Quick – are you here just to impress that cute Irish girl at the bar with your knowledge of the best drinks from her native land? It ain’t gonna work, lad!
Well, now that you’re here, let me not be a bad host. After all, whatever your intentions, you do want to learn. So let me give you the dope anyway.
Many people consider Irish whiskey to be the lightest and smoothest whiskey. It is very soft and has excellent flavour. It is perfect for the beginner to enter into whisky drinking.
It is also one of the oldest whiskeys to be distilled, going as far back as the twelfth century. After a bit of a decline, it again gained fame in the 19th century.
Over the last five years, the sale of Irish whiskey has grown by 13.4%. In the US alone, 4.7 million cases were sold in 2018.
Irish whiskey is made using a distiller. The distiller mashes up grain and releases natural sugar content. It is then fermented into alcohol. Then, the spirit is transferred to the barrel, which adds flavours and colour to the drink.
Let’s have a look at some of the best Irish whiskey for beginners to drink.
Best Irish Whiskey for Beginner
Jameson Irish Whiskey: It is made up of barley and corn. Jameson is made by blending triple pressed barley whiskey with grain whiskey and is left for four years. It is known for the smoothness of the drink. It has a reliable taste, which is perfect for beginners. It is the best known 80-proof Irish whiskey.
Tipperary Watershed Boutique Selection: It is fermented in bourbon barrels and has 47% alcohol content. It has a flavour of vanilla and black pepper with a tint of fruity taste. It has a perfect combination of taste and showcases the taste of the country.
Connemara 12-year-old Whiskey: The whiskey is made up of barley and peat spices. The malted barley is dried over peaty herbs. It has an unusual flavour, which is different from other whiskeys. It is smooth and bold, which is best for beginners to start with. It has an alcohol content of 40%.
Irishman Whiskey: It is produced using the single malt technique. The drink is affordable and can be enjoyed by anyone. The whiskey is fermented in oak bourbon barrels and is finished in Oloroso sherry casks. The drink tastes like fruits, vanilla, and almonds. It has a 40% alcohol content in it.
Kilbeggan Irish whiskey: It is made up of a single grain using malted barley and corn, which add sweetness to the drink.
It has a little flavour of vanilla butter and a 43% alcohol content. The whiskey is ideal for a cocktail drink.
Redbreast 15 years Irish Whiskey: It is made using a single pot still technique. It uses both malt and unmalted barley. It is precipitated three times in a copper jar and then kept for fermentation for 15 years.
It has 46% of alcohol content. It has a good flavour, from malt to caramel. It also has a fruity taste, which is ideal for beginners.
Tullamore Irish Whiskey: This goes perfectly with the Irish caramel coffee, or one can also mix it with ginger. It has 40% alcohol content and is readily available and affordable.
A beginner can try the taste without thinking much about the price tag.
Knappogue 16-year-old Irish Whiskey: It is prepared using the single malt technique. Knappogue comes in twelve and fourteen-year aged variants too, but this 16-year-old whiskey is the best among all. It is aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finishes the process in Oloroso sherry casks.
It has a taste of vanilla, malty woods, and fruits. It has an alcohol content of 40%.
Teeling Irish Whiskey: It has its origin in Dublin. It is made up of grain and malt and fermented in bourbon barrels with a 46% alcohol content. It has a taste of fruits, a woody smell, and some spicy tanginess.
Ways to Drink Irish Whiskey
You can drink Irish whisky in almost every way:
Neat: You can consume whiskey directly without adding anything. If you enjoy bold flavours, neat whiskey is the best option.
Add water: Adding a few drops of water to your whiskey releases water repellent elements in the glass and gives a good smell to the nose. It dilutes the alcohol content, which allows the beginner to taste more flavour.
Add water using a straw or pipette. After adding water, give a swirl to the whiskey and then taste it with a small sip. You can add water till you get the desired flavours.
On the rocks: Add large ice cubes or balls to the drink. Small ice cubes will melt fast and will dilute the drink quickly. One can also add a chilled whiskey stone to get the same effect, and it won’t dilute the alcohol content either.
Cocktails: One can also go for a cocktail. There are many options like adding lemon juice to the drink or ginger or vermouth and angostura bitters. There is also Irish coffee available, which gives a pleasant taste to the consumers.
Types of Irish Whiskey
- Single malt whiskey: It is made in a single distillery in the pot. It uses malted barley and only malted barley. The flavour depends on the barrels on which barley is left to ferment. It is very smooth and delicate.
- Single pot still whiskey– It is made at a single distillery in the pot. It uses malted barley, unmalted barley, and other grain. They have a strong flavour with spicy tanginess in them.
- Single grain whiskey– It is also known as grain whiskeys. It uses malted barley, unmalted barley, corn, or wheat.
- Blended Irish whiskey– It is a combination of two Irish whiskeys. They are lighter and have familiar flavours.
The first record of Irish whiskey dates back to 1405. Since that time, Irish whisky is synonymous with excellent flavour and a smooth taste that invites every beginner to try it at least once.
It has many different preparation mechanisms, all of which give a unique flavour to the drinker.
It is also very smooth and has a sweet taste. Irish whiskey has a lower alcohol content as compared to other whiskeys.
Irish whisky burns less and is easy to consume. It is generally more affordable and readily available in the market.
All of this makes Irish whisky the best drink for a beginner. And if you’re still here, I hope you have enough ammo now to talk about Irish whiskies like an expert!