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The best Irish whiskey bottles
The best Irish whiskey bottles

The 10 best Irish whiskey bottles

Forget watery, green-hued beers: High-minded boozehound David Wondrich gives Time Out New York a rundown of the best Irish whiskeys

By Caitlin Griffith
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Break out of the Guinness rut this St. Patrick’s Day with a slug of Irish whiskey (ideally not in the form of a car bomb)—these are the ones you'll actually want to taste. Drinks enthusiast David Wondrich, a cocktail columnist for Esquire, ranks his favorite bottles of the Emerald Isle import. From affordable to blowout, light to rich, these selections of the best Irish whiskey offer a range of price points and flavor profiles. Order yourself a glass at one of the city's best Irish pubs after watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade or checking out other great events in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: See the full St. Patrick's Day in NYC guide

The best Irish whiskey

Bushmills 10-year single-malt“One of my top-five whiskeys.” An excellent bang for the buck, this deceptively light spirit hits Wondrich’s sweet spot for Irish-whiskey aging: between 10 and 15 years (as opposed to the longer-aged Scotch). Available at Ast
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Bushmills 10-year single-malt

“One of my top-five whiskeys.” An excellent bang for the buck, this deceptively light spirit hits Wondrich’s sweet spot for Irish-whiskey aging: between 10 and 15 years (as opposed to the longer-aged Scotch). Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500, astorwines.com). 750ml $53.

Jameson“If you like a lighter whiskey, Jameson is, of course, the classic.” Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500). 1L $29.99.
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Jameson

“If you like a lighter whiskey, Jameson is, of course, the classic.” Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500, astorwines.com). 1L $35.97.

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Jameson 18For a splurge, Wondrich proposes the Jameson 18—“just discussing it makes me thirsty.” The triple-distilled spirit is matured in both American bourbon barrels and European oak casks, instilling complex flavors of toffee, spice and leather, alon
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Jameson 18

For a splurge, Wondrich proposes the Jameson 18—“just discussing it makes me thirsty.” The triple-distilled spirit is matured in both American bourbon barrels and European oak casks, instilling complex flavors of toffee, spice and leather, along with an underlying tone of nuttiness. “A wholly different animal than the regular Jameson, very sophisticated.” Available at 67 Wine, 179 Columbus Ave at 68th St (212-724-6767, 67wine.com). 750ml $127.

Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey“A recently revamped distillery hidden among the lochs of central Ireland, Kilbeggan was an old distilling site that until a few years ago lay dormant.” This crowd-pleaser—double distilled in a copper-pot still from the mid-1800s—i
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Kilbeggan

“A recently revamped distillery hidden among the lochs of central Ireland, Kilbeggan was an old distilling site that until a few years ago lay dormant.” This crowd-pleaser, double distilled in a copper-pot still from the mid-1800s, is a first-rate introduction for novice drinkers. Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500, astorwines.com). 750ml $32.

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Paddy Irish Whiskey“Ireland is a little weird, possessing its own way of doing things, which is certainly not the Scotch way,” explains Wondrich, describing Paddy Irish’s unique makeup. Providing a fruity, sweet finish is an atypical mix of three types o
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Paddy

“Ireland is a little weird, possessing its own way of doing things, which is certainly not the Scotch way,” explains Wondrich, describing Paddy Irish’s unique makeup. Providing a fruity, sweet finish is an atypical mix of three types of whiskey: grain (a high-proof variety made with a mix of kernels), single-malt (a style crafted with all malted barley produced in a single distillery) and pure pot still (a category based on a blend of malted and unmalted barley). Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500, astorwines.com). 1L $30.

Powers Irish WhiskeyWondrich favors the entry-level Powers for its richness and the ease at with which it slides down the throat: “a great bar whiskey that is also cheap.” Available at 67 Wine, 179 Columbus Ave at 68th St (212-724-6767). 1L $32.99.
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Powers

Wondrich favors the entry-level Powers for its richness and the ease with which it slides down the throat: “A great bar whiskey that is also cheap.” Available at 67 Wine, 179 Columbus Ave at 68th St (212-724-6767, 67wine.com). 1L $45.

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Powers John's Lane Relaese
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Powers John’s Lane

This expressive bottle is aged for no less than 12 years in both bourbon barrels and oloroso sherry butts—just another name for barrels—and refined in pure pot stills. Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500). 750ml $71.99.

Redbreast 15-year-old Irish whiskey“This pure pot-still whiskey is quite lovely.” Lacking the addition of grain whiskey—a hallmark of pot-still tipples—this intense quaff evokes rich, chocolaty toffee and ripe figs. Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Redbreast 15-year-old

“This pure pot-still whiskey is quite lovely.” Lacking the addition of grain whiskey—a hallmark of pot-still tipples—this intense quaff evokes rich, chocolaty toffee and ripe figs. Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500, astorwines.com). 750ml $98.

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Redbreast Irish Whiskey“This is a 100 percent pure pot-still whiskey that you should try.” The pure-pot-still distilling process is found only in Ireland, and utilizes a blend of malted and unmalted barley, imparting a musky and complex flavor. Available
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Redbreast

“This is a 100 percent pure pot-still whiskey that you should try.” The pure-pot-still distilling process is found only in Ireland and utilizes a blend of malted and unmalted barley, imparting a musky and complex flavor. Available at 67 Wine, 179 Columbus Ave at 68th St (212-724-6767, 67wine.com). 750ml $63.

Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey“This bottle falls somewhere in between Jameson and Powers—beefier than the Jameson, it is less so than the Powers, and is quite good.” Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500). 750ml $22.99.
Photograph: Noffar Gat

Tullamore Dew

“This bottle falls somewhere in between Jameson and Powers—beefier than the Jameson, it is less so than the Powers and is quite good.” Available at Astor Wine & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500, astorwines.com). 750ml $30.

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