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View Full Version : Irish whiskey -- what's your favorite?



Alden
03-20-2013, 16:54
I'm very partial to Irish.

I've never had Redbreast, or single malt Michael Collins, or any of the expensive ones, but Powers and especially Old Bushmills are delicious to me.

What's your favorite?

portwood
03-20-2013, 17:29
Redbreast 12*, 15, and Green Spot.

*by all accounts the 12yo cask strength is even better, but I haven't tried it since it has not been made available in Canada yet.

TomH
03-20-2013, 17:35
1) Powers John Lane
2) Middleton Barry Crockett (But WAY overpriced....I would never buy it)
2) Green Spot

NOTE: I have not had Yellow Spot (or had too much before tasting it to remember I had it) so it might break into the top 3 in the near future

squire
03-20-2013, 17:41
Powers and Clontarf.

WAINWRIGHT
03-20-2013, 17:55
1)Powers John Lane
2)Redbreast 12 CS
3)Redbreast 15

Yeti
03-20-2013, 18:27
Redbreast 12 CS is the only one I've had that I actively enjoy and want to have on hand. But I find all of the sub $60 Jamison and Bushmills blends to be perfectly fine. Many years ago I had the three single malt Bushmills and thought well of them at the time. I need to look into Powers, Tyrconnel (sp?) and the Spots.

Tucker
03-20-2013, 18:37
I've gone through a lot of Black Bush over the years.

I like the Knappogue Castle 12 year, and the Tyrconnell Madeira cask is worth looking for. But the Redbreast CS is the only Irish that holds its own against my favorite bourbons.

Tennessee Dave
03-20-2013, 18:56
Redbreast 12 does it for me.

Alden
03-20-2013, 19:32
Redbreast 12 CS is the only one I've had that I actively enjoy and want to have on hand. But I find all of the sub $60 Jamison and Bushmills blends to be perfectly fine. Many years ago I had the three single malt Bushmills and thought well of them at the time. I need to look into Powers, Tyrconnel (sp?) and the Spots.

Bushmill's is much better than Jameson's, and a bit better than Powers, to me. It seems better balanced.

Alden
03-20-2013, 19:34
I've gone through a lot of Black Bush over the years.

I like the Knappogue Castle 12 year, and the Tyrconnell Madeira cask is worth looking for. But the Redbreast CS is the only Irish that holds its own against my favorite bourbons.

I spent an evening at Knappogue Castle once, many years ago. All I remember is a good meal, lots of Irish beer, a bit of whiskey, and driving on the wrong side of the road on the way back to the B&B. :lol:

black mamba
03-20-2013, 20:22
Yes Alden, those narrow roads in Ireland are quite scary, but worth it to have tried Powers John's Lane. It is not only Ireland's best, but one of the world's great whiskies. My second favorite Irish is Knappogue Castle 12 yr.

z327
03-20-2013, 21:23
Midleton Barry Crockett
Midleton Very Rare


Kilbeggan 15 Year Old


Jameson 18 Year Old
I have more to try, but these is my favorites in order.

Brisko
03-21-2013, 07:27
I haven't had a chance to taste a ton of Irish but I am a big fan of Redbreast. For everyday I like Powers. Cheap, interesting, and not too sweet. I like Powers 12 but it can be a little sweeter than I care for in an Irish.

higgins
03-21-2013, 12:12
Tyrconnell and Knappogue Castle are what I usually buy when I'm in an Irish mood. Tullamore Dew 12 year is a new favorite of mine as well.

Alden
03-21-2013, 12:39
Tyrconnell and Knappogue Castle are what I usually buy when I'm in an Irish mood. Tullamore Dew 12 year is a new favorite of mine as well.

My local store has some Tullamore. I may try that one soon. I hear good things.

ebo
03-21-2013, 15:34
Red Breast 12-15, Black Bush and Midleton's.

tanstaafl2
03-21-2013, 20:47
Powers John's Lane is a superb whiskey in my opinion and has been popping up in the US so I encourage those with an interest to look for it. Just found it in Atlanta and saw it on Astor Wines website.

The Barry Crockett Legacy, while certainly very expensive, is my favorite and I bought it despite the cost.

Over the St Patty's weekend the Greenore 15yo proved to be quite tasty and a big hit, even with a friend from Ireland. Makes me want to find the 18yo.

