Published at: 03-02-2023

Raise A Glass On St. Patrick's Day With The Best Irish Whiskey: A Guide To The Top Brands and Distilleries

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated annually on March 17th, but how did this holiday come about? 

As a religious and cultural celebration, St. Patrick's Day honors St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday was first observed in Ireland, but it is now observed all over the world, especially in nations where there are sizable Irish expatriate populations.

In the fifth century, a Christian missionary named St. Patrick is credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland. He is claimed to have expelled the snakes from Ireland and used the three-leafed shamrock to teach the Irish people about the Holy Trinity, according to tradition.

St. Patrick's Day was first observed as a Catholic feast day, but it has since evolved into a more secular celebration of Irish culture and tradition. Ireland has always observed the holiday, and in 1903 it received official recognition as a national public holiday.

St. Patrick's Day was initially observed in the United States in the late 18th century when Irish immigrants conducted parades and other celebrations to honor their history. St. Patrick's Day is now observed with parades, festivals, and other cultural activities in many nations across the world.

Irish whiskey and St. Patrick's Day share a common background and are significant components of Irish culture.

Irish whiskey has a lengthy and colorful past that dates back to the country's early Middle Ages. The spirit has been made in Ireland for centuries and is prized for its mellow, silky flavor and unique personality.

Many people all over the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day by sipping on some Irish whiskey. Irish whiskey is a popular choice for those wishing to celebrate the holiday in style, whether it is drunk neat or incorporated into a cocktail.

Irish whiskey has had a resurgence in popularity recently, as evidenced by the expansion of distilleries all throughout Ireland. Irish whiskey's recognition as a significant component of Irish culture and tradition has grown as a result, increasing its appeal on a global scale. 

There are many well-known Irish whiskey brands, and each has its own distinctive qualities and flavor profiles. The following are some of the most well-known Irish whiskey brands:

Jameson: One of the most well-known and popular Irish whiskey brands in the world is Jameson. Jameson is a preferred whiskey among drinkers of all skill levels due to its smooth, mellow flavor and distinctive triple-distilled production process.

Bushmills: With roots in the 17th century, Bushmills is another well-known Irish whiskey brand. The company is well-known for its particular flavor profile, which includes oak, vanilla, and undertones of honey.

Tullamore Dew: The Irish whiskey brand Tullamore Dew is renowned for its mellow, approachable flavor. The company creates a variety of styles, ranging from the traditional Tullamore Dew to more intricate and flavorful single malt and blended whiskies.

Redbreast: Redbreast is a high-end Irish whiskey brand renowned for its full-bodied flavor and sophisticated fragrances. The company offers a number of distinct expressions, such as 12-, 15-, and 21-year-old single malts.

Powers: Another well-liked Irish whiskey brand, Powers is renowned for its flavorful character and smooth, peppery taste. The company makes a variety of whiskies, including single malt, blended, and pot still varieties.

Teeling: The Teeling Distillery is a boutique whiskey distillery located in Dublin, Ireland. It is the first new distillery to open in Dublin in over 125 years and produces a range of premium Irish whiskeys.

Waterford: The Waterford Distillery is a modern, sustainable distillery located in Waterford, Ireland. It specializes in producing terroir-driven single malt whiskies using 100% Irish-grown barley from individual farms.

Cooley: The Cooley Distillery is an Irish whiskey distillery known for producing high-quality single malt, single grain, and blended whiskeys using both pot stills and column stills. It was founded in 1987 by John Teeling and is now owned by Beam Suntory, but continues to produce award-winning whiskeys and offers tours and tastings for visitors.

Jameson Distillery

Jameson Distillery

One of the most well-known and highly regarded Irish whiskey brands in the world is produced by the Jameson Distillery. John Jameson founded his distillery in Dublin, Ireland, in 1780, beginning the long and illustrious history of the brand.

Jameson has developed a recognizable triple-distilled production method that is known for producing whiskey with a smooth, mellow flavor that is adored by whiskey enthusiasts all over the world. The company manufactures a variety of whiskeys under its own name, such as the traditional Jameson Irish Whiskey, Jameson Caskmates, and Jameson Black Barrel.

The Jameson Distillery is renowned for its dedication to social responsibility and the production of premium Irish whiskey. The distillery has put in place a variety of steps to lessen its impact on the environment and help the neighborhood, such as using renewable energy, using less water, and supporting regional charities and groups.

