Irish whiskey is some of the best whiskey in the world. There’s a straightforward reason for this: It’s triple distilled. The Irish started this practice way back in the 1800s, to differentiate their spirits from the Scotch and American whisk(e)ys, which were a lot dirtier and less refined at the time. More distillation meant cleaner booze. Add in a great aging regimen with bourbon oak or used sherry casks — or both — and you have a fine spirit that’ll warm you down to your very soul.
This tradition of great whiskey making has taken some serious hits over the last 100 years, thanks to unfair British trade tariffs, American prohibition, and the resurgence of Scotch after World War II. But as whiskey became more popular in the last decade, so did Irish whiskey. And, now, stills are expanding and reopening. One of the most remarkable among these came when the Teeling Brothers brought whiskey distilling back to Dublin after a 100+ year hiatus — officially marking a renaissance (whiskeyaissance, if you will).
With St. Paddy’s day here, Christopher Osburn and I decided it was high time to pool some of our favorite Irish sips into one spot. Below are some of the best bottles you can buy for under $50, just in time to celebrate. Sláinte!