I just added bottle of the Knappogue Castle 12yo Single malt (which is Bushmills whiskey I believe) to the liquor cabinet and am looking forward to giving it a try. I would really like to try the Knappogue Castle 1951 but I don't know if I will ever be able to pull the trigger on that one. A 36yo whiskey from a long closed distillery in Tullamore would be a delightful bit of history to try!

p_elliott
03-22-2013, 08:08
I like 1 Rebreast 12
2 Jameson 12
3 Blackbush

Megawatt
03-24-2013, 18:31
Best Irish I've tried: Bushmills 10, The Wild Geese Limited Edition, Redbreast 12, Knappogue Castle 12.

squire
03-25-2013, 13:06
Frankly I've been a little disappointed with the Bushmills malts, for me Black Bush is still the choice of that brand.

black mamba
03-25-2013, 15:20
Squire, I've not had the Black Bush, but know it is highly regarded. How does it compare to their 16 yr malt, which I think has a nice minerality to it.

squire
03-25-2013, 15:46
Black Bush has a rich, round, full flavor due to it's high (80%) sherry cask aged malt and compares very well to the 16 year malt which itself is much bigger than the earlier Bushmills malts which were done in a light, sophisticated style.

Black Bush has a sweeter, richer style than the 16 which is also flavorful but is more complex than BB without being quite so bold. So it really comes down to which has the most appeal to you, flavor or complexity. I can be happy with either but would rather pay $38 for BB than $65 for the 16 Malt.

black mamba
03-25-2013, 16:17
Thanks, I think I'll try the BB.

z327
03-25-2013, 21:21
Midleton Barry Crockett
Midleton Very Rare


Kilbeggan 15 Year Old


Jameson 18 Year Old
I have more to try, but these is my favorites in order.
Tried the Jameson Rarest Vintage last night. Prefer the Midleton Very Rare, Barry Crockett and Kilbeggan 15. The Jameson Rarest Vintage has too strong a tobacco taste for me.

smokinjoe
03-25-2013, 22:13
Black Bush has a rich, round, full flavor due to it's high (80%) sherry cask aged malt and compares very well to the 16 year malt which itself is much bigger than the earlier Bushmills malts which were done in a light, sophisticated style.

Black Bush has a sweeter, richer style than the 16 which is also flavorful but is more complex than BB without being quite so bold. So it really comes down to which has the most appeal to you, flavor or complexity. I can be happy with either but would rather pay $38 for BB than $65 for the 16 Malt.

I agree 114% with Squires take on these two whiskies. Everything he says is exactly what I would say about them. Just to add, I was at a Bushmill's tasting a couple of weeks ago, and their entire line-up is very nice, save the 10 yr which was underwhelming to me. However, my thoughts on the 10 go counter to most reviews you'll read. It's generally thought of as very good. Just not what I was looking for that night, I guess. The sherry cask influence of the Black Bush really stands out against the other iterations when tried back-to-back-to back...It's an incredibly drinkable whiskey. Sweet and rich, just like Squire describes. The 16 and 21 yr were extremely nice. I recently picked up a 16 yr based on the tasting, but would have gone with the BB if my store would have had it in stock at the time.

Squire, you sure we ain't related? :D

SFS
03-25-2013, 22:25
[QUOTE=smokinjoe;332348]I agree 114% with Squires take ...QUOTE]

I see what you did there.

unclebunk
03-26-2013, 06:43
I agree 114% with Squires take on these two whiskies. Everything he says is exactly what I would say about them. Just to add, I was at a Bushmill's tasting a couple of weeks ago, and their entire line-up is very nice, save the 10 yr which was underwhelming to me. However, my thoughts on the 10 go counter to most reviews you'll read. It's generally thought of as very good. Just not what I was looking for that night, I guess. The sherry cask influence of the Black Bush really stands out against the other iterations when tried back-to-back-to back...It's an incredibly drinkable whiskey. Sweet and rich, just like Squire describes. The 16 and 21 yr were extremely nice. I recently picked up a 16 yr based on the tasting, but would have gone with the BB if my store would have had it in stock at the time.

Squire, you sure we ain't related? :D

I recently enjoyed some of the 21 year old but find it to be overpriced at roughly $120 around here. Me, I'll happily stick with the Black Bush and drink that all day long.

unclebunk
03-26-2013, 06:46
[QUOTE=smokinjoe;332348]I agree 114% with Squires take ...QUOTE]

I see what you did there.

