In the bad old days of “The Troubles,” choosing your Irish whiskey was easy: if you were Catholic you drank Jameson; Protestant, Bushmills. (You deviated from those lines at your own peril.) These days there’s a plethora of choices, with new artisanal selections on offer and the long-sleepy brands bringing out a raft of new expressions. You can expect a glass that’s generally smoother than scotch, not as sweet as bourbon and perfect for raising this March 17. Sláinte.
Connemara ($70) With its heavy smoke and salty character, this is a whiskey scotch drinkers (especially fans of Islay) will adore.
Redbreast 12-Year-Old ($56) The one that reignited the interest in Irish. A classic pot still whiskey, it’s spicy, lively and wonderful. rye-like. This is the bottle to buy if you have to choose just one.
Jameson ($34) Good ol’ Jameson—its price has crept up in recent years, but its firm taste, softened by a touch of sherry, is still one of the great deals in all of whiskeydom.
Green Spot ($58) Thanks to criminally low production, more people have seen leprechauns than have laid eyes on a bottle of this exlusive elixir, which nails a killer honey and menthol combination.
The Tyrconnell ($60) The bottle shape, the use of the term“single malt” and the generally bold and spicy taste illustrate the Tyrconnell’s attempt to go toe to toe with the Scots.
Bushmills 21-Year-Old ($186) Oh, baby. Coffee, oak, caramelized sugar, all in a silky delivery. Wonderful, and about half the price of a scotch of
A whiskey worthy of toasting George Best with. wl
Find more of our favourite spirits, wine, cocktails and beers here!