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Bartenders Tell Us The Best Whiskeys For Your St. Paddy’s Day Quarantine

If you’re doing St. Patrick’s Day right, you’re probably going to enjoy your fair share of Irish whiskey. This year, that prospect comes with a mandate to forego bar hopping in favor of safe social distancing. Still, delivery services are open and — if you’ve been reading our articles — you might just have a few choice bottles in the cabinet. You can make it through this, we promise.

In hopes of helping you have as festive a quarantine as possible, we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the one Irish whiskey they recommend on St. Patrick’s Day. Sip these picks straight or on a rock, just make sure to do it a safe distance from others.

Redbreast 21

Scott Kollig, beverage manager at Rye Street Tavern in Baltimore

I say why not celebrate the best and brightest? Redbreast 21 Year is the best way to celebrate. This alluring and astonishingly complex whiskey is seduction in a glass, the more you sip, the more you want.

Bushmills Red Bush

Rob Lugo, bar manager at HQ Beercade in Nashville

Red Bush from Bushmills. I think Bushmills is very underrated, and that finish of Red Bush is so smooth, you can’t go wrong. And with the cost of living skyrocketing in Nashville and lots of coronavirus expenses, the price point isn’t bad at all.

Jameson Cold Brew

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Cody Henson, beverage director at The Alida Hotel in Savannah, Georgia

If you’re going to celebrate the way we celebrate down here in Savannah, then you’re into a very long day. I suggest getting goosed up with the new Jameson Cold Brew. Whiskey and caffeine. If that’s not helping you rally-while-indoors on the big day, then it’s just nap time at that point.

Connemara Original Peated Single Malt

Scott Lackman, general manager at Ellington’s in Nashville

Connemara Peated Single Malt is a great choice. Its malted barley is dried over a peat fire giving it that smokey but subtle flavor.

Teeling Single Grain

Ian Campbell, assistant general manager at Gansevoort Hotel Group in New York City

Teeling Single Grain, for sure. When the Teeling distillery reopened in 2013, it was the first distillery opened in Dublin in over 100 years, so they have great heritage. Their Whiskey is also finished in a rum cask –giving the spirit a lovely, semi-sweet finish.

Jameson

Billy Cox, bar chef at Ocean Prime in Boston

Well I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say the one shot you absolutely will be asked to take this Paddy’s Day is Jameson. Even indoors! Some years my speed rail could have just been a case of Jameson I poured so much.

Tullamore D.E.W.

Georgina McKevitt, bartender at The Irish Times Pub & Restaurant in Los Angeles

During my time bartending, the one Irish whiskey I always receive requests for is Tullamore D.E.W.. It’s the original triple blend of Irish whiskey, meaning it uses all three types of whiskey that are made in Ireland — it doesn’t get more Irish than that. With grain whiskey bringing sweetness, malt whiskey bringing fruitiness, and pot still whiskey bringing spice, it’s a delicious combination that adds dimension to any cocktail of choice when celebrating St. Paddy’s Day.

Connemara 12

Abraham Millett, beverage manager at Plunge Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Connemara 12 is an interesting whiskey, it’s almost like it had a love affair with some random Scotch and the scent still remains. Its unique peaty tones make it a whiskey suited for scotch drinkers, if you are into that kind of thing.

Bushmills 10

Stephen George, beverage manager at 7 Mile Kitchen in Carlsbad, California

I was really impressed with Bushmills 10 Year Single Malt. So, if you’re relatively sober and looking for something nice to sip on (vs. dropping in your pint), this has plenty of complex flavors and aromas going on. It’s plenty to keep your palate engaged while under quarantine.

Jameson Black Barrel

Kayla Grogan, mixologist at Monarch Rooftop in New York City

For those that want to enhance the traditional Jameson experience and are looking for something nice to sip on, I’d recommend Jameson Black Barrel. It’s triple-distilled and flame-charred, which intensifies the flavors of concentrated spice, roasted nuts, and vanilla.

Redbreast 12

Alfred Stovall, beverage director at O-Ku Sushi in Washington, DC

Redbreast 12 Year. It has an approachable price point, great sweetness and spice, about as good as pot still whiskey can get.

Bushmills Black Bush

Will Moriarity, beverage director at BLT Steak in Washington D.C.

With a last name like Moriarity, the Irish whiskey choice of our family has always been Bushmill’s Black Bush. It’s rich, sweet, and unbeatable.

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition

Leah Stumbo, bartender at Bar Moxy in Nashville

Jameson Caskmates IPA, it is a hoppy and smooth twist on a well-known classic Irish whiskey. If you’re planning to try something other than original Jameson, this is your drink.

Teeling Small Batch

Vince Diorides, lead Bartender at Jack Dusty in Sarasota, Florida

Teeling Small Batch is what drinkers can’t miss out on this St. Patrick’s Day. I love this one because it begins with grain and malt whiskeys, which are aged in separate ex-bourbon barrels and then the two whiskeys are combined into central American rum casks for up to 12 months. It has a certain sweetness and carries some fruit flavors which make it easy to drink all day.

Slane

Zach Stout, beverage manager at Clark & Bourbon in St. Louis

Slane Triple Casked Irish whiskey is an incredibly accessible Irish whiskey, that packs a lot of complexity into the bottle for a great value. The three cask process introduces the whiskey to virgin medium char casks for vanilla and toasted oak flavors, the second cask is a seasoned Tennessee whiskey cask. This brings the caramel banana notes that Tennessee whiskey is known for. The final cask in their process is an Oloroso sherry cask. Sherry brings the fun raisin and fig notes to the Irish whiskey, rounding out the flavor profile.

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