Black Irish combines triple-distilled Irish malt whiskey with stout.
The brew begins with triple distilled blended Irish whiskey matured in American ex-bourbon casks. The whiskey is then "cut" with the blend of a strong stout and barrel-aged stout, which is also used to cut the cask strength whiskey to the bottling strength of 40% abv. The brew is then infused with chocolate, malt, roasted barley, and spices for flavor.
David Phelan is the co-founder of the Dublin-based Darker Still Spirits company that produces the whiskey-beer hybrid.
“I have a history in innovation and brand development of drinks, which I love,’’ said Phelan, who has previously worked with Boru Vodka, Irish Mist, and Baileys.
He told The Irish Times: “I got involved with a couple of guys from Drinksology in Belfast, who are great with brand development, plus Adrian Walker, formerly of Coole Swan, who is a genius with liquids.
"I had this image of a guy in a snug with a beer and a chaser and wanted to combine those two drinks.”
The brew is 80 percent Irish whiskey, with a deep No.4 char, from Great Northern Distillery, while the stout comes from O’Hara’s.
“We are bringing together really good Irish whiskey and really good Irish stout with extra flavors to accentuate both. Black Irish is a spirit drink stretching Irish whiskey the way spiced rum moved rum forward.
"I think whiskey needs a bit of innovation and this is a completely different interpretation.”
The bespoke dark glass bottle and label design are also unique and feature both a crown cap and flip-top closure.
“I see it as a very approachable accessible drink with some beautiful flavors that makes it easy to drink solo. It can be drunk straight as a chaser but for those who like a long drink it is fantastic with coke (which Irish whiskey isn’t) and makes a great Irish coffee.”
Black Irish retails for €35. For more information and where to purchase, visit BlackIrishSpirit.com.