As festivities start to got underway for St. Patrick’s Day, there was never a better time to show a little love for the sweet brown elixir that many a reveler will enjoy over the holiday weekend… Irish Whiskey. You might be interested to know that Ireland’s Taoiseach, who is in the US hosting several events in honor of the holiday, met up with Matt Shattock, President and CEO of Beam in Chicago to chat about Ireland and the success of Irish Whiskey as the fastest-growing spirits category in America. Beam, which recently acquired Ireland’s Cooley Distillery – producer of several award-winning Irish whisky brands – announced earlier this week they would be significantly increasing their import of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day.
About a year and a half ago when my cousin Sari and her fiancé Kevin got married, Kevin’s father bought the groomsmen a bottle of Bushmills 21 Year Irish whiskey which meant a lot to us because Kevin’s father came right off the boat from Ireland and is a bartender at an Irish bar in Manhattan called Desmond’s. It was a great moment and a beautiful wedding. Unfortunately I was so hung over from the rehearsal that it was difficult to even look at the battle. Honestly, when I woke up the morning of the wedding I didn’t think I would be able to go to the actual wedding. Even more unfortunate, the groomsman and I crushed the bottle before Kevin could even get a taste.
So when Bushmills sent us a sample of each of their whiskey’s we thought it would be fitting to taste the 21 year with Kevin since he missed out on the beautiful gesture from his father.
The Bushmills 21 Year Malt Irish Whiskey is aged for a minimum of 19 years in Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon seasoned casks, then transferred to Madeira casks for the final 2 years of the whiskeys maturation. The Bushmills 21 year is perhaps the most complex Irish whiskey but smooth, sweet, syrupy and oaky. It’s sweet, soft, fruity and simply one of the best Irish Whiskeys in the world period. The Bushmills 21 Year comes with one of our highest recommendations but it also comes with a steep price tag, about $100. We definitely recommend this over the comparatively priced Jameson 21 year.
Bushmill’s uses 100% malted barley to make their whiskey and the Old Bushmills Distillery is about 100 miles northwest of Belfast in Northern Ireland and has been making whiskey in the same area for more than 400 years.
Here’s a simple way to show your support and solidarity with top players from Northern Ireland–like the extraordinary Rory McIlroy, this year’s U.S. Open winner. Mix up a batch of cocktails with Northern Ireland’s own Bushmills! Since 1608 Bushmills whiskey has been synonymous with the country; the historic distillery is even pictured on the £5 Irish bank note. Of course, on the rocks or with soda are always appropriate–but Bushmills Irish whiskey is also great mixer for summer beverages in front of the TV or at backyard barbecues. Recipes that make it easy…even for duffers:
Bushmills Irish Buck
1.5 oz Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
1 squeeze fresh lime juice
2 oz. ginger ale
1 wheel lime
Combine Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey and lime juice over ice in a tall glass. Top with ginger ale and garnish with lime wheel
Bushmills & Ginger
1.5 oz Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
3 oz. ginger ale
1 twist orange
Pour Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey and ginger ale over ice cubes into a tall glass.
Triple Distilled, Aged in American and Spanish Oak
By Matt Goldstein
A few weeks ago we were invited to the Tullamore Dew Irish True event in Philadelphia. This tour featured free Tullamore Dew, free Irish food, Irish music and some boxers sparring in a “secret” room. While the boxers were barely sparring, the free food and free whisky was pretty god dam awesome. Unfortunately, the other people attenting this party weren’t there to pick up their 3 complimentary bottles of Tullamore Dew so they could review it for their whiskey web site. We’ve had the Tullamore Dew original many times and we’ve had the pleasure of tasting the 12 year, which is simply one of the best Irish whiskies on the shelves. However, this is the first time we’re tasting the Tullamore Dew 10 year, after all, we can’t buy every bottle of liquor one the shelf.