A tour of the distillery, information about the brand's past, and even the opportunity to create their own whiskey blend are all available to guests of the Jameson Distillery. In addition, a variety of activities and tastings are available at the distillery, such as whiskey and food pairings, cocktail making lessons, and more.

Ultimately, everyone interested in Irish whiskey and the vibrant cultural history of Ireland should visit the Jameson Distillery.

Buy Jameson whiskey here.

Bushmills Distillery

Bushmills Distillery

The oldest licensed whiskey distillery in Ireland is the Bushmills Distillery, located in Northern Ireland. It was granted a license to distill whiskey in 1608, making it over 400 years old. However, there are some other distilleries that can trace their roots back even further, but they may not have been continuously in operation or may not have been licensed to produce whiskey during certain periods of history. 

The flavor profile of the Bushmills brand is distinctive and is characterized by overtones of wood, vanilla, and honey. In addition to the traditional Bushmills Irish Whiskey, the company also makes single malt and blended whiskies that are more sophisticated and subtle.

The Bushmills Distillery's location is on the banks of the River Bush, which offers a source of pure, clear water for use in the manufacturing process, and is one of its distinctive qualities. The distillery also ages its whiskey in traditional wooden casks and copper stills, giving it a rich, full-bodied flavor that whiskey drinkers all over the world like.

Visitors can take a tour of the distillery, learn about the brand's history and manufacturing process, and even try their hand at creating their own whiskey blend. The distillery also provides a variety of other experiences and tastings, such as cocktail lessons, food and whiskey pairings, and more.

In general, anyone interested in Irish whiskey and the rich cultural background of Northern Ireland should visit the Bushmills Distillery. The Bushmills brand of whiskey is still a favorite among whiskey aficionados all over the world thanks to its distinctive location, conventional production techniques, and dedication to quality and sustainability.

Buy Bushmills whiskey here.

Redbreast Distillery

Redbreast Distillery

Redbreast is a single pot still Irish whiskey brand made by Pernod Ricard's Irish Distillers division. Gilbey's, a Dublin-based alcohol retailer, started making the brand in the early 1900s. Jameson's Bow Street Distillery produced the whiskey, which was then aged in Gilbey's bonders' warehouses. Midway through the 1980s, Irish Distillers bought the brand and started making Redbreast whiskey at the Midleton Distillery in County Cork.

Sherry, spice, and fruit flavors are prominent in Redbreast's distinctive, rich flavor profile. The malted and unmalted barley, as well as a tiny amount of additional grains, are combined to create the whiskey using the classic single pot still method. The whiskey is then matured for a minimum of 12 years in a blend of sherry and bourbon casks after being triple-distilled in copper pot stills.

The company makes a variety of additional expressions in addition to the traditional Redbreast 12 Year Old, such as Redbreast 15 Year Old, Redbreast Lustau, and Redbreast 21 Year Old. The brand is regarded by many as one of the best examples of Irish whiskey and has received countless honors and awards throughout the years.

The whiskey is made at the Midleton Distillery in County Cork, which also houses a number of other well-known Irish whiskey brands, including Jameson, Powers, and Midleton Very Rare, despite the fact that there is no actual Redbreast Distillery there. The Midleton Distillery offers tours of the building, information on the creation of Redbreast and other Irish whiskeys, and even the chance to sample some of the final products.

Buy Redbreast whiskey here.

Powers Distillery

Powers Distillery

Irish whiskey maker James Power, an innkeeper in Dublin, founded the Powers brand in 1791. The Powers brand gained popularity through time and rose to the top of the list of Irish whiskey brands. The John's Lane Distillery in Dublin, which was regarded as one of the most cutting-edge distilleries of its day, was where the whiskey was first created. The distillery was renowned for its creative use of steam power and its ability to effectively produce enormous amounts of whiskey.

The Irish Distillers corporation bought the Powers brand in the early 1900s and started making whiskey at the Midleton Distillery in County Cork. With overtones of honey, vanilla, and spice, Powers is now renowned for its smooth and rich flavor profile.

The Powers brand has had a resurgence in recent years, with a renewed emphasis on its illustrious past and heritage. Visitors can take an interactive tour of the Powers Distillery Experience in the center of Dublin to discover more about the history and creation of Powers whiskey. A guided tasting of many Powers whiskies, such as the traditional Powers Gold Label, the rich and nuanced Powers Three Swallows, and the single pot still Powers Signature Release, is included in the experience.

