Irish whiskey brands both new and dating back centuries were out in full force at Whisky Advocate's WhiskyFest in New York City last week. IrishCentral chatted with reps and indulged in a few tastes!
WhiskyFest took place November 16 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. It was full to the brim with whiskey connoisseurs and fans alike. 480 of the world's leading whiskey brands gathered in one room for the evening of every whiskey lover's wildest dreams.
Among them was an array of Irish brands, including Bushmills, Connemara, Knappogue Castle, Kilbeggan, Jameson, The Irishman, Green Spot, The Pogue’s, Powers, The Quiet Man, Redbreast, Slane, Stranahan’s, Teeling, Temple Bar, Tyrconnell, West Cork, Yellow Spot, and more.
Here are a few:
Slane Irish Whiskey
A new whiskey with a long history, Slane comes from Slane Castle in Ireland, which has been in the Conyngham family for generations - yes, the same Slane Castle that's home to the famous concerts. Alex Conyngham co-created Slane with Brown-Forman master blenders Chris Morris and Steve Hughes, and it's been very well received since launching just earlier this year.
Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey is a single malt Irish whiskey, the origins of which trace back to Kanppogue Castle and Mark Edwin Andrews, the man who purchased it in 1966. This beloved single malt was crowned Best Irish Single Malt 13-years-or-older at the 2015 Irish Whiskey Awards.
The story of Kilbeggan is that of perseverance. When the distillery, first opened in 1757, ceased production in 1954 due to economic recession, the local community began saving funds to eventually restore it. It was acquired by the Cooley Group and resumed production in 2007. Other whiskey brands by the group are Tyrconnell and Connemara.
Barr an Uisce
From the Garden of Ireland in County Wicklow, Barr an Uisce ("above the water," as the town Barraniskey, where it is made. Barr an Uisce makes a single malt called 1803 and a small batch blended whiskey called Wicklow Rare.
The Teeling distillery was the first new distillery to open in Dublin in 125 years when it launched in 2012. Now they have a range of delicious offerings, including small batch, single malt, and single grain.
The Temple Bar Irish Whiskey
Very new to the scene and delicious. Named after the historic Dublin spot now famous for its nightlife.
The Irishman Whiskey
From Walsh Distillery at Royal Oak. The Irishman is a triple distilled single malt.
West Cork Irish Whiskey
From West Cork Distillers in - you guessed it - West Cork. Only Irish grain and spring water are used for these triple distilled whiskeys.
Stranahan's - A Colorado Whiskey with an Irish name
Have you heard of Colorado Whiskey before? We hadn't, but we love the story behind this brand. Apparently, it all started with a fire broke out in the barn of a local whiskey connoisseur, George Stranahan, and volunteer firefighter Jess Graber came to the rescue. Together they developed a "recipe for a distinctively smooth and flavorful American single malt whiskey using their mountain surroundings to their advantage."
*Reporting and photos by Bridget Bray, additional reporting and compiled by Sheila Langan