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Exploring the 4 Types of Irish Whiskey – A Connoisseur’s Guide

Irish whiskey is one of the most beloved spirits in the world, with a rich and storied history dating back centuries. This versatile spirit can be enjoyed in many forms, from a classic Irish coffee to a neat glass sipped by a roaring fire. However, with so many different types of Irish whiskey available, it can be overwhelming for newcomers to choose which one to try first. Let’s make this an easy lesson; we’ll break down the 4 types of Irish whiskey, so you can better understand what each one offers.

Single Malt Irish Whiskey

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Single malt Irish whiskey is made from 100% malted barley. A single distillery produces this whiskey, hence the name “single malt.” There are two types of single-malt Irish whiskey: peated and unpeated. Peated single-malt Irish whiskey is made with malted barley that has been dried over peat fires, giving the whiskey a distinct smoky flavor. Unpeated single malt is made with malted barley that has not been dried over peat fires, resulting in a lighter flavor profile.

3 Well Known Brands of Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Here are three well-known brands of single-malt Irish whiskey:

  1. Jameson – Jameson is one of the world’s most popular and widely recognized Irish whiskey brands. Jameson is known for its smooth and creamy flavor profile, achieved through the triple distillation process used in production. The brand offers a range of single-malt Irish whiskies, including Jameson Irish Whiskey, Jameson Black Barrel, and Jameson Caskmates.
  2. Tullamore D.E.W. – Tullamore D.E.W. is a single malt Irish whiskey named after the town of Tullamore in County Offaly, Ireland. This brand is known for its rich and smooth flavor profile, achieved through a triple distillation process and a blend of malted and unmalted barley. Tullamore D.E.W. offers a range of single malt Irish whiskies, including Tullamore D.E.W. Original, Tullamore D.E.W. 12 Year Old, and Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix.
  3. Bushmills – Bushmills is one of Ireland’s oldest and most well-known distilleries, located in County Antrim. The brand is known for producing high-quality single-malt Irish whiskey, with a smooth and approachable flavor profile. Bushmills offers a range of single malt Irish whiskies, including Bushmills Original, Bushmills Black Bush, and Bushmills 1608.

Each of these brands offers a unique and distinct flavor profile, so trying a few different bottles is a great idea to see which one you prefer. But, regardless of which brand you choose, you can be sure that you’re getting a high-quality and authentic single-malt Irish whiskey that will impress you.

Single Grain Irish Whiskey

Malt

Single-grain Irish whiskey is made from corn, wheat, and barley. Unlike single malt Irish whiskey, single grain Irish whiskey can be produced by multiple distilleries, making it an excellent option for those looking for a more affordable and widely available option. Single-grain Irish whiskey is typically lighter and smoother than single-malt, with a slightly sweeter flavor profile.

Here are three well-known brands of single-grain Irish whiskey:

  1. Teeling – Teeling is a modern and innovative Irish whiskey brand known for its high-quality single-grain Irish whiskies. Teeling offers a range of single-grain Irish whiskies, including Teeling Small Batch, Teeling Single Grain, and Teeling Single Grain Vintage Reserve. Each of these whiskies is made using a combination of corn, wheat, and barley and is known for its smooth and approachable flavor profile.
  2. Greenore – Greenore is a single-grain Irish whiskey produced by Cooley Distillery. This brand is known for its smooth and creamy flavor profile, achieved through high-quality grains and a double distillation process. Greenore offers a range of single-grain Irish whiskies, including Greenore 8-Year-Old and Greenore 15-Year-Old.
  3. Kilbeggan – Kilbeggan is a single-grain Irish whiskey produced by the Kilbeggan Distillery in County Westmeath, Ireland. This brand is known for its smooth and approachable flavor profile, achieved through high-quality grains and a triple distillation process. Kilbeggan offers a range of single-grain Irish whiskies, including Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey and Kilbeggan Single Grain.

Each of these brands offers a unique and distinct flavor profile, so trying a few different bottles is a great idea to see which one you prefer. But, regardless of which brand you choose, you can be sure that you’re getting a high-quality and authentic single-grain Irish whiskey that will impress you.

Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

4 Types Of Irish Whiskey

Single pot still Irish whiskey is a unique type of Irish whiskey that is made from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley. This kind of whiskey is made in copper pot stills, and its flavor is known for being solid and complete. Single-pot still Irish whiskey is an excellent choice for those looking for more depth and character, as it is considered the quintessential Irish whiskey.

