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We Asked Bartenders For Their Favorite Irish Whiskeys For Summer

Irish whiskey is much more than a simple base for an Irish coffee and a shot to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The triple distilled tipple from the Emerald Isle is specifically crafted to be a subtle, workhorse whiskey both sippable and mixable. Notes of grain, honey, florals, and fruits take center stage while leaning into the tradition of aging in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

While there’s no wrong time of year for this Irish import, the soft, sweet, mellow flavors are best suited for summer sipping, especially if you’re making an effervescent highball or citrus-forward cocktail. This is the time of year when that lightness in your whiskey is deeply enjoyable and the syrupy, leathery, and overly spicy firestarter whiskeys that warm your soul in the winter might not hit the sweet spot.

To find the best Irish whiskeys for summer, we turned to the pros for advice. We asked a handful of our favorite bartenders to tell us the best Irish Whiskeys to drink this summer (and in general). Check them all out below and click on their prices if you want to try any of these yourself.

Two Stacks

Two Stacks

Chris Hennessy, bartender at Dylan Whisky Bar in Kilkenny, Ireland

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $20

Why This Whiskey?

Two Stacks Irish Whiskey, with their transparent blending, is a breath of fresh air for the bar industry. On the labeling, they break down the exact distillate percentages and maturation casks, helping bartenders to pinpoint flavor profiles to best suit their guests. This then helps people find the best expression to enjoy during the summer months.

Roe & Co

Roe & Co

Eoghain Clavin, brewery ambassador for Guinness in Dublin, Ireland

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $32

Why This Whiskey?

The old Guinness power station across the street from the Guinness brewery, in the heart of Dublin City, is the home of Roe & Co. Irish whiskey. Their distillery is one of Ireland’s newest, and I was lucky enough to get to visit the distillery when it opened in 2019. It’s truly an amazing experience and home to some outstanding whiskey. Flavors of soft spice and mellow spun sugar along with warm hints of spiced pear and woody vanilla make this the foundation for many great Irish whiskey cocktails.

Writer’s Tears Pot Still

Writer

Dennis Shea, beverage director at Fish & Fire Food Group in Washington, DC

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $40

Why This Whiskey?

I wish more people knew about Writer’s Tears Copper Pot. Their product represents a blend of single pot still and single malt whiskies. This is a relatively new label that pays tribute to Ireland’s long history of brilliant, but miserable writers. It might be expected to go harsh on the palate, but the opposite is true. Writers Tears may be the easiest drinking Irish whiskey you will come across.

West Cork Bourbon Cask

West Cork

Tom Garvin, beverage manager at Tribeca’s Kitchen in New York City

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $32

Why This Whiskey?

West Cork Distillers’ Bourbon Cask whiskey is great this time of year. There are a lot of pleasant grain and citrus notes from the whiskey itself, and the bourbon cask gives it a nice caramel dessert finish. It’s a high-quality spirit and you can get it at a price point that doesn’t empty your wallet.

The Sexton

The Sexton

Matthew Lawson, bar manager at Culaccino Italian Restaurant + Bar in Franklin, Tennessee

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $24

Why This Whiskey?

I’m a huge fan of The Sexton Irish Single Malt Irish Whiskey, which I think is often overshadowed by the usual competitors on the market. The nose is dominated by stone fruit while the palate is filled with flowers, honey, and dried fruits that make for an incredibly smooth and robust drinking experience. And the packaging is unlike anything else we see on the shelves.

A nice showpiece for summer parties.

Teeling Small Batch

Teeling

Austin Zimmer, bartender at Le Privé in New York City

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $35

Why This Whiskey?

I wish people knew more about Teeling, especially for those looking for a light summer mixer. It’s a very smooth Irish whiskey with a sweet vanilla taste, caramel touch, smooth creamy finish, and lively spice notes. I especially enjoy their Small Batch. It’s definitely not to be missed.

Tullamore D.E.W.

Tullamore D.E.W.

Francisco Fonseca, bartender in San Juan, Puerto Rico

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $20

Why This Whiskey?

Tullamore D.E.W. is a great summer sipper and mixer. It’s a mild blended whiskey thanks to spicy lemony and malty notes with charred wood undertones giving it a soft, buttery, rounded flavor that lingers in the mouth.

Green Spot

Green Spot

Evan Charest, owner and director of operations at Severence Melrose in Los Angeles

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $59

Why This Whiskey?

Green Spot is my go-to. I wish I could scream to the hilltops about the beauty of single pot still Irish whiskeys. The category gets dragged in the mud for its sole use in highballs and Irish coffees. Green Spot specifically has a wonderfully smooth-yet-subtle taste with a slight hint of brininess and is perfect over a small cube or two on a hot summer day.

Powers Gold Label

Powers

Johnny Swet, bar owner and cocktail consultant at JIMMY at ModernHaus Soho in New York City

ABV: 43.2%

Average Price: $28

Why This Whiskey?

My go-to is Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey. It’s great for cocktails but also works well as a sipper because of its nice, honey finish. It’s very smooth and memorable.

Redbreast 12

Redbreast

Joseph Fredrickson, bartender at Society Lounge in Cleveland

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $69

Why This Whiskey?

This pot still whiskey gives a more robust flavor profile while still coming off incredibly smooth with that hint of honey and oats that makes me think of Irish whiskey.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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