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10 Best Irish Whiskeys for Irish Coffee: Ranked (2023)

Last Updated on December 29, 2022 by Lydia Martin

One of the most popular beverages is coffee and whiskey, and pairing them together makes for an excellent treat.

With the coffee’s caffeine and whiskey’s alcohol, expect an energetic buzz with little to no hangover as you enjoy a delectable Irish Coffee and whiskey combo. 

For more options, check out the best Irish whiskeys for Irish coffee below. 

Top 10 Irish Whiskeys Ideal for Irish Coffee (Must Try)

10. The Sexton Single Malt

The Sexton Single Malt Bottle on a Wooden Table

Average Price: around $27.99 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: This Irish whiskey creates a lighter Irish Coffee, great for ending a heavy meal.

Its aroma resembles freshly baked cookies, with flavors like orange peel and baking spices.

This Irish whiskey is made from 100% Irish barley and is triple-distilled and aged in Oloroso sherry barrels for a smooth finish.

The flavor of this drink is rich in dried fruits and hints of oak.

9. Powers Three Swallow

Powers Three Swallow Irish Whiskey Bottle and a Glasses

Average Price: around $49 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 43.3% ABV 

Why We Like It: Power Three Swallow combines delicate herbs and green banana with grapefruit, adding a bit of interest to the classic drink. 

The blend of herbs and spices is complemented with a touch of cedar wood for a bit of complexity.

The spicy zing and the Pot Still barley character combined, creating a hint of sherry for a smooth finish.

8. Knappogue Castle 12-Year Single Malt Whiskey

Knappogue Castle 12-Year Single Malt Whiskey Bottle with glass and orange

Average Price: around $48 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: Castle Brands, Inc. introduces this triple-distilled Knappogue Castle 12-year single-malt whiskey.

As a signature expression, it’s made with malted barley, aged in Bourbon oak barrels for 12 years. 

We highly regard it as one of the best whiskey for making Irish coffee, as it boosts a very distinct flavor profile with a bit of fruit and a spicy wafer cookie. 

7. Writers Tears Copper Pot

Close Up Shot of Writers Tears Copper Pot Bottle

Average Price: around $40 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: A light, sweet Irish whiskey, Writers Tears, is made using a combination of single malt and pot still whiskeys, creating a fruity and honeyed flavor.

This is a very interesting whiskey, but it can also be challenging to drink.

But we usually associate this spirit with Irish Coffee due to its younger single-grain character with an elegant flavor.

6. Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey

Close Up Shot of Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey Bottle

Average Price: around $65 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: Kilbeggan’s single-grain Irish whiskey is made using a blend of 94% corn and 6% malt.

This is a light and easy-going drink that’s ideal for Irish Coffee and other mixed drinks or an aperitif.

You’ll love its apricot and sugar aromas, buttery, sweet, and nutmeg palate, and vanilla, lime peel, and fizzy oak finish. 

5. Slane Irish Whiskey Triple Cask

Slane Blended Irish Whiskey Triple Casked with Liquor Bottles on the Background

Average Price: around $20 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: The unique flavors of Slane Irish whiskey are brought together through the three different barrels, creating a rich and complex experience you can enjoy on its own or in Irish Coffee. 

The notes of banana, vanilla, and dried stone fruits add to the flavor of this drink.

It’s a smooth, robust, and complex whiskey with notes of spice and oak, giving it a unique flavor. Each sip allows you to explore deeper layers.

4. Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Bottles of Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey on a cabinet

Average Price: around $63 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: This is a great single-pot Irish whiskey for those who enjoy drinks on the lighter side.

It’s aged in both ex-bourbon and sherry barrels, and its fruity and oaky flavor pairs well with coffee.

This blend of unmalted and malted barley whiskey is from around 7 to 12 years old. It gives off a sweet-honey taste with hints of Scotland’s famous Perthshire malts. 

3. Bushmills Black Bush

Bottle of Bushmills Black Bush

Average Price: around $30 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: Bushmills Black Bush has more layers of baking spices and is made with a higher concentration of malt whiskey. 

Aged in sherry barrels, it creates a bit of spice to the drink. Its notes of dried fruit and spices are a perfect accompaniment to Irish coffee.

2. Jameson Caskmates – Stout Edition

Close Up Shot of Jameson Caskmates - Stout Edition Bottle

Average Price: around $31 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: Following a swap of whiskey and barrels, the result was the creation of the award-winning Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition. 

This triple-distilled Irish whiskey is aged in Irish craft beer barrels, making it a great spirit mix to the classic Irish Coffee. 

Using old whiskey barrels, Jameson Caskmates creates a new flavor, adding a bit of coffee, cocoa, and butterscotch to the traditional flavor.

1. Tullamore D.E.W

Average Price: around $18.99 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: Tullamore D.E.W is triple-distilled and aged using a combo of ex-bourbon barrels and sherry casks. 

“Because we don’t just have to make great whiskey, we have to make Tullamore D.E.W.”

John Quinn, Tullamore’s Global Ambassador

So it creates a unique and complex blend of flavor when mixed, making for an Irish coffee–perfect for any occasion. 

Expect a luxurious texture with notes of herbals and spices. What we like more about this spirit is that it’s also the cheapest bottle on the list.

FAQs 

Can you use single-malt Irish whiskey in Irish coffee?

Yes, you can use a single-malt Irish whisky in your Irish Coffee. Any Irish whiskey can be a great mix to the classic Irish Coffee due to the delicious flavor notes. 

What can you substitute for Irish whiskey in Irish coffee?

The best substitute for Irish whiskey in Irish Coffee is Scotch or any blended or non-peated whiskey due to their unique flavor profiles.

What is the origin of Irish coffee?

The origin of Irish Coffee starts with Joe Sheridan, the chef at Foynes Airport in Ireland, who created Irish Coffee in 1943 [1].

Can you use any type of whiskey for Irish coffee?

You can’t use any type of whiskey if you want to create classic and authentic Irish Coffee. But, if you want some twist, you can use another type. 

Final Verdict 

From the Sexton single malt to the Tullamore D.E.W [2] spirit, you can make great-tasting Irish Coffee with authenticity in mind. 

These Irish whiskeys are great bases for making Irish Coffee, imparting their delectable and satisfying flavor notes and finishes. 

While it’s fine to use any whiskey, it’s still highly recommended to use an Irish whiskey for your Irish Coffee.  

References:

  1. https://www.kqed.org/news/11621844/the-true-history-of-irish-coffee-and-its-san-francisco-origins 
  2. https://www.britannica.com/place/Offaly 

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