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10 Best Irish Whiskey For The Money (2024 Updated)

Best Irish Whiskeys For The Money

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Lydia Martin

While the oldest Irish whiskey has been around since the early 1600s, its tough competition with Scotch whisky has led it to become almost obsolete (by 1970, there were only two operational distilleries!). 

Thankfully, there’s a stronger demand for this spirit in recent years, and we’ve seen Irish distilleries pop out one after the other. If you want to know which bottle you should spend your hard-earned money on, here are our picks for the best Irish whiskeys for the money. 

Get ready to say “Sláinte!” 

Top 10 Best Irish Whiskey for the Money 

1. The Irishman Single Malt

best irish whiskey for the money

We seriously don’t know how The Irishman Single Malt could be single malt yet remain affordable at just about $50 a pop. [1] This award-winning whiskey is made from malted barley, triple-distilled, and aged inside oak bourbon barrels, after which it finishes in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. 

The final spirit is decidedly sweet, delightfully fruity, and exceptionally smooth. We feel like we should’ve paid a lot more for this! 

2. Redbreast 15 Year 

Redbreast 15 Year

The runner-up Redbreast 15 Year is one of the stronger bottles at 46 percent ABV. This blended Irish whiskey is made from pot still whiskey and aged for a minimum of 15 years. 

This spirit is exceptionally smooth and creamy, and it owes a lot of it to the lengthy aging process. A wide range of flavors — malty, creamy, and fruity — turns into a flavor explosion on your tongue. Although it’s a bit more expensive than we’d like, we still have to say that it’s a nice splurge. 

Read: What’s the Most Expensive Irish Whiskey?

3. Proper No. Twelve 

Proper No. Twelve

Proper No. Twelve is known as Conor McGregor’s Irish whiskey brand. It may be younger than most of its counterparts, but we believe you’re getting more than the $20-ish you paid for it. It’s malty and fruity, with herbal and floral aromas on the nose. This easy drinker, made from single malts and the finest golden grains, will do exceptionally well when mixed into cocktails. 

Read: Proper 12 vs Jameson Irish Whiskey

4. Hinch Irish Whiskey Small Batch

Hinch Irish Whiskey Small Batch

Hinch is made from single malt and grain whiskey and matured in ex-bourbon casks for at least three years. This whiskey has strong caramel and vanilla notes, heavily influenced by the bourbon casks. 

Its rich profile will make it a wonderful addition to most spirit-forward cocktails, such as a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned

5. Michael Collins Irish Whiskey

Michael Collins Irish Whiskey

Michael Collins is made from pot still, malt, and grain whiskeys, which gives it a decent amount of malty sweetness, laced with dried fruit notes. This spirit has a bit of a dark undertone, like burnt toast and coal, that only contributes to the complexity of the final spirit. 

6. Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey

Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey

Paddy’s is probably one of the best bangs for your buck! Paddy’s Old is made from a gorgeous blend of three different Irish whiskeys, resulting in a light and mellow spirit. It is malty and sweet on the palate, following a red berry and fresh banana finish. 

7. Egan’s Irish Whiskey Vintage Grain

Egan’s Irish Whiskey Vintage Grain

It’s not often that Irish whiskey is made from single grain whiskey, but Egan’s does it right! Egan’s Vintage Grain is made by sixth-generation Jonathan Egan, one of the world’s biggest and most influential whiskey families. The spirit is smooth and creamy, with vanilla fudge and caramel notes. 

8. Lost Irish 

Lost Irish

Lost Irish is made from three different Irish whiskies — grain, malt, and pot still — and aged in casks from six different continents. 

While that may sound busy and all over the place, this seasoned whiskey is decidedly sweet, rich, and creamy, with a peppery, spicy finish — overall, very focused indeed and a great whiskey for your money! 

Read: What’s the Most Affordable Whiskey to Drink Straight?

9. Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey

Teeling Small Batch

Teeling was the first distillery to open up in Dublin after 125 years of being absent from the whiskey business.

This small-batch whiskey undergoes an initial aging period in ex-bourbon barrels and finishes in ex-rum ones. It’s slightly sweeter than most other labels, with caramelized sugar and honey flavor notes. 

Read: Green Spot Irish Whiskey Guide

10. Two Stacks The First Cut Irish Whiskey

Two Stacks The First Cut with glass on desk

Two Stacks is bottled straight without chill-filtering. This spirit is made from a complex blend of light and dark grains, double and peated malt, and pot still whiskeys.

As a result, the spirit is rife with botanicals, dried pineapple, candied citrus, and almond flavors. 

Read: Top Cheap Irish Whiskey Brands

What’s The Proper Way of Drinking Irish Whiskey? 

If we’re being truly anal, the most proper way of drinking Irish whiskey is to enjoy it neat. This allows you to appreciate all its flavor nuances fully. 

You can take a look at the components of the spirit and see which one you gravitate towards. Below is a cheat sheet on flavors you can usually expect: 

  • Blended or single grain Irish whiskey: soft and neutral flavors 
  • Single malt Irish whiskey: oaky and woodsy (best for those who prefer single malt scotch or peaty scotch) 
  • Single pot still Irish whiskey: rich and decadent 

You can begin by drinking a single label first and branching out to different age statements to see how aging influences the final spirit. Lastly, test out different barrel finishes and see the difference. 

