12 of the Best Irish Whiskies

Irish whiskey used to be the go-to shot to chase down with a can of cheap beer. Not any longer. 

Over the past decade, exports of Irish whiskey have grown by 300 percent, making it the “fastest growing spirit in the world," according to the Irish Food Board. It seems that people can’t get enough of the stuff, and beverage industry giants like Diageo, Brown-Forman, and Beam Suntory are taking notice. There are more than 30 distilleries either operating or in the planning stages in Ireland at the moment—trust us, that's a lot for the small island nation—and new Irish whiskeys of note are being released, from blends to single malts to interesting cask finishes. The Celtic Tiger continues to roar, at least as far as whiskey is concerned.

These are some of the best new Irish whiskeys you should drink, some great for mixing and others you'd better be sipping neat, along with cocktail suggestions. For a cheery St. Patrick's Day, or any other day.

THE DEAD RABBIT IRISH WHISKEY

 

Courtesy

The Dead Rabbit in lower Manhattan is one of the world’s best bars, and the Irish whiskey selection there is quite possibly the most comprehensive in the city. So it makes sense that the team behind the bar would want to release its own bottle. Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry joined forces with Dublin Liberties Distillery to release the Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey, a sourced blend that defies expectations. This five-year-old whiskey is bright and complex, perhaps due to the fact that it’s finished in small virgin oak barrels to impart an extra burst of flavor. If you like Jameson, you will certainly enjoy this new spirit. ($40)

Bright Spark

2 dashes Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas bitters
1 tsp Merlet Crème de Peche
.5 oz Benedictine
1.5 oz Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey
2 lemon discs, expressed
Laphroaig Rinse

Express two lemon discs into the built cocktail in a mixing glass, dropping in the peels. Stir all ingredients except Laphroaig with ice. Aromatize glass with Laphroaig 10 Year scotch. Strain drink over a large ice cube. (Created by Jillian Vose, beverage director at the Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog)

Jack McGarryesquire