Last Updated on June 27, 2022 by Lydia Martin
If we look at the sales trend, Irish whiskey has been gaining popularity for years. As a result, more people decide to drink Irish whiskey. But, the big question here is– where to begin? For some, the easiest way is simply opting for well-known names in the market – and start from there.
But isn’t it better to try out other options? If we think alike, we’ll show you our list of the best Irish whiskey for beginners.
Table of Contents
Top 12 Irish Whiskeys For Beginners
12. Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey
Not many people know about this Irish whiskey, not because of its inferior quality but because it’s just not popular. But, based on our spirit professionals, you shouldn’t miss this one out– reasonably enough to reach on this list.
This is a decent whiskey bottled at around 40% to 46% ABV (alcohol by volume)  and features honey and vanilla tasting notes. This blended whiskey, made from Bourbon and refill casks, has been carefully selected to create a smooth and creamy finish.
You’ll find hints of citrus and cereal on the nose, while on the palate, expect more sweet and creamy notes.
11. Writers Tears Copper Pot
If you’re looking for a gift, then Writers Tears Irish whiskey is a perfect choice. This smooth and easy-to-drink whiskey is a great way to introduce someone to the world of Irish whiskey. This sweet whiskey is made using a combination of single malt and single pot still, which produces a variety of fruity notes.
This is a good whiskey with a lot of notes of honey, vanilla, and fruit. It’s also very smooth and has a good blend of sweet, smooth Scottish whisky. The nose lingers with honeyed notes and a hint of oak.
10. The Irishman Single Malt
The Irishman is a traditional Irish spirit. This single malt Irish whiskey is made from triple-distilled whiskey using 100% malted barley, aged in both Oloroso Sherry casks and ex-Bourbon barrels. It has a distinct fruit and character of malty woods.
The nose of this whiskey is very light and fruity. There are various notes, such as honey and sugar. There is also a lot of fruit, such as peaches and almonds. The taste has plenty of sweet and savory notes. The finish is also very long, with a good oak flavor.
9. Teeling Single Malt
In Ireland, the family behind the famous whiskey brand, known as The Teeling, started out with a small amount of whiskey for a couple of years before it was fully established in 2015. Teeling is an interesting Irish single malt whiskey made from 5 wine-cask-finished whiskeys – Sherry, White Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Port, and Madeira.
On the nose, there are some notes like citrus, vanilla, honey, and fresh herbs. The taste is also full of spices and fruit. But, since this is not a peated whiskey, it doesn’t have smoky notes.
8. Bushmills 10 Year Old
Bushmills is one of the most prominent distilleries among others. Its flagship product, the Bushmills 10 Year Old, uses 100% malted barley. It is an Irish whiskey with many characteristics similar to Scotch whisky really worth trying.
On the nose, you’ll be able to find banana skins and butter mint with lots of sugar and vanilla caused by using ex-Bourbon casks. The palate has a lot of fruity notes, with chocolate pudding as an aroma due to the use of copper stills.
7. Teeling Single Grain
This is one of the single grain whiskeys aged from California’s Cabernet Sauvignon and features a light body and rich flavor. The nose is filled with intense red wine flavors, and the palate is delicate with just enough balance of spice.
The aroma of California’s favorite red wine blends with soft berries and roasted spices. The flavors start with a gentle tone of green apples and rhubarb before a spice steamroller spins through and releases star anise and other aromatics. A dry and vibrant finish characterizes the finish.
6. Bushmills Red Bush
This astonishingly solid value bottle comes from the affirmed world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, Old Bushmills Distillery. This blended Irish whiskey features an exceptionally smooth mix of Irish whiskies: Irish single malt whiskey and Irish single grain whiskey.
It’s a great start to any whiskey lover’s journey. The flavors of cinnamon, chocolate, and caramel are intense, while the finish is more complex with burnt sugar, black pepper, and wood char notes. We recommend this fine whiskey served chilled or neat, which is the best to kick off the night or an additional ingredient to cocktails.
5. Redbreast 12-year-old
This spirit is a highly regarded single-pot still whiskey made using malted and unmalted barley, ideal for anyone who enjoys Irish whiskey. The nose is bright and citrusy, and the palate is smooth and creamy, with flavors of nougat, s’mores, and French toast.