I noticed that too. Clever little bugger, that SmokinJoe.

smokinjoe
03-26-2013, 06:50
[QUOTE=SFS;332353]

I noticed that too. Clever little bugger, that SmokinJoe.

And, cute. Don't forget cute! :lol:

unclebunk
03-26-2013, 06:53
[QUOTE=unclebunk;332384]

And, cute. Don't forget cute! :lol:

Yeah. Yeah. Who could forget...:skep:

squire
03-26-2013, 10:49
Donno Joe, you got any Scottish genes in your heritage.

MarkEdwards
04-01-2013, 11:14
I am partial to Midleton Very Rare, but I really haven't found an Irish I don't like, so far.

WhiskyToWhiskey
04-13-2013, 15:46
Until a few days ago, the only Irish I tried was Redbreast 12yo (big fan) and standard Jameson. A few days ago I picked up Black Bush, Jameson Select Reserve, and Locke's 8yo single malt. My favorite of the 3 was Jameson Select Reserve, followed closely by Black Bush. The Locke's 8yo left a mineral spirit taste on my palate that I couldn't get rid of until over hours hours later...this one was returned to the store. Next up on the radar are Green Spot and Writer's Tears.

tanstaafl2
04-14-2013, 07:47
Until a few days ago, the only Irish I tried was Redbreast 12yo (big fan) and standard Jameson. A few days ago I picked up Black Bush, Jameson Select Reserve, and Locke's 8yo single malt. My favorite of the 3 was Jameson Select Reserve, followed closely by Black Bush. The Locke's 8yo left a mineral spirit taste on my palate that I couldn't get rid of until over hours hours later...this one was returned to the store. Next up on the radar are Green Spot and Writer's Tears.

Are you in the States and able to find those two locally? I had heard Green Spot was coming but haven't seen it yet. Didn't know Writer's Tears was available in the US.

Edit: Ah, just occurred to me, you are probably live in or are near Canada, hence the access to these two.

WhiskyToWhiskey
04-14-2013, 07:54
Are you in the States and able to find those two locally? I had heard Green Spot was coming but haven't seen it yet. Didn't know Writer's Tears was available in the US.

I'm in Ontario, Canada. This is available for $85. Our selection is scaled down from most places in the State...I guess we are fortunate in this case.

portwood
04-14-2013, 08:47
I'm in Ontario, Canada. This is available for $85. Our selection is scaled down from most places in the State...I guess we are fortunate in this case.
Yeah, very fortunate to have a 700ml bottle of 40% NAS whisky available for the low low price of $85 :rolleyes:
I'll write a thank you note to the benevolent LCBO as soon as I finish this post.

tanstaafl2
04-14-2013, 08:55
Yeah, very fortunate to have a 700ml bottle of 40% NAS whisky available for the low low price of $85 :rolleyes:

Better than no local access at all I suppose. Which is what I have now.

Then again I probably spent less than $85 for the bottles of Green Spot I had shipped from the UK, including shipping. And now that the Powers John's Lane has shown up locally I can get a 750ml bottle of superb SPS 46% 12 yo whiskey for about $70-75.

So I will just have to make do with that! :cool:

DeanSheen
04-14-2013, 09:04
Red Breast 12 Cask Strength

Max Power
04-15-2013, 16:52
Red Breast is good. I really like Tyrconnell. Knappogue Castle 12 is a great value around here at $24. Bushmills 16 was something that I tried recently that was fantastic.

Richnimrod
04-15-2013, 17:33
I'm no particular fan of Irish Whiskey. Of the few I've tried, I would say the Tullamore Dew 12-year is the best, second would be ordinary Tullamore Dew, followed by Bushmills. One I tried and and found absolutely awful is 'The Tyrconnel', if I spelled that correctly. That one reminded me of kerosene that had been left too long opened up to the air.... EEEEEEWWWW! :bigeyes:

MyOldKyDram
04-15-2013, 17:55
Redbreast CS would be my fave, but looking forward to giving the Green and Yellow spot a go here in about a month.

Parkersback
04-15-2013, 20:06
I mentioned on another thread that I picked up a Powers 12 and that I was not terribly impressed. But it is growing on me, especially if I just throw a cube in it and don't ponder it too much.

Having said that, I will probably replace it with a standard Powers which can serve the same "on the rocks" purpose much cheaper.

