If like me you enjoy the taste of Irish whiskey, then you will enjoy browsing through my list below, of what we call the best options available on the UK market. The reality is that few of us will be able to afford to treat ourselves with some of these. But you know what there is nothing wrong with having a look.
If you do ever win the lottery, then you can just go for it, and try the whole darned lot.
Irish whiskey is spelt as "whiskey" whereas Scottish whisky is spelt as whisky (no "e")
Which Brands Make Irish Whiskey?
There are around 40 different makers of Irish whiskey. The best known are Bushmills, Jamesons, Powers and Tullamore Dew. We have shown the full list just below.
- Athru Annacoona
- Black Irish
- Grace O'Malley
- Green Spot
- Kirker & Greer
- Proper No Twelve
- Roe & Co
- Sadlers Peaky Blinder
- Samuel Gelston
- Shanky's Whip
- Sliabh Liag
- Tullamore Dew
- The Dead Rabbit
- The Dubliner
- The Dublin Liberties
- The Irishman
- The Irish Founders
- The Pogues
- The Sexton
- Writer's Tears
- Yellow Spot
Jameson Triple Distilled Blended Irish Whiskey
Jameson have a number of Irish whiskies and their triple distilled one shown here is their most popular choice from their Dublin distillery.
They also do a Jameson's Original, an 18 year old whiskey, a crested whiskey, a black barrel blended whiskey and a Caskmates stout edition
This tripe distilled is a blend of traditional Irish pot still and fine grain whiskeys, which have been matured for at least four years
It has a sweet and smooth vanilla flavour with a 40% volume
It is best served with ice, and some prefer it with ginger ale & lime
96% buyer satisfaction based on 8,000 online reviews
Jameson also make a stout edition whiskey, a crested triple whiskey, a black barrel whiskey, an original whiskey and a Jameson orange flavoured whiskey
Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey
This is a 1 litre bottle and if we had to pick just one Irish whiskey then it would be this one. (40% proof)
Made in the County Antrim town of Northern Ireland this famous Bushmills distillery has existed since 1608
This "black bush" is matured in sherry casks, with 80% malt whiskey, and 20% of a sweet, batch distilled grain whiskey
This whiskey has a rich fruitcake aroma and a soft and silky texture with nutty character.
96% buyer satisfaction based on 3,000 online reviews
Bushmills make 5 whiskies, this Black Bush, an original blend, a 10 year old single malt, a 16 year old single malt and a 21 year old single malt whiskey.
Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Redbreast is the largest selling Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey in the world (40% vol)
This whiskey is matured in sherry and bourbon seasoned oak casks for at least 12 years
It has a full flavour with a fruity, smooth and spicy taste and is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley, then triple distilled in copper pot stills
They started making whiskey as far back as 1857 in Dublin under the name of Gilbeys
This 12 year old malt remains their best seller and this is a 70 cl bottle that comes in a gift box and is 40% proof
96% buyer satisfaction based on 2,500 online reviews
Redbreast also make a 15 year old and a 21 year old single pot still whiskey.
Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey 2021
This is a Midleton exceptionally rare whiskey and it is a 70 cl bottle at 40% proof
Midleton Very Rare is consistently awarded the highest honours in whiskey awards, it was most recently awarded double gold at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition
This whiskey is made from barley grains and has a sweetness of vanilla, cinnamon and clove, enriched with a hint of green apple and unripe banana.
96% buyer satisfaction based on 200 online reviews
The Dublin Liberties 16 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
This is a 70 cl bottle with a 46% volume and is a 16 year-old triple distilled single malt Irish Whiskey
This is full of fudge and soft toffee aromas, toasted hazelnuts and baked banana with sea salt caramel
On the palate it tastes of poached pear, warm treacle tart and big fruity note of dried apricots dominate.
It is matured in 16 years in American oak casks bestow a substantial wood influence giving a salted butter mouth-feel
The dark auburn hue is imparted by Pedro Ximénez sherry butts in which the whiskey finally rests. The finish is smooth and round with honeyed sweetness
92% buyer satisfaction based on 100+ online reviews
The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey
This is a 70 cl bottle with a 40% volume and is a single malt that is best to be drunk neat or over ice
It is of course made from malted barley grown in Ireland and has been triple distilled in Oloroso sherry casks
It has initial aromas of nuts and dark chocolate with an after taste of all spice and fruits
The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey is crafted by Master Blender Alex Thomas, one of Ireland’s few female whiskey blenders, now at the Bushmill's distillery.
94% buyer satisfaction based on 1,500+ online reviews
What are units of alcohol?
A UK unit of alcohol is 10 millilitres of pure alcohol. If for example you drink 10ml of pure alcohol, then 60 minutes later there should be virtually none left in your bloodstream.
In the UK most bottles and cans show the number of alcohol units they contain.
For example, most Irish whiskey has an ABV of 40%. If you bought a 1 litre (1,000ml) bottle of whiskey it would contain 400ml of pure alcohol. This is 40 units as 10ml of pure alcohol = one unit.
So, in 100ml of whiskey, there would be 4 units and as such a 25ml single measure of Irish whiskey would contain 1 unit of alcohol.
What does 40% ABV mean?
Most Irish whiskey has a 40% ABV also referred to as 40% volume. ABV stands for "Alcohol by Volume." If for example you bought a bottle of whiskey with an ABV of 40%, the 70cl X 40% = 24cl which is the amount of actual alcohol in the bottle.
The remaining contents include flavours, water and other ingredients.
Hopefully that has cleared up any confusion.
How Much is 70 cl?
70 cl is the standard size for a bottle of spirits. cl stands for a centilitre, which is one hundredth of a litre. So a 70 cl bottle of alcohol is actually 0.7 litres. That is the same as 1.23 pints.
Now it can get confusing, and we don't like confusion, so hopefully the information below clears this up.
If you go into a bar in the UK and order a whiskey for example, their standard measure is 25ml and in Northern Ireland it is 35 ml. (Some bars in the UK also serve a 35 ml size)
25 ml is the same as 2.5 cl and 35 ml is the same as 3.5 cl
So if you bought a bottle of Irish whiskey sized 70 cl, you would get 28 x 25ml measures from the bottle.
If you are more used to a 35 ml measure you would get 20 measures.
Hopefully that has cleared up any confusion.
Irish whiskey is considered to be some of the best in the world, and is certainly a very popular choice of drink in Ireland. With over 40 different brands to pick from, there is no lack of choice.
They export a lot of whiskey to the value of around 620 million Euro with around 60% of that going to the USA according to the Irish Whiskey Association.