The Whisky Tasting Club The Whisky Tasting Club


Excerpts from
Until a few years ago, Ireland's whiskey industry found itself floundering on the margins, increasingly becoming a bit player with a couple of solid brands. No longer. While it would be an exaggeration to say that Irish whiskey has undergone a revolution in the past decade, it has certainly been transformed and is now more dynamic than it has been for many a year.

We have two Irish packs, Ireland 1 and Ireland 2.

Single Malt Whiskey

  • Bushmills. Ireland's oldest whiskey distillery, located just a few miles from the Giant�s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Now owned by drinks giant Diageo. Until the launch of Cooley a few years ago, the tradition of Irish single-malt whiskey was kept alive solely at Bushmills.
  • Cooley. Mavericks who are shaking up the Irish whisky scene and giving drinkers a diverse and unusual range of whiskeys to choose between. They have resurrected some of the lost names and given Irish single-malt whiskey a new lease of life through award-winning single malts such as Connemara and Tyrconnell. Cooley emulates some of the diversity found in Scotland with peated whiskies, as well as whiskies finished in a range of casks.
    • Connemara� a peated Irish whisky
    • The Tyrconnell � refreshing, fruity and summery
    • Locke's � cereal and citrus flavours
    • The Wild Geese. The "Wild Geese" name refers to the huge number of people who have left Ireland and built Irish communities in other parts of the world. Made at Cooley Distillery for an independent company.

Blended Whiskey

Irish blended whiskey is the signature whiskey style from Ireland, but it is a different drink entirely from the blends produced in Scotland. In Ireland, a blend is a mix of pot-still whiskey and grain whiskey, and, unlike Scotland, the various whiskies are blended before going into the cask for maturation. Irish blends were traditionally regional, so that in Dublin, it was Guinness and Paddy; in Cork and the southwest, Murphys and Powers. The two main distilleries in the south � the mighty and massive Midleton, probably the most advanced distillery in Europe, and the smaller but flexible Cooley � are complex in that they produce grain and malt whiskies, then blend them all under the same roof, using different combinations of pot-still and column-still whiskeys to make different blends.

  • Bushmills � Black Bush, Original.
  • Cooley Distillery � Kilbeggan, Locke�s
  • Irish Distillers � Jameson, Midleton Very Rare, Paddy, Powers, Tullamore Dew

Irish Pot Still Whiskey

Pot still whiskey is a style unique to Ireland, and contains a mix of malted barley and another grain, often unmalted barley, in the initial grist. This is then mashed, fermented and distilled in a pot still, and makes for a rich, oily whiskey.

  • Irish Distillers � Green Spot, Redbreast

Grain whisky

As is the case in Scotland, the term �grain whiskey� in Ireland tends to refer to whiskey that is made with a grain other than malted barley, and in Ireland it is also taken to be a category distinct from pot still whisky. Grain whisky is most often produced in a continuous still as opposed to a copper pot still. Irish and Scottish grain whisky are very similar, and although Ireland doesn�t produce much of it, Greenore has picked up awards around the world and is a leading player in this category of whisky.

  • Cooley Distillery - Greenore
Looking for a whisky tasting as a gift? We have a wide range of whisky tastings and whisky gift packages to suit all tasting. Our whisky tastings contain four, five andsix whiskies on a theme, tasting notes and background information and start from £20 plus £2.95 Post and Packaging. All whisky tastings are especially selected by whisky journalist and author Dominic Roskrow. Each whisky tasting takes a theme or focuses on a particular distillery.