Irish whiskey is one of the fastest growing spirit categories in the U.S. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, consumers purchased more than six million cases of Irish whiskey last year, with the high-end and super-premium segments enjoying particularly good growth.
Irish whiskey mainstays like Jameson and Tullamore DEW are always fine options, but with more bottles hitting the shelves each year, you’ve got your pick—whether you’re scanning the aisles for St. Patrick’s Day, or any day. New Irish whiskeys include expressions from upstarts like Shortcross and Clan Colla as well as what’s-old-is-new-again operations like McConnell’s. You’ll also find a couple new additions to Bushmills core portfolio that may test your wallet, but will give you a taste of some of the oldest juice on the market. These are six new Irish whiskeys to drink now.
Shortcross Rye & Malt Irish Whiskey
Shortcross got its start in gin, releasing its first product in 2014, but the Rademon Estate Distillery in Northern Ireland always planned to make whiskey. The Shortcross Rye & Malt Irish Whiskey is made from a mash bill of between 30-50% malted rye, and the remainder is malted barley. The mash is double distilled and then aged in a mix of ex-bourbon barrels and virgin oak for five years before the casks are married and bottled. There’s no coloring added and the liquid is not chill filtered. The whiskey presents soft, creamy caramel and citrus on the nose, and flavors include ginger, rye spice, apricot, milk chocolate, dark fudge, and sweet orange marmalade.
46% ABV / £65
McConnell’s 5-Year-Old Irish Whiskey
The McConnell’s brand dates back to 1776, was relaunched in 2020, and today is readily available in the U.S. and many other markets around the world. For now, McConnell’s whiskeys are sourced blends, but they’re opening a distillery in Belfast later this year and will soon be distilling on site. (Fun fact: the distillery is located inside an old Victorian prison.) McConnell’s 5-Year-Old is made from a blend of 40% malted barley and 60% grain, and is aged in ex-bourbon barrels. It shows lots of tropical fruits, honeydew melon, vanilla, honey, and a mild peppery spice on the nose. The palate is delicate and clean, and mostly follows the nose with tropical and stone fruits. Butterscotch and honey join the party before it finishes with peppery spice.
McConnell’s also makes an Oloroso sherry-finished version of the five-year-old whiskey, and eventually the distillery plans to add single malts to its portfolio.
42% ABV / $35
Clan Colla 7-Year-Old Single Grain Irish Whiskey
Founded by a husband-and-wife duo, Michelle and Gareth McAllister, the Clan Colla brand features a variety of expressions ranging from seven to 20 years. Each is a limited release that enlists a different finish. In the case of the seven-year, single grain whiskey is aged in bourbon casks and then finished in Panama rum barrels. It features Christmasy spice notes on the nose, with a palate of vanilla, banana, dried fruit, baking spices, and cereal grains. The liquid is currently sourced, but the founders are in the process of building the Ahascragh Distillery, turning an old grain mill into an eco-friendly facility that’s powered by renewable energy. Ahascragh also makes Xin Gin and Uais, a whiskey that blends pot still with single malt and grain whiskey.
46% ABV / £65.00
Triple Dog Irish Whiskey
Triple Dog was founded by Dan O’Shevlin, a whiskey aficionado with a background in biochemistry. He was handed a 1916 recipe for his grandfather’s unrealized Irish whiskey, and set to work to make that whiskey a reality. It’s made in Dundalk, County Louth, from a blend of Irish malted and unmalted grains, then triple-distilled in a copper pot still and copper column stills. It’s aged for at least four years in French oak casks. Triple Dog has a sweet aroma of toasted caramel, and a rich palate of crème brûlée, honey, and cracked vanilla bean followed by a citrusy finish.
40% ABV / $40
Bushmills 25 Year and Bushmills 30 Year Irish Whiskeys
If you’re looking to splurge, Bushmills added two new expressions to its core portfolio: Bushmills 25 and Bushmills 30. The former is matured in bourbon barrels and sherry butts for almost six years before going into first-fill ruby port pipe casks for another two decades. The latter is the oldest expression in the brand’s core range to date, and was matured in bourbon barrels and sherry butts for 14 years before moving into first-fill Pedro Ximénez casks for 16 years. Bushmills 25 (46% ABV / $900) is floral and fruity, with soft spice. Bushmills 30 (46% ABV / $2,200) is rich and elegant, with cherry aromas and lots of intense dried fruit.