Long thought of as a two brand country when it came to whiskey – those brands being Bushmills and Jameson (and we’ll leave religion out of it, here, because I’ve always believed in the separation of Church and Still) – the Emerald Isle actually has close to 100 different whiskies in distribution around the world, and while not all are available in the United States, most of the best ones are, and the list is growing.
In other words (for those people who’ve been living under a rock), Irish whiskey is HOT! There are more brands now than ever in the marketplace and more diversity in the whiskies being made, both by established distilleries and startups, due to a new generation of distillers who are leading the charge in experimentation and quality. And the world, ever in search of new flavor profiles to learn about and enjoy, has taken notice.
So let’s dive in and learn about some of what I like to call the next-level tier of Irish whiskies: those that are a step above the entry level whiskies we liked enough to learn more about what the category has to offer. Mostly Single Pot Still whiskies (look it up, I did, and am still confused), these all beautifully show the art form that Irish Whiskey can be.