The Tullamore Dew 10 Years Aged Irish Whisky is a triple distilled spirit matured in Spanish and American Oak casks. This whisky is thin, salty, and a light thin gold color. With a sweet, syrupy mouth feel, slightly bitter, dry, with a light malty flavor, the Tullamore Dew 10 years is a good sipping Irish whisky and definitely one of the better Irish whiskies, very close to the 12 year. The Spirit Journal recently gave Tullamore Dew 10 Year Old Reserve 4 Stars/Highly Recommended. We recommend this whisky as well.
Tasting Notes from Tullamore Dew:
Colour: Medium amber gold.
Nose: Spicy, oily and fresh malty notes with more complex toasted wood and vanilla undertones.
Body: Medium bodied, balanced with malt, spice and citrus fruits. Complex oily flavours with faint notes of Christmas cake and a touch of leather.
Palate: Smooth and full; woody undertones, giving way to sweet Olorosso nuttiness with just a touch of spice.
Finish: Rich, long, malty and spicy notes. Pleasantly dry finish with slightly lemony and sweet notes lingering
On vacation this past weekend, we decided to stop in the critically acclaimed Irish Pub in Atlantic City. Aside from the terrible smell, and the other terrible smell, there’s something about this dingy dark hole that makes you want to drink. So we went for a half and half and the Jameson Gold Reserve neat, what’s more Irish that that? Now, the Jameson Gold Reserve was solid but we can’t see how it’s really worth $60 a bottle. Most Irish Whiskey’s lack complexity, and especially this one. The Jameson Gold Reserve is blend of three whiskeys aged in virgin oak barrels coupled with the bourbon barrels and sherry casks. The Jameson Gold Reserve is sweet, smooth, solid and slightly spicy. This is a good Irish Whiskey but does not have the complexity to command $60 a bottle. If you’re looking for thin and smooth than this is it, but if you’re looking for a great whiskey, the Jameson Gold Reserve misses the mark. For $60 a bottle, we would recommend many other whiskey’s over the Jameson Gold Reserve.
TASTING CHARACTERISTICS FROM JAMESON
NOSE – Fragrant wood, rich pot still with a touch of sherry sweetness.
TASTE – All the creaminess and honey sweetness come together to create a taste sensation of spicy character.
FINISH – A very long finish with a pleasantly peppery finale.
In honor of this St. Patty’s Day, the Whiskey Goldmine has compiled our list of the best whiskeys from Ireland. From sipping neat, on the rocks or in a shot, we give you a magnum opus of whiskey classics. The following whiskeys are an absolute must try!
1. Powers Special Reserve 12 Years Aged Irish Whiskey
Powers Special Reserve 12 years aged is crafted from the finest Irish Barley and water, triple distilled and matured in American Oak casks. Powers 12 doesn’t need to any ice; this whiskey should be sipped neat. Scoring 91 points from Malt Advocate Magazine, Powers 12 is a complex and flawless whiskey. The regular Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland. Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.
2. Redbreast 12 Year Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Redbreast 12 Year is perhaps the smoothest Irish whiskey in the world. With a scotch like complexity and slight sweetness, Redbreast has a perfect whiskey flavor with a flawless bite. Redbreast 12 Year is the only aged pure pot still whiskey in the world and is matured in sherry and bourbon casks.
3. Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve
Founded in Tullamore, Offaly County in the heart of Ireland in 1822, this “legendary” Irish Whiskey is famous for it’s copper pot still blend. Triple distilled and aged in American Oak and Spanish Olorosso Sherry Casks, Tullamore Dew 12 is a sweet and complex Irish Whiskey with notes of malt, nuts and oak. “Give everyman his Dew!”
4. Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve
The Jameson 18 is a Blended Irish Whiskey is handpicked by the Master Distiller. Aged in American Oak Bourbon Casks and Olorosso Sherry Casks, the Jameson 18 Year Old is a classic!
5. Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Aged in Madeira casks and scoring a 98 by the beverage tastings institute, the Tyrconnell is a bit pricey but also critically acclaimed. Tyrconnel 10 Year has pioneered the single malt revolution in Irish Whiskey. It’s an absolute must try.
