Ireland is a stunning country with a rich history, and its people are some of the most hospitable and friendly in the world. That’s why it’s no surprise that whiskey lovers from all over the world flock to Dublin, Limerick and other Irish cities to sample some of the best redbreast whiskeys on the planet.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through Ireland’s whisky landscape, highlighting the best places to drink each type of whiskey and recommending some of our favorite whiskies from each distillery. So whether you’re a whiskey newbie or a seasoned aficionado, we hope you’ll find this guide helpful!
What is Whiskey?
Whiskey is a spirit made from fermented mash of barley, usually made in Ireland and Scotland. There are many different types of whiskey, each with its own unique flavor and history. Some of the best whiskeys around include Redbreast 12 year old, Jameson 12 year old, Bowmore 15 year old, and Tullamore Dew 18 year old.
General History of Whiskey
Irish Whiskey is one of the most popular distilled spirits in the world, and for good reason. The Irish distilleries are known for their high-quality products, which are often enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
There are many different types of Irish Whiskey available, but this guide will focus on the most popular ones: Redbreast 12 Year Old, Jameson 18 Year Old, Bushmills 16 Year Old and Tullamore Dew 14 Year Old.
Redbreast 12 Year Old is a well-known Irish Whiskey that is made from single malt whiskey. It has a reddish-brown color and a sweet flavor with hints of caramel and spice. It is often used as a base for cocktails such as the Tom Collins or Manhattans.
Jameson 18 Year Old is made from 100% malted barley and has a darker color than Redbreast 12 Year Old. It has a fruity flavor with notes of citrus and woodsy spices. It is often used blended with other whiskeys to create unique cocktails such as the Jameson Barrel Proof or Black & Tan.
Bushmills 16 Year Old is similar to Jameson 18 Year Old in terms of its ingredients and flavor profile, but it is slightly more peaty than Jameson 18 Year Old. This makes it especially enjoyable if you enjoy scotch whisky flavors.
Tullamore Dew 14 Year Old is made from only single malt whiskies
Irish Whiskey History
Redbreast ($39.99/750 ml) is the most popular Irish whiskey, but there are many other great options to try. Here is a guide to the best Irish whiskeys around, based on our personal experience and reviews from others.
Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Malt
This whisky has a deep copper color with notes of honey and fruits. It has a sweet taste with a long finish. It is an excellent choice if you are looking for a smooth and easy-to-drink whisky.
Bushmills 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bushmills is another well-known Scottish whisky brand that produces excellent red whiskey. This whisky has a deep mahogany color with notes of nuts and spices. It has a strong taste with a long finish that makes it perfect for sipping neat or in cocktails.
Types of Redbreast
Redbreast is one of the most well-known Irish whiskey brands and for good reason. It’s a smooth, easy to drink whisky with a strong taste that can easily be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
There are a few different types of redbreast whiskeys, each with its own unique flavor profile. Here are four of the best:
1) 18 Year Old: The 18 Year Old is the most popular and traditional Redbreast whisky. It has a strong malt flavor with notes of caramel and toffee.
2) 12 Year Old: The 12 Year Old has a lighter body and more delicate flavor than the 18 Year Old. This makes it perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks.
3) Blended Whiskey: A blend contains both an 18 Year Old and a 12 Year Old Redbreast whisky, creating a more complex, nuanced taste.
4) Single Malt Whiskey: Single Malt Whiskies are made from only single malts, which gives them a much richer flavor than blended whiskies. Try the Single Malt Blue Label for a delicious taste that will take your whiskey drinking to another level!
Geography of Ireland and Its Distilleries
Ireland is a small country with a large whiskey scene. The distilleries range from small family-owned operations to larger multinationals, and they produce a wide variety of whiskeys.
There are ten official distilleries in Ireland – Beam Suntory has a facility there, but they don’t produce any whiskey themselves. The other nine are Laphroaig, Midleton, Powers Irish Whiskey, Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey, Jameson Irish Whiskey (Allied Domecq), Bushmills (Diageo), Paddywhiskey (Bushmills Distillery Co.), Connemara (The Macallan), and Teeling (The Glenlivet).
Each of these distilleries produces a slightly different type of whiskey – some are more delicate and floral, others are earthier and smoky. In general, the Irish whiskeys are well-aged for at least two years before being released to the market. Some bottlings can be quite expensive, but most are reasonably priced.
If you’re looking for an introduction to the Irish whiskey scene, start with Teeling’s “Discovering Single Malt Scotch” series which covers different types of Scotch from around the world. Alternatively, try one of the many good quality blends available such as Jameson Red Barrel or Bushmills Original 12 Year Old
Ireland Whiskey Producers to Check Out
Ireland has long been known for its distilleries, and whiskey has been a mainstay of the country’s beverage industry since the 1800s. Today, Ireland boasts some of the world’s best distilleries, and visitors to the country are sure to enjoy trying their hand at sipping whiskey from some of Irelands top producers.
The Distillers Company of Ireland is one of Irelands oldest distilleries, founded in 1825. They produce several different brands of whiskey including Jameson Irish Whiskey, Redbreast Irish Whiskey, Paddywhack Irish Whiskey, and Midleton Irish Whiskey. Cork Distilling Company was founded in 1780 and produces several different brands including Black Bush Irish Whiskey and Powers Gold Label Reserve Irish Whiskey. Kilbeggan Distillery was founded in 1775 and produces several different brands including Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey and Connemara Reserve Irish Whiskey. Miltonduff Distillery was founded in 1825 and produces several different brands including Bushmills Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky, and O’Hara’s 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
If you are looking for a distillery to visit while you are in Ireland, be sure to check out these five producers!
Best Irish Whiskeys to Drink Right Now
1. Redbreast 12 Year Old
Redbreast is a well-known Irish whiskey that is known for it’s smooth and mellow taste. This whiskey is aged for 12 years and has a rating of 84 on the scales of proof. It is a great choice to enjoy neat or on the rocks, and can be enjoyed any time of year.
2. Jameson 18 Year Old
Jameson is another well-known Irish whiskey that is also aged for 18 years. This whiskey has a rating of 94 on the scales of proof and has a rich, complex taste that can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. It is perfect for special occasions or to enjoy as part of a evening out with friends.
3. Bushmills Black Bush Whiskey
Bushmills Black Bush Whiskey is another great choice to consider if you are looking for an Irish whiskey that is dark in color and full-bodied in flavor. This whiskey has a rating of 100 on the scales of proof and can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, making it perfect for either special occasions or everyday drinking purposes.