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12 Best Irish Whiskeys For Beginners (2024 Updated)

Best Irish Whiskeys For Beginners

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 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. 

Top 12 Irish Whiskeys For Beginners 

12. Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey

Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey, best irish whiskey for beginners

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) [1] 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

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 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

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 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

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. But what’s the best cheap Irish whiskey?

6. Bushmills Red Bush

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

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

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

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

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 

Jameson

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

Smooth Finish

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.

Price Point

Whiskey glass with Dalmore and cigar

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. 

Brand Reliability

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. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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.

Which whiskey is best for first-time drinkers?

For first-time whiskey enthusiasts, it’s advisable to start with a whiskey that possesses a milder flavor profile. Many beginners find bourbons or blended whiskies to be approachable choices due to their smoother and less intense taste. Brands like Jameson, Glenfiddich, or Maker’s Mark are often recommended for novices as they offer a balanced introduction to the diverse world of whiskey.

Is Irish whiskey easy to drink?

Yes, Irish whiskey is generally considered easy to drink, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts. It is known for its smooth and approachable character, often featuring a lighter body and a subtle combination of sweet and fruity notes. The triple distillation process, commonly used in Irish whiskey production, contributes to its smoothness, making it a delightful experience for those exploring whiskey for the first time.

What are the top 5 Irish whiskey brands?

The world of Irish whiskey boasts a variety of outstanding brands, each with its unique characteristics. Some of the top Irish whiskey brands include:

Jameson: Renowned globally, Jameson is celebrated for its smooth and versatile flavor profile, making it a favorite for many whiskey drinkers.

Bushmills: With a history dating back to 1608, Bushmills offers a range of well-crafted whiskies, known for their quality and craftsmanship.

Redbreast: Recognized for its single pot still expressions, Redbreast is admired for its rich and full-bodied whiskies, appealing to those who enjoy complexity in their drinks.

Teeling: A newer player in the Irish whiskey scene, Teeling is gaining popularity for its innovative approach to whiskey production and diverse range of expressions.

Midleton Very Rare: This premium brand produces limited-edition, high-quality whiskies that are highly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs.

Is Jack Daniel’s good for beginners?

Jack Daniel’s, specifically Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, is often recommended for beginners due to its smooth and slightly sweet flavor profile. It is a Tennessee whiskey, which undergoes an additional charcoal filtering process known as the Lincoln County Process, contributing to its mellow taste. The familiar and widely available nature of Jack Daniel’s makes it an accessible choice for those new to whiskey.

Which is the smoothest whiskey?

Determining the smoothest whiskey is subjective as individual preferences play a significant role. However, some whiskies are renowned for their smoothness, appealing to a broad audience. Brands like Glenlivet, Bushmills, and Glenmorangie are often praised for their velvety textures and well-balanced flavors, making them popular choices among those seeking a smoother whiskey experience. Additionally, high-quality blended whiskies, such as Johnnie Walker Blue Label, are recognized for their smooth and harmonious profiles, making them suitable for both beginners and connoisseurs alike.

Is Glenfiddich a good whisky?

Yes, Glenfiddich is widely regarded as a high-quality whisky. As one of the most iconic single malt Scotch whiskies, Glenfiddich is esteemed for its craftsmanship, rich history, and diverse range of expressions. Its approachable flavor profile, often featuring notes of pear, apple, and malt, makes it a favorite among both beginners and seasoned whisky enthusiasts.

Which is the tastiest whiskey?

The tastiness of a whiskey is subjective and depends on individual preferences. Whiskies like Macallan, Glenlivet, and Glenmorangie are often praised for their rich and complex flavors, appealing to those who enjoy a combination of sweet, fruity, and oaky notes. However, the tastiest whiskey ultimately varies from person to person, influenced by personal flavor preferences and the specific characteristics one seeks in a whisky.

Which whisky is best and cheap?

Several whiskies offer a good balance between quality and affordability. Brands like Evan Williams, Buffalo Trace, and Jameson are known for providing excellent value for money. These whiskies often deliver a pleasant drinking experience without breaking the bank, making them popular choices for those seeking a budget-friendly yet enjoyable whisky option.

How do I choose an Irish whiskey?

Choosing an Irish whiskey involves considering personal preferences and the occasion for which you plan to enjoy it. If you’re new to Irish whiskey, opt for well-known and approachable brands like Jameson or Bushmills, which offer a smooth and versatile introduction. For those who appreciate complexity, exploring single pot still expressions like Redbreast can be rewarding. Consider the flavor profile, whether you prefer sweet, fruity, or more robust notes, and read reviews or seek recommendations from knowledgeable sources to guide your selection.

What is the most popular Irish Whisky?

Jameson stands out as one of the most popular and widely consumed Irish whiskies globally. Its smooth and mild flavor profile, combined with its accessibility and versatility, has contributed to its widespread appeal. Jameson’s triple-distilled process and aging in a mix of American and European oak barrels create a balanced and approachable whisky that has earned its reputation as a go-to choice for both newcomers and seasoned whisky drinkers alike.Top of Form

Final Verdict: Best Irish Whiskey For Beginners

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

Reference:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/story/why-is-alcohol-measured-by-proof
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