Here are three well-known brands of single-pot still Irish whiskey:

  1. Redbreast is a premium single-pot still Irish whiskey known for its rich and complex flavor. This brand combines malted and unmalted barley, giving it a unique and distinctive taste. Redbreast offers a range of single-pot still Irish whiskies, including Redbreast 12-Year-Old, Redbreast 15-Year-Old, and Redbreast 21-Year-Old.
  2. Green Spot – Green Spot is a single-pot still Irish whiskey produced by Irish Distillers. This brand is known for its smooth and approachable flavor profile, achieved through high-quality ingredients and a triple distillation process. Green Spot offers a range of single-pot still Irish whiskies, including Green Spot Irish Whiskey and Green Spot Château Léoville Barton.
  3. Powers – Powers is a single-pot still Irish whiskey produced by Irish Distillers. This brand is known for its rich and full-bodied flavor profile, achieved through high-quality ingredients and a triple distillation process. Powers offer a range of single-pot still Irish whiskies, including Powers Irish Whiskey and Powers John’s Lane Release.

Each of these brands offers a unique and distinct flavor profile, so trying a few different bottles is a great idea to see which one you prefer. But, regardless of which brand you choose, you can be sure you’re getting a high-quality and authentic single pot still Irish whiskey that will impress you.

Blended Irish Whiskey

Whiskey Barrels

Blended Irish whiskey is made by blending different types of whiskey, including single malt, single grain, and single pot still Irish whiskeys. This type of whiskey is designed to offer the best of all worlds, with a balanced and smooth flavor profile that is easy to drink. Blended Irish whiskey is a popular choice for those looking for a versatile whiskey that can be enjoyed in various drinks and cocktails.

Three Well Known Brands of Blended Irish Whiskey

  1. Black Bush – Black Bush is a blended Irish whiskey produced by Bushmills Distillery. This brand is known for its rich and full-bodied flavor profile, which is achieved through a combination of high-quality Irish malt whiskey, grain whiskey, and pot still whiskey. In addition, black Bush offers a range of blended Irish whiskies, including Black Bush Irish Whiskey and Black Bush Finest Reserve.
  2. Paddy Old Irish Whiskey – Paddy is a blended Irish whiskey produced by Irish Distillers. This brand is known for its smooth and easy-drinking flavor profile, achieved through high-quality Irish malt whiskey, grain whiskey, and pot still whiskey. In addition, paddy offers a range of blended Irish whiskies, including Paddy Irish Whiskey and Paddy Centenary Reserve.
  3. Writer’s Tears – Writer’s Tears is a blended Irish whiskey from Walsh Distillery. This brand is known for its smooth and delicate flavor profile, achieved through high-quality Irish malt whiskey and Irish pot still whiskey. Writer’s Tears offers a range of blended Irish whiskies, including Writer’s Tears Copper Pot and Writer’s Tears Red Head.

Each of these brands offers a unique and distinct flavor profile, so trying a few different bottles is a great idea to see which one you prefer. Regardless of which brand you choose, you can be sure you’ll get a high-quality and authentic blended Irish whiskey that will impress you.

What An Expert Has Said

Jim Murray is a renowned whisky writer known for his expertise and detailed reviews in the whisky industry. He has published several books on whisky, including “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible,” which is an ongoing project that rates and reviews a vast array of whiskies from around the world​​. His work in the field has earned him a reputation as one of the leading authorities on whisky.

Regarding Irish whiskey, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible has consistently recognized various brands and types. For instance, in his 2020 edition, he named Redbreast Aged 12 Years Cask Strength as the Irish Whiskey of the Year​​. In previous years, other Irish whiskies like Redbreast Aged 21 Years and Bushmills 16 Year Old have also been highlighted in his top picks​​.

Murray’s tasting notes and ratings are highly regarded in the whisky community. He evaluates each whisky based on four key criteria: nose, taste, finish, and balance, with each aspect scored out of 25 for a total score out of 100. This detailed approach provides a comprehensive assessment of each whisky’s qualities​​.

Video: A Bit About Irish Whiskey

Final Thoughts About 4 Types Of Irish Whiskey

Each of the four types of Irish whiskey has its own unique flavor profile, and it is up to individual taste to determine which one is the right fit. Whether you prefer a smooth and creamy single malt Irish whiskey, a lighter and sweeter single grain Irish whiskey, a rich and robust single pot still Irish whiskey, or a well-balanced blended Irish whiskey, there is sure to be an option out there that will suit your tastes perfectly. So why not have a sample drink of each and discover your new favorite Irish whiskey today?

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Monica Seasons

Monica Seasons is a freelance writer and author covering professional and collegiate sports and the gaming industry.

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