I haven't had many but would like to try more.
I really like Knappogue Castle alot. Though that's really the only single malt Irish I've had. I actually blindly bought a bottle simply because my uncle raved about it. I'm glad I did. I've long finished it and am feeling the need for another soon.
As far as blends go I've also had Black Bush and, of course, Jameson.
What are some other good Irish single malts?
Others that I really enjoy are
Not as easy to get
Cadenhead's Cooley 13 and 14 yrs
Bushmills Millennium 1975
And then the very hard to get ones...
Cadenhead Bow Street 1963
Cadenhead Daly Distillery (several vintages)
The other Irish that come to mind are other colourful whiskies:
Jameson Gold (and even standard Jameson's)
Bushmill's Black Bush
emagination wrote:Haven't seen alot of talk about Irish whiskies and wondered what some of your favorites were.
What are some other good Irish single malts?
OK - two questions here. I'm going to focus on Irish whiskies in general because I like all kinds of whiskies not just malts. Also with Irish whiskies, the malts aren't nessisarily "better" than the blends.
Irish whiskies I'd buy with my own $$
- Redbrest 12 (or the 15 if I could get it)
- Jameson 12
- Knappogue Castle
- Connemara (NAS or 12yr)
- Magilligan (I like the special reserve at $120 cdn, don't like the 8yr old @ $65 cdn).
- Powers NAS (haven't tried the 12yr)
Whiskies I liked alot but wouldn't pay for myself...
- Middleton VR
- Bushmills Single Cask Bottles (still thinking about these, and if one was to go on sale at the LCBO I'd snap it up. Just not $120-$150 to me).
- Jameson 18
- Green Spot
- Black Bush
Tullamore Dew which has a finish that makes me want to keep the whisky in my mouth forever, though that gets boring fast enough as well.
And the other one is the Redbreast 12y whose taste and character I really like. Sadly I'm in one of the countries that can't get a Redbreast 15y as well. Though I I'd hop over to Germany I could probably score a bottle.
Edit: If everything goes according to plan I will have a bottle of Black Bush in house tomorrow though.
15yo is just fantastic, it is most complex whisky I have ever tasted. With the first dramming it felt like every sip would taste different .. again and again I could find new nuances. First I got quite intense alcohol attack which very quickly lamed down then starts the roller coaster of tastes. Something resinous, citrus, lether and maybe little rubber but not in bad sense. Palate and "after taste" was more into tradiotional Irish ones which are to me honey and vanilla. Next time I'm pretty sure I can find again new tastes from it. :b
Redbreast 12 and Tullamore Dew are nice sipping whiskeys. On the higher end of the blends, Jameson's Gold combines the ultra-smoothness of Irish Whiskey with a very interesting taste profile.
Unfortunately Irish whiskey does not have the diversity of scotch but there are some great ones to be had....
From Bushmills I'd always go for the Blackbush before the 10yo or 16yo. Just my preference but this is a truely great irish blend, super value and can match most single malts in the same catagory. However if you go for a Sherry Single Cask offering you probably would not be dissappointed if your willing to shell out the extra. Wonderful stuff and well worth the few quid more than the 16yo I think. I was not a major fan of their Rum single Casks and thought the Bourbon Single Casks were good but not earth shattering.
Any Connemara is good but if you can get an IB cooley peated well worth going for instead as there is usually more punch in them but all are worth a try. I'd go for the Connemara Nas or Cask strength. The 12yo is a bit over priced (well in Ireland any way).
I have a Cadenhead Cooley 13yo open at the moment and it is a wonderfully powerful dram
Lockes 8yo is a nice lightly peated dram good for sipping if you are trying to get into peated whiskies.
Kilbeggan is much praised and who am I to argue but not for me. I find Cooley's non-peated offerings sometimes a bit light. The Tyrconnell is a nice malt but you can really see the potential in this malt in the older offerings, as the stocks develope this may yet prove to be a great malt (time will tell). But the older bottlings are hard to come by as they mostly only limited editions so far. There will be a Ltd Edt sherry finish which I hope they will eventually do as a long term bottling as it is great but we will have to wait and see if the powers that be can arrange that.
The power house of Irish Whiskey but unfortunately they seem unwilling to diversify. I suppose they are sticking to what they know and want to do that well....
Jameson NAS is the biggest selling Irish Whiskey in the world but is becomming too much of a noose around it's own neck because of this growth and I think we are seeing the dumbing down of this whiskey over the years. However Powers is really what the Irish whiskey drinker buys as it is probably the best regular blend from Midleton.
Jameson 12yo is a great second level bottling and by far probably has the best value to quality ratio of the whole Jameson range. The Gold(third level) is interesting and a much drier woodier affair to me. The J 18 is another great whiskey but here in Ireland it is nearly 3 times the price of the 12yo where as in other countries it may only be twice the price. I'd probably buy it at twice the price but not worth 100Euros to me. And I have the same issue with Midleton Nas (super smooth and drinkable).
Then you have Pot Still
All superb in their own way but the 15yo is one of the best whiskies I've tasted that I still can get and a cracker if you can get your hands on.
Greenspot (Very Limited availiblity)
Redbreast 15yo (Limited availiblity in Europe)
Me too...hugely enjoyable, and prefer it to Jameson's.
But the odd dram I've been given by generous friends of Midleton really stick in the memory.
...an Connemara peated malt, in a whisky pub called th Nobody inn in devon was an eye-opener.
A true Ire-lay malt!
Also Bushmills--single malt
and the ever popular Conamara
Glad to see no one chose a Clontarf. I had the single malt 3 or 4 years ago and enjoyed it, so I bought another bottle last fall and it was all I could do to choke it down.
It tasted and smelled of wet hay or wet dog.
Being too cheap to pour it down the drain, I resorted to liberal doses of ice.
I even rate it just ahead of its older brother the 15 which is very good but lacks the ultimate finesse and balance of the 12. Huge on sherry and spice though - and of course also very very good.
I'm also impressed by the Connemara whiskies, the 12 and Cask Strenght in particular.
The Redbreasts are fantastic though - and proof that people who only drink scottish single malt will miss out on some of the truly great whiskies of the world.
The Dazzler wrote: Has anyone any experience with the Greenore Grain, I am partial to wee Scotch grain from time to time and am tempted to try this one, any guidance would be appreciated!!!!!!
Greenore 8yo Grain is the best Irish whiskey I have tried so far. The run of the mill Black Bush, Jamesons and Bushmills fare is dull, the Clontarf stuff tastes like bubblegum and I've never been able to remember the others
However, the Greenore is a delightful smooth whisky, like warm vanilla ice cream. My bottle is in my empty pile now and I will buy another when I see one.
92' from Cooleys is my favorite!
93' and 94 is both from Bushmills and excellent representatives, but the 92' is just at tad more complex, I think...or maybe I'm just too used to the trademark bushmill-taste
Other than that, the Redbreast 12 and Green Spot are truly great whiskeys!
Failing that, the regulars, depending on mood would be:
Bushmill 21 YO
Jameson 12, 12yo Distillery reserve or 18yo
Tyrconell Madeira Finish.
But really , I need to track down more Redbreast 15yo!!
In the meantime, I've been trying to mix small quantities of Greenore with a sherry or madeira unpeated Cooley malt to try and make a Cooley Black Bush equivalent. Not much success so far. Guess I'll never be a blender!
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