40 Best Irish Whiskeys

The Best Irish Whiskey Under $30

The Sexton

Made from 100% malted barley triple-distilled in copper pots and aged for four years in Oloroso Sherry casks, The Sexton is blended by one of the few female Master Blenders in Irish whiskey. Spend a bit more and you can now get it with your own aging barrel.

Best Irish Whiskey Under $30

Powers Gold Label

To quote an Irish whiskey expert we interviewed a few years back: “[This is] smooth, approachable and the right price point … drink it neat. Perfect to aid in washing down a pint of Guinness, Smithwicks or Magners Cider. In that order.”

Best Irish Whiskey Under $30

Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum  Cask Finish

Aged in Demerara Rum barrels, Tullamore’s whiskey is triple-distilled and a triple blend of pot still, malt and grain Irish whiskey. The end result? Notes of  banana, vanilla, spice and citrus, and you can completely use in lieu of rum in tiki cocktails.

Best Irish Whiskey Under $30

The Best Irish Whiskey According to the Pros

The choices of bartenders, distillers and other bar professionals we’ve interviewed over the years.

Writer’s Tears

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.

Best Irish Whiskey According to the Pros

Teeling Small Batch

“It’s very easy to approach because of its subtle citrus notes,” as New York bartender Mike Di Tota told us. It doesn’t have a lot of ‘sting.’ It’s more rounded out.” Side note for those looking for more character in their Irish whiskey:  This year the brand launched both a 30 Year and a Single Pot Still Whiskey fully matured in Chinkapin Oak, which brings out a ton of dark chocolate, ginger and wood tannins.

Best Irish Whiskey According to the Pros

Connemara 12

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 so you get a nice smoky, mouth-coating dram out of it.”

Best Irish Whiskey According to the Pros

The Best Premium Irish Whiskey for an Elevated Experience

These may cost more than you’re used to, or be hard to find. But they’re worth it.

The Tyrconnell 16 Year Old Oloroso & Moscatel Cask Finish Single Malt

A single malt double- (in lieu of the usual triple-) distilled in pot stills, the 16 Year Old is aged in ex-bourbon barrels, followed by additional maturation in wine casks from the Andalucia region of Southern Spain; these casks were initially seasoned with Oloroso sherry before a second seasoning with Moscatel wine. The end result is sweet, floral, creamy and well-rounded, with a long finish.

Best Premium Irish Whiskey

West Cork  Stout Cask Matured

A blend of grain and malt whiskey aged in first-fill bourbon casks and then finished in casks that had held Black’s of Kinsale Stout. While they also have one that uses former IPA casks, this one has the bonus of bringing out the chocolate notes of a stout.

Best Premium Irish Whiskey

The Legendary Silkie

The 2021 Ultimate Spirits Challenge winner for best blended Irish whiskey, this new release from Sliabh Liag Distillers is rich and sweet, with hints of apple but also a little smoke (credit the peated malt).

Best Premium Irish Whiskey

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