Overall, Powers has a long history and a solid reputation in the Irish whiskey industry. By maintaining faithful to its origins and traditions, the brand continues to develop and change.

Buy Powers whiskey here.

Teeling Distillery

Teeling Distillery

Jack and Stephen Teeling, brothers, founded the relatively young Irish whiskey distillery Teeling in Dublin, Ireland. The Teeling family has a long history in the Irish whiskey business; in the late 18th century, their grandfather Walter Teeling established a distillery in Dublin.

The Liberties neighborhood of Dublin, which previously served as the center of the city's whiskey distilling sector, is where the Teeling Distillery is situated. The distillery is situated in a magnificently renovated 19th-century structure that formerly served as the Liberties Distillery Company, a whiskey distillery owned by the illustrious Dublin whiskey family.

With an emphasis on employing creative and non-traditional procedures to create distinctive and tasty whiskeys, Teeling is renowned for its inventive approach to the creation of Irish whiskey. A variety of whiskeys, including single malts, blended whiskeys, and limited edition releases, are produced by the distillery.

Teeling's line of single grain whiskeys, which are produced using a blend of malted and unmalted barley and are matured in a variety of barrels, including former wine, bourbon, and rum casks, is one of the company's most distinctive offerings. As a consequence, a smooth and flavorful whiskey with notes of vanilla, spice, and fruit is produced.

The Teeling Distillery provides guests with a variety of activities, such as tours of the facility and whiskey tastings. In addition, the distillery boasts a chic bar and restaurant with a variety of food and beverage options, including whiskey and Teeling cocktail pairings.

Overall, Teeling is a cutting-edge Irish whiskey brand that places a heavy emphasis on flavor and quality. For whiskey enthusiasts traveling to Dublin, the distillery is a must-see location.

Buy Teeling whiskey here.

Waterford Distillery

Waterford Distillery

Irish whiskey is produced in the Waterford Distillery, which is situated in the town of Waterford. Mark Reynier, who formerly controlled the Bruichladdich Distillery on the Island of Islay in Scotland, created it in 2015.

The distillery is renowned for its avant-garde method of producing whiskey, which uses locally sourced barley from distinct farms and separate distillations and maturations of the whiskey to highlight the distinctive qualities of each farm's grain.

Whiskey produced by Waterford Distillery is made using vintage copper pot stills and then aged in bourbon, virgin oak, and different wine barrels, among other types of casks. The Waterford Single Farm Origin series, the distillery's inaugural whiskey offering, includes whiskey distilled from barley that was cultivated on certain farms, with the name of the farm appearing on the label of each bottle.

Widespread praise for the way the Waterford Distillery makes whiskey and countless accolades have been bestowed onto its goods. The distillery is dedicated to sustainable and ecologically friendly operations, which include recycling trash and using renewable energy.

The Waterford Distillery makes whiskey in addition to providing tours, tastings, a variety of goods, and gifts.

Buy Waterford whiskey here.

Cooley Distillery (Kilbeggan)

Cooley Distillery (Kilbeggan)

Ireland's County Louth is home to the Cooley Distillery, a producer of Irish whiskey. John Teeling, an Irish businessman who recognized a chance to restore Ireland's once-vibrant whiskey sector, launched it in 1987.

The Cooley Distillery was the sole independent Irish whiskey distillery in existence when it was founded, and it immediately developed a reputation for making whiskey of the highest caliber. For the production of single malt, single grain, and blended whiskey, the distillery employs both pot stills and column stills.

Kilbeggan, the company's most well-known brand, offers a variety of Irish bourbons, including Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey, Kilbeggan Single Grain, and Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye. Other brands produced by the distillery include Tyrconnell, Greenore, and Connemara.

A big American alcohol firm called Beam Suntory purchased the Cooley Distillery in 2011. The Cooley Distillery continues to produce excellent Irish whiskey despite the ownership shift, and over the years, its products have garnered countless accolades.

Visitors may take tours and partake in tastings at the Cooley Distillery to observe the production of whiskey up close and discover the background of Irish whiskey. Also, it features a gift store and visitor center where people may buy whiskey and other goods.

Buy Cooley whiskey here.