Review: Kilbeggan Single Pot Still Is the Ultimate Breakfast Whiskey
A little bit of oats goes a long way in this new Irish whiskey
What we’re drinking: Kilbeggan Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Where it’s from: Kilbeggan, the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland, founded in 1757 (though there was a break in the mid-1900s). The company started distilling again in 2007, and Single Pot Still is their fourth major release, joining a blended whiskey, single grain and a rye.
Why we’re drinking it: Kilbeggan gets a lot of love for maintaining traditional Irish whiskey distilling methods alive — considering the category went from the world’s biggest to almost extinct in the 20th century, the revival of methods and recipes from the 1800s feels innovative.
The Single Pot Still designation means this a single pot still Irish whiskey produced only in Ireland at a single distillery. The liquid is double distilled in copper pot stills from a mix of malted and unmalted barley as well as up to 5% of other grains. Here, the other grains part of the mash includes 2.5% oats (inspired by a late 19th-century recipe), which ends up making a huge difference in the taste of the final product.
“A Single Pot Still expression for me is most exciting for me personally because it’s quintessentially Irish,” Michael Egan, U.S. Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador for Kilbeggan Distilling Company, told us during the spirit’s launch. “It separates us from the other whisky categories, particularly Scotch.”
How it tastes: Lightly fruity on the nose, Single Pot Still feaures a very rich mouthfeel and it’s undeniably creamy on the palate. Even with just 2.5% oats in the mashbill, this is a whiskey I’d drink for breakfast — “oatmeal” flashed through my mind repeatedly during my tastings. Warning: There’s little bite or spice here, even at a slightly higher than usual 43% ABV. Overall, this is an ideal mellow sipper for cold-weather days. The spirit is delicious but soft; it would get lost in a cocktail but works just fine on its own … particularly if it’s 9 a.m.
Related: The 10 Best Irish Whiskeys Under $30
Fun fact: The smoothness of Irish whiskey can be partially attributed to the country’s climate. It neither gets incredibly hot or bitterly cold, so the stored liquid has a more consistent maturation process.
Where you can get it: Kilbeggan Single Pot Still is a limited release, out this month with a suggested retail price of $44.99 (750ml).