Cigar Dan
04-15-2013, 20:51
Red Breast 12 Cask Strength

Ditto. Definitely my favorite.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

edo
04-16-2013, 06:21
I'm no particular fan of Irish Whiskey. Of the few I've tried, I would say the Tullamore Dew 12-year is the best, second would be ordinary Tullamore Dew, followed by Bushmills. One I tried and and found absolutely awful is 'The Tyrconnel', if I spelled that correctly. That one reminded me of kerosene that had been left too long opened up to the air.... EEEEEEWWWW! :bigeyes:

You must have gotten a bad bottle, maybe someone drank the whiskey, then filled it with kerosene to clean a bicycle chain later, ... or something.

I haven't had Redbrest, but I've had a few and I like them all. So there's not much difference between my top and bottom here, but here goes:

Connemara peated (especially the cask strength version, whoa!)
Black Bush
Bushmill's 10 y.o.
Green Spot
Tyrconnell
Powers
Clontarf
Tullamore Dew
Jameson 12
Jameson

smokinjoe
04-16-2013, 08:33
Red Breast 12 Cask Strength

My fave, as well. Listen, I'm a bourbon-first guy, but I'm not sure I can find more than a couple that I like better than this Irish. Definitely, in my All-Time Top 5 of all whiskies.

tanstaafl2
04-16-2013, 11:07
A less common Irish that I have taken a liking to is the Greenore 15yo. Unfortunately it is not readily available locally. The 8yo is more common and OK but a bit on the mild side.

This is an all grain (corn) mashbill that is aged in used bourbon barrels. The extra time in the barrel makes a significant difference though. Perhaps the appeal is because it seems a bit more bourbon-y than others.

Max Power
04-17-2013, 20:58
You must have gotten a bad bottle, maybe someone drank the whiskey, then filled it with kerosene to clean a bicycle chain later, ... or something.

I haven't had Redbrest, but I've had a few and I like them all. So there's not much difference between my top and bottom here, but here goes:

Connemara peated (especially the cask strength version, whoa!)
Black Bush
Bushmill's 10 y.o.
Green Spot
Tyrconnell
Powers
Clontarf
Tullamore Dew
Jameson 12
Jameson

Agreed. Tyrconnell is one of my favorites and is exceptionally smooth. Connemara is a smoky whiskey for sure. One that most people won't mention is 2 Gingers, which is only here in MN. It's another Cooley product, but it's got nice balanced vanilla and citrus. Good for sipping...great with ginger ale.

Young Blacksmith
04-18-2013, 07:52
Last week I would have said Redbreast 12, either proof. Last night I grabbed a Powers' John's Lane, and wow! Very similar to the Redbreast (probably off the same still) but the harsh penny flavor/bitterness I find easily in the Redbreast is hard to find in this, and replaced with some great honey notes. My list now looks like this:

Powers' John's Lane
Redbreast 12



everything else.

tanstaafl2
04-18-2013, 08:01
Agreed. Tyrconnell is one of my favorites and is exceptionally smooth. Connemara is a smoky whiskey for sure. One that most people won't mention is 2 Gingers, which is only here in MN. It's another Cooley product, but it's got nice balanced vanilla and citrus. Good for sipping...great with ginger ale.


Now that Beam owns Cooley it seems that 2 Gingers is likely to get broader distribution (http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2012/12/2_gingers_whiskey_acquired_by_beam_liquors.php). Seems to be a young whiskey primarily intended for mixing such as with ginger ale/beer to suit the younger "hip" crowd (although the name has more to do with the hair color than the soda apparently). Might try it if I see it but not one I am hunting for at the moment.

tanstaafl2
04-18-2013, 08:01
Last week I would have said Redbreast 12, either proof. Last night I grabbed a Powers' John's Lane, and wow! Very similar to the Redbreast (probably off the same still) but the harsh penny flavor/bitterness I find easily in the Redbreast is hard to find in this, and replaced with some great honey notes. My list now looks like this:

Powers' John's Lane
Redbreast 12



everything else.

Another convert! :cool:

Brisko
04-18-2013, 09:14
Now that Beam owns Cooley it seems that 2 Gingers is likely to get broader distribution (http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2012/12/2_gingers_whiskey_acquired_by_beam_liquors.php). Seems to be a young whiskey primarily intended for mixing such as with ginger ale/beer to suit the younger "hip" crowd (although the name has more to do with the hair color than the soda apparently). Might try it if I see it but not one I am hunting for at the moment.

