (Fun fact: The distillery is located in a former Victorian prison.) McConnell’s 5-Year-Old is made from a blend of 40% malted barley and 60% grain, and is aged in old bourbon barrels. It shows lots of tropical fruit, honeydew melon, vanilla, honey and a light peppery spice on the nose. The palate is delicate and clean and mainly follows the nose with tropical and stone fruits. Butterscotch and honey join the party before finishing with peppery spices.
McConnell’s also makes a version of the five-year-old whiskey with Oloroso sherry, and eventually the distillery plans to add single malts to its portfolio.
42% blood alcohol content / $35
Clan Colla 7 year old single grain Irish whiskey
Founded by husband and wife duo, Michelle and Gareth McAllister, the Clan Colla brand features a variety of expressions ranging from ages seven to 20. Each is a limited release that requires a different finish. In the case of seven-year-old single grain whiskey, it is aged in bourbon barrels and then finished in Panama rum barrels. It has notes of Christmas spices on the nose, with a palate of vanilla, banana, dried fruits, baking spices and cereals. The liquid is currently sourced, but the founders are in the process of building the Ahascragh Distillery, transforming a former grain mill into an ecological facility powered by renewable energy. Ahascragh also produces Xin Gin and Uais, a whiskey that blends pot still with single malt and grain whisky.
46% ABV / £65.00
Triple Dog Irish Whiskey
Triple Dog was founded by Dan O’Shevlin, a whiskey enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. He received a 1916 recipe for unmade Irish whiskey from his grandfather and set to work to make the whiskey a reality. It is made in Dundalk, County Louth, from a blend of malted and unmalted Irish grains, then distilled three times in a copper still and copper column stills. It is aged for at least four years in French oak barrels. Triple dog has a sweet aroma of toasted caramel and a rich palate of crème brûlée, honey and crushed vanilla bean followed by a citrus finish.
40% alcohol / $40
Bushmills 25 year old and Bushmills 30 year old Irish whiskeys
If you’re looking to splurge, Bushmills has added two new expressions to its core portfolio: Bushmills 25 and Bushmills 30. The former is aged in bourbon casks and sherry casks for almost six years before being put into first-fill ruby port casks for another two decades. The latter is to date the oldest expression of the brand’s core range, and was aged in bourbon casks and sherry casks for 14 years before being transferred to first-fill Pedro Ximénez casks for 16 years. Bushmills 25 (46% ABV / $900) is floral and fruity, with sweet spices. Bushmills 30 (46% ABV / $2,200) is rich and elegant, with cherry flavors and lots of intense dried fruit.