6. Knappogue 12 Years Aged Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Distilled in copper pots with malted barley and aged in oak casks, Knappogue 12 is made with pure Irish spring water which creates a very light, smooth and easy drinking style. Well rounded with medium intensity and a clean finish, Knappogue is a uniquely light but complex whiskey that still retains character.
7. Bushmills 16 Year Old Irish Whiskey
Bushmills 16 Year Old is triple cask matured in a combination of seasoned American Oak Bourbon Casks and Sherry Olorosso Casks, and finished for a few months in Port Wine Casks. The triple cask maturation gives this whiskey one of the best finishes in the world.
8. Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Scoring a 93 by the Beverage Tasting Institute and a 90 by Wine Enthusiast, this little known but critically acclaimed single malt Irish whiskey is very well rounded and one of the most underrated Irish Whiskeys ever made.
9. Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve
The Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve Blended Irish Whiskey is a triple distilled, pot still and sherry cask blend. The 12 year took the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2007 & 2009. The Jameson 12 is very smooth and dry with a great scent and taste of malts; with notes of oak, wood and spice. The Jameson 12 is a full bodied Irish whiskey, with a slight sweet, rich and full finish.
1o. Tullemore Dew Blended Irish Whiskey
Tullamore Dew is the 2nd best selling Irish Whiskey in the world and is also growing the fastest. Tullamore Dew has won 22 gold medals in the last 10 years and is simply one of the best whiskey shots in the world.
11. Green Spot
12. Powers Gold Label
Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland. Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.
One of Ireland’s best and most famous whiskeys, Tullamore Dew was first distilled in 1829. Now, this staple of Irish whiskey has released a signature single malt that could be the most unique Irish whiskey’s on the market. Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt is the only Irish whiskey aged in four different casks, Old Bourbon, Dry Oloroso Sherry, Port and Madeira casks. When most people think single malt, their assuming single malt scotch, however, single malt merely means the whiskey is made with malt only and whiskey from one distillery. As opposed to most whiskies which are blends and a mix of grains and different whiskies from different distilleries, this Irish single malt is a contemporary distinction in the maturation of whiskey.
Bourbon casks are used in most Irish whiskeys and Scotches, however, the Sherry, Port and Madeira Cask addition is where this whiskey separates itself. Most will claim that these three casks are used to ad sweetness to the whiskey and many times that is the case, however, the Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt isn’t just an Irish whiskey with added sweetness, but an Irish whiskey with real character.
The Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt Tasting Notes:
A very unique flavor for any whiskey, there are notes of oak, wood, malt, fruit and vanilla. Slightly smooth and more complex than the average Irish whiskey, this is solid and we recommend giving it a try.
Free Whiskey, Free Food, Music and Poetry Spreading the Irish Love
NEW YORK– Independent, family-owned distillers William Grant & Sons Ltd. today announced the roll-out of a multi-million dollar global investment in Tullamore Dew – the world’s number two Irish whiskey brand – with the launch of a global integrated communications campaign, supporting a groundbreaking, new ‘Irish True’ advertising creative, as well as the announcement of new packaging.
In a radical departure for Irish whiskey, a new global TV and print campaign features striking images and charismatic characters, evoking the true spirit of the Irish: intriguing yet approachable, sociable but serious, humorous and poignant; in a tone of voice that is both poetic and rebellious. The campaign features posters, wall art and digital roll-out in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia, supported by under-the-radar events, bringing to life the Irish True Spirit. The stunning new packaging is scheduled for introduction in mid-2012.
Tullamore Dew is currently one of the fastest growing Irish whiskey brands, almost doubling in sales since 2005. The multi-million dollar investment has been prompted by the brand’s rapid growth, driven largely by increased consumer demand for Irish whiskey in the USA and emerging Irish whiskey markets such as the Czech Republic and Germany, where the brand already occupies a leadership position and is outperforming its competitors. William Grant & Sons’ ambition is that investment in a heavyweight integrated campaign and new look packaging will rapidly accelerate the global growth of Tullamore Dew, further strengthening its position as one of the world’s best loved Irish whiskey brands.