This is an exquisite and complex blend of honeyed and silky texture. It features a variety of fruits and spices, such as toasted marshmallows, banana bread, and maple syrup. Its creamy and smooth balance is complemented by sweet and tart fruit layers.
4. Powers Three Swallow
One of the distillers in Ireland makes this pot still whiskey, which they are proud of introducing a drink with the same taste as when John Power started the brand in the 18th century. Whether it is true or not is irrelevant, as this is a complex and accessible taste. The nose offers hints of dried fruit and spices with floral aromas, while the palate is full of nuts and cream.
You’ll find its creamy and smooth texture, with citrus and green apple hints, interesting. It’s also got a long and satisfying finish, with a burst of heat and a coconut-y taste.
3. Green Spot
Produced at Midleton Distillery, alongside Yellow Spot and Red Spot, this non-age statement pot still whiskey is exceptionally qualified to be on this list. This Irish pot still whiskey is an easy-to-drink spirit, made using unmalted barley and malted barley, perfect for beginners.
Expect a grassy one with hints of apples on the nose. Also, you’ll love its almost chewy and oily palate with butterscotch, vanilla, and honey on the finish. Aged in a blend of first and second-fill Bourbon casks and sherry casks, you can never go wrong with Green Spot still whiskey.
2. Connemara Peated
Unlike most Irish whiskeys that are triple-distilled, this drink is double distilled. Since it’s made from peated ingredients, it has a distinct smoky flavor. This whiskey was originally aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and wooden casks.
This is a combination of single malt whiskeys that features a bit of smoke, but it’s not the hardcore Islay smoke commonly found in some Scotch single malts. Instead, it’s a sweet, honeyed whiskey full of floral notes. The taste is smooth with full notes of malt and barley.
1. Jameson Irish Whiskey
Without a doubt, the list of best Irish whiskeys would not be complete without the iconic, popular, and widely known Jameson Irish whiskey. This is the bottle that everybody knows and the taste that everyone recognizes.
The nose is filled with floral notes, such as honeyed fruits and cut grass. There is also fresh fruit such as pears and apples on the palate, paired with a creamy and syrupy dessert. The finish is also full of honey and spices.
Additionally, you can enjoy drinking Jameson with a few drops of water or best mixed with lemon juice.
Ultimate Buying Guide
When choosing a whiskey, it’s important to consider a smooth and creamy finish. This is because Irish whiskey has less alcohol burn than other types of whiskey. This is also beneficial for those new to the drink as it makes it more approachable.
According to our first-time whiskey drinkers, the taste of Irish whiskey can be a bit delicate in the mouth, which is surprising since most expect it to be harsh. For those looking for more descriptive terms, look for “silky” or “smooth” in reviews.
It’s essential to consider the price of a bottle of Irish whiskey when choosing a good one. But make sure not to sacrifice quality. You can always find the best bottles at an affordable price range– especially if you’re just starting out.
However, if the price doesn’t matter to you, you can try all the Irish whiskey you want.
Of course, in choosing the best Irish whiskey, it’s just natural to consider the brand of the spirit. Nowadays, Bushmills and Jameson are two of the most well-known brands in the world of Irish whiskey.
It is safe to say that reputable whiskey brands have been producing whiskey that’s top-of-the-line, like Bushmills 10 Year Old and Jameson Irish whiskey, respectively. As people patronize the brand, we can conclude that they deliver quality and satisfaction to whiskey enthusiasts.
What is the smoothest Irish whiskey for beginners?
The smoothest Irish whiskey for beginners is the Writers Tears Copper Pot drink. This sweet whiskey is made using single malt and a single pot still. Combining these two components produces a variety of flavors that beginners will surely love.
What’s a good inexpensive Irish whiskey suitable for beginners?
Jameson is a good inexpensive Irish whiskey perfect for beginners. This spirit would not be number 1 on most whiskey lists for nothing. Despite its brand reputation, it is one of the Irish whiskeys that remain affordable.
As you can see, our number one pick as the best Irish whiskey for beginners is the undefeated Jameson spirit. Every whiskey drinker would agree that Jameson has the qualities, characteristics, and depth that everyone will love.
But you’re not limited to Jameson alone. You have the freedom to choose which bottle will suit your taste, standard, and satisfaction. That’s why we made this list just for you. So, which bottle would be your first Irish whiskey? Or better yet, try them all out neat, on the rocks, or with an Irish coffee!
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.