It's pretty unremarkable. Fits into under $20 Irish category very well.

AaronWF
04-18-2013, 15:31
Last week I would have said Redbreast 12, either proof. Last night I grabbed a Powers' John's Lane, and wow! Very similar to the Redbreast (probably off the same still) but the harsh penny flavor/bitterness I find easily in the Redbreast is hard to find in this, and replaced with some great honey notes. My list now looks like this:

Powers' John's Lane
Redbreast 12



everything else.

I'm with you on the two in front of everything else, but my opinion differs twofold: 1) I find the RB12CS to be heads and tails in front of the lower proof version and would relegate that one to the 'everything else' category, and 2) I'm still not entirely convinced the PJL gets the #1 spot. I need to do a SBS before I fully commit, as it's been about a year since I last had the RB12CS. The PJL did not impress upon first sip like the RB12CS did, but it has grown on me quite a bit. I just need to make my bottle last until I have room to open up the RB!

Max Power
04-22-2013, 21:22
Now that Beam owns Cooley it seems that 2 Gingers is likely to get broader distribution (http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2012/12/2_gingers_whiskey_acquired_by_beam_liquors.php). Seems to be a young whiskey primarily intended for mixing such as with ginger ale/beer to suit the younger "hip" crowd (although the name has more to do with the hair color than the soda apparently). Might try it if I see it but not one I am hunting for at the moment.

It's not worth doing a lot of seeking out for. But since it's owned by a guy locally in MN, it's $17.99 for a liter and that's just a great price for it.

black mamba
04-24-2013, 22:59
I just tried Knappogue Castle 14 yr for the first time tonight, and it is simply delicious. We had it along with the Powers John's Lane 12 yr, which is my favorite Irish, and the KC14 held it's own. The KC14 has bright, grassy citrus flavors with a touch of raisiny richness, while the PJL12 is dark and brooding honeyed spice with a hint of fudge on the finish. The KC14 nose is simply one of the best out there. Try it.

tanstaafl2
07-10-2013, 11:22
Still not much news on the Redbreast 21 but I did find the label application (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=13074001000251). 92 proof isn't bad if that is what it proves to be. Same as the current 15yo.

MyOldKyDram
07-10-2013, 11:36
Yellow Spot still my favorite, but looking forward to trying the Powers John's Lane very soon. Heard so many great things about it.

sutton
07-10-2013, 16:18
It is hard not to like Irish - everything I've tried has had its place and it's hard to pick favorites. For Bushmill's, I'd say Black Bush for value, and the 16yo and 21yo when you want something rich/sweet. Also went over well with the non-whisk(e)y drinkers around me.

Redbreast 12 C.S. is absolutely fantastic, and I recently opened a Jameson's Gold (I think 15 yrs?) which was also rich and so soothing. Jameson's 12 was also incredibly nice for the price. Common theme for me in Irish is the rich creaminess I get off of every dram.

Can't say which has been my favorite because for some time now I've been looking for a Powers Johns Lane and a Green/Yellow Spot to try.

Mickbourbon
07-10-2013, 16:44
Yellow Spot still my favorite, but looking forward to trying the Powers John's Lane very soon. Heard so many great things about it.

Can you get Yellow spot in the US?

MyOldKyDram
07-10-2013, 16:50
Not that I know of. I think it may be here sometime later in the year.

tanstaafl2
07-10-2013, 19:09
Both Green Spot and Yellow appear to only be available north of the border at present although rumors of their arrival in the US have been circulating for some time. Powers John's Lane is available in at least some parts of the US.

whiskeyagonzo
07-10-2013, 19:46
Hands down Powers Johns Lane, although the Redbreast 12 CS is a close 2nd for me IMHO.

WhiskyRI
07-13-2013, 06:55
As others have mentioned I too enjoy Red Breast 12, a lot, but the value winner for me is hands down Knappogue 12 - when it is on sale. I periodically see it for $24 a bottle and at that price it's a definite bargain. I bought a bottle of it along with a bunch of open stuff to a St. Pats party to let people do self-guided tasting and it was the party favorite as well. I haven't had a chance to taste the spots or Powers John Lane but everything I've heard here jibes with what I've heard elsewhere. Not sure I'm ready to pay $80 a bottle for them but I'll definitely be opening the wallet for them sometime soon.