The development of the campaign has been helmed by Tullamore Dew Global Brand Director Shane Hoyne, who assembled a stellar team to develop the new brand campaign, collaborating with international agency McCann Erickson, as well as creative radical Jeff Weiss and renowned film maker Jake Scott.
“With Tullamore Dew, we want to establish a different definition of ‘Irishness’ – as something that people can relate to the world over and something that is rooted in the incredible spirit of the people,” Commented Hoyne. “We have significant plans for the future of this fantastic brand. Irish whiskey is an exceptionally dynamic category, and we believe that with this new investment and integrated campaign we can establish Tullamore Dew as a truly global player.”
“We are proud to be bringing this honest representation of the Irish spirit to the United States,” said Laura Gwilliam, Senior Brand Manager for Tullamore Dew in the United States. “From its poetry,music, and unique spirit of rebelliousness to the distinctive camaraderie of a true Irish Pub, Ireland’s cultural contributions to the world have been hugely influential, and we are excited to be bringing that spirit to life here in the U.S.”
About Irish True
‘Irish True’ is Tullamore Dew’s new integrated global brand platform and has been designed to challenge the category advertising norms. ‘Irish True’ reflects the true spirit of the Irish in a tone of voice that is both poetic and rebellious. Daniel E. Williams, who founded the distillery in 1829, refused to compromise as he strove to create a smoother Irish whiskey with gentle complexity and ‘Irish True’ celebrates the spirit of those who stay true in the face of adversity. In an irreverent, tongue-in-cheek execution the TV advert features a trio of Irishmen enjoying a last ‘glasses up’ with their arresting officer; while the poster advertisements feature a series of characters, each with their own dramatic call to action that evokes the essence of the ‘true Irish’ character.
About Tullamore Dew
Tullamore Dew is the second largest Irish whiskey in the world in the fastest growing category. It has been widely acclaimed by whiskey connoisseurs, most recently winning five awards at this year’s prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), including ‘Gold Best in Class’ for its highly acclaimed Tullamore Dew 10-Year-Old Reserve. The brand has now achieved an impressive record of 29 gold medal awards in the last 10 years.
With an intriguing smooth yet complex character, Tullamore Dew is triple distilled, but is also a unique blend of all three types of Irish whiskeys; the pot still, malt and grain whiskeys. Using only the finest grains and purest water, it is patiently aged in specially seasoned oak casks to develop its complexity – making it the perfect toast when out, or with friends at home. Tullamore Dew is best enjoyed straight up, on the rocks, or served long with soda and a wedge of lime.
Pickle juice seems to be trending in the world of cocktails, specifically whiskey shots. When drinking a shot of Jameson, or an Irish whiskey, the pickle juice is used as a chaser. This is not for whiskey lovers, but people who like doing shots without the burn. Pickle juice serves as a perfect chaser with the saltiness of the juice completely masking any burn that might be there. For myself and other whiskey lovers, we would preferably just drink the whiskey, but if you need or like chasers, whiskey shot drinkers are raving about it.
Jameson 12: Double Gold Medal Winner, Critically Acclaimed
By Matt Goldstein & BJ Smith
Established in 1780, Jameson Irish whiskey has become the most popular Irish whiskey in the world. The Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve Irish Whiskey is a triple distilled, pot still and sherry cask blend. The most popular of the Jameson aged whiskeys; the 12 year took the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2007 & 2009. The Jameson 12 is very smooth and dry with a great scent and taste of malts. With notes of oak, wood and spice, the Jameson 12 is a full bodied Irish whiskey. With a slight sweet, rich and full finish, the Jameson 12 establishes itself as a complex and heartwarming Irish whiskey. We absolutely recommend this Irish whiskey.