After you’ve familiarized yourself with drinking it neat, you can go ahead and try them in mixed drinks (we love them with ginger ale and a bit of honey!). 

A general rule of thumb is that you’ll surely love the whiskey in a cocktail if you like the whiskey neat. But what makes Irish whiskey different?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the oldest Irish whiskey?

The oldest Irish whiskey is the Old Bushmills Distillery, located in Northern Ireland.

According to history, our ancestors have been brewing whiskey in this location since the early 1600s. 

What is the best Irish whiskey for beginners?

The best Irish whiskey for beginners is either Bushmills or Jameson Irish whiskey.

These are the oldest brands in the industry and are very approachable.

Jameson’s familiar green bottle can be found in nearly every liquor store in the world!  

What is the best Irish whiskey to drink straight?

The best Irish whiskey to drink straight is The Irishman Single Malt.

It is a gorgeous single-malt whiskey with an exceptionally smooth mouthfeel.

We’re not sure how it can be single malt yet stay extremely affordable! 

What are the top 5 Irish whiskey brands?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, some of the top Irish whiskey brands include Jameson, Bushmills, Redbreast, Powers, and Teeling.

These brands are well-regarded for their quality and diverse expressions, ranging from smooth blends to rich single malts.

What is the best Irish whiskey to start with?

For beginners exploring Irish whiskey, Jameson is often recommended.

Its smooth and approachable flavor profile makes it an excellent entry point into the world of Irish whiskey.

Jameson is a blended whiskey known for its triple distillation process, resulting in a light and mellow character.

What is the best Irish whiskey of the year 2023?

I don’t have information on events or specific products beyond January 2022.

To find the best Irish whiskey of 2023, it’s advisable to check reputable sources such as whiskey competitions, awards, and expert reviews as the year progresses.

The World Whiskies Awards and the Irish Whiskey Awards are notable competitions that assess and acknowledge outstanding whiskey releases.

How do I choose an Irish whiskey?

Choosing an Irish whiskey depends on individual preferences.

Consider factors such as flavor profile (whether you prefer a light and sweet or a robust and complex whiskey), the type of whiskey (blended, single malt, or single pot still), and your budget.

Exploring reviews, attending tastings, and seeking recommendations from knowledgeable sources can also help in making an informed choice.

What is the number one selling Irish whiskey in the world?

Jameson is widely recognized as the number one selling Irish whiskey globally.

Produced by the Irish Distillers subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, Jameson is renowned for its smooth and versatile character.

Its popularity extends beyond Ireland, making it a staple in many countries and a go-to choice for those new to Irish whiskey.

Is Irish whiskey better than Scotch?

The question of whether Irish whiskey is better than Scotch is subjective and depends on individual preferences.

Both Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky have distinct characteristics and flavor profiles shaped by their production methods and regional influences.

Irish whiskey is known for its smooth and approachable nature, often featuring triple distillation, while Scotch whisky can showcase a wide range of flavors influenced by factors like peat, region, and maturation.

Ultimately, the “better” choice depends on personal taste and the desired drinking experience.

Why is Irish whiskey the best?

The assertion that Irish whiskey is the best is a matter of personal opinion.

Irish whiskey has gained acclaim for its smoothness, versatility, and the use of triple distillation in some expressions, resulting in a lighter and milder character.

The industry’s emphasis on quality, craftsmanship, and traditional methods has contributed to the global recognition of Irish whiskey.

However, what makes a whiskey the “best” is subjective and varies among individuals with different taste preferences.

What are the 4 types of Irish whiskey?

There are four main types of Irish whiskey:

Single Malt: Made from 100% malted barley and distilled in a pot still at a single distillery.

Single Pot Still: Made from a mix of malted and unmalted barley, distilled in a pot still at a single distillery.

Single Grain: Produced using malted barley and at least one other type of grain, distilled in a column or patent still at a single distillery.

Blended Irish Whiskey: A blend of two or more of the above types, often combining different styles to achieve a desired flavor profile.

Why is Irish whiskey so good?

Irish whiskey is often praised for its quality due to factors such as the use of high-quality ingredients, careful distillation processes, and the influence of traditional craftsmanship.

Additionally, the emphasis on smoothness and approachability, along with a commitment to innovation and diverse expressions, contributes to the overall appeal of Irish whiskey.

Each distillery’s unique approach and regional influences further add to the variety and richness of the Irish whiskey landscape.

Final Thoughts: Best Irish Whiskey For The Money

Many think Irish whiskey is the gateway to whiskey because of its mellow and light flavor profile. These are our favorite Irish whiskeys that’ll give you the best bang for your buck. 

However, if we were to name a winner, we’d have to say that the best Irish whiskey for the money is The Irishman Single Malt. The exceptionally smooth spirit is made with the best single malt and is light and fruity. The spirit is aged ten years in two different casks before being bottled. 

We still can’t believe we got all that for about $50-ish! 

Reference: 

  1. Why a bottle of single malt whisky can cost up to $1.5M

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