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Ray Foley

Professional Cocktail Expert

Best Irish Whiskey & Jameson Irish Whiskey

Make no mistake: the Irish were the world's first distillers of spirits. This is not to denigrate anything Scottish; the Scotch whisky experience is as complex and rewarding as that of Irish whiskey. But be it known that the people of Ireland were distilling whiskey at a time when the Picts, the predecessors of the Scots (who came from Ireland in the first place), were still smearing their bodies with blue paint and stealing cattle in the Lowlands.

In 1608, in County Antrim in what is now Northern Ireland, the first legal distillery was born on the banks of the River Bush. The fact that it was called "Old Bushmills Distillery" gives ample indication that the making of whiskey had gone on for some time in the village of Bushmills.

Fire destroyed the Old Bushmills Distillery in 1885, gutting all but one building. The loss was devastating. But the world needs whiskey, and the entire complex was rebuilt and operating within three years. In 1897, the distillery announced a special issue for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee: ten thousand bottles of its Pure Old Malt whiskey.

Two other great Irish distilleries were established in Dublin, Ireland's capital, in the late eighteenth century. John Jameson & Son in 1780, and Sir John Power & Son in 1791. Jameson is now the best-selling Irish whiskey in the world. By the end of the 1800s, it is estimated that more than four hundred registered brands of Irish whiskey were available in the United States alone.

But the greatest of threats to pot-distilled Irish whiskey was homegrown, born in the mind of Aeneas Coffey of Dublin. For many years, Coffey had been an exciseman, rising eventually to become inspector general of excise. After he resigned from government service in 1824, he put his wits to work and invented what became known as the Coffey still. This remarkable invention allowed for continuous production of grain spirit that was just shy of pure alcohol. It remains nearly unchanged in design to this day.

Today, we are comfortable with blended whiskey, with the single malts, and with the assurance that we can buy and savour fine Irish whiskey, the best that Ireland has to offer. The divine distiller has done, and continues to do, his part in blessing us with Irish whiskey. The Irish, with their music and their stories and poetry, have conquered our hearts, and with their usage beatha (water of life) they have banished our thirst.

Buy the best Irish whiskey for the best distilled spirits. Choose from Jameson Irish whiskey, Middleton Irish whiskey, Tullamore Irish whiskey and others at the best price.

Best Irish Whiskeys by Ray Foley

The Best You Can Get

  • Midleton Very Rare

    Ray says: A masterpiece of the distiller's art by the Master Distiller, Barry Crockett, Midleton Very Rare is as smooth an Irish Whiskey as can be crafted. Best of the Best!

    • by the Master Distiller, Barry Crockett
    • Smoothest
  • Tullamore Dew Heritage Blend

    Ray says: Each bottle of Tullamore Dew Heritage Blend is a collector's whiskey. Twenty casks of the first blending were laid down in August 2000 to commemorate the opening of the Tullamore Dew Heritage Center.

    This rich, mellow flavoured whiskey is a connoisseur's delight: a fresh, malty, woody nose leads to a medium bodied, crisp palate, with complex flavours of malt and spice, wood and vanilla, flavours that can only come from long ageing in select casks.

    • Collector's whiskey
    • Rich, mellow flavoured
    • A connoisseur's delight
  • Jameson 18 Year Old

    Ray says: Jameson 18 Year Old is the Master Blender's supreme example of the Jameson tradition of maturing whiskey in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. Then Jameson 18 Year Old is transferred to American bourbon barrels for a further six months to put the final finishing touches to this unique and complex whiskey.

    • Unique and complex whiskey
  • Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Blend

    Ray says: Tullamore Dew 12-year-old is a deluxe blend with "a full, smooth, well-rounded whiskey, combining maltiness and pot still character."

    • Deluxe blend
    • A full, smooth, well-rounded whiskey
  • Black Bush

    Ray says: Black Bush - a blend comprised mostly of single malt. Selected Spanish Oloroso sherry-seasoned oak casks mature the malt before it is blended with delicate sweet single grain whiskey. Developed in 1934, it was originally called "Old Bushmills Special Old Liqueur Whiskey."

    • Comprised mostly of single malt

You will be happy with any of these

  • Bushmills 21 Year Single Malt

    Ray says: Matured in three different types of casks: firstly in American bourbon barrels and secondly in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. Together, it will total 21 years in these casks, where it may lie in Madeira drums until bottling.

    • Matured in three different types of casks for a total of 21 years
  • Powers Gold Label

    Ray says: The biggest selling Irish whiskey in the Republic of Ireland and the least expensive of the whiskeys. It has a rich pot still character and is mature enough to drink neat. Its flavors are clear, distinctive, and never boring. And its price tag means there is no reason why you shouldn't own one.

    • Biggest selling Irish whiskey in the Republic of Ireland
    • Least expensive of the whiskeys
    • Mature enough to drink neat
  • Bushmills 10 Year Single Malt

    Ray says: Distilled three times and made from 100% malted barley. Matured in American bourbon barrels for at least ten years.

    • Distilled three times
    • Made from 100% malted barley
  • Kilbeggan Whiskey

    Ray says: Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey is distilled from the purest clear water, malted Irish barley and maize, gently matured in oak casks in the ancient warehouses in Kilbeggan and skillfully blended to create a whiskey of unique smoothness, character, and balance.

    • Unique smoothness, character, and balance
  • Redbreast Aged Pot Still Whiskey

    Ray says: Redbreast is the only aged pure pot still Irish whiskey on sale today. This whiskey is matured for a minimum of twelve years in Oloroso sherry and bourbon casks.

    • The only aged pure pot still Irish whiskey on sale today
    • Matured for a minimum of 12 years

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Sip the best Irish whiskey from a long tradition of the best distilled spirits on the market. We recommend Jameson Irish whiskey, Middleton Irish whiskey, Tullamore Irish whiskey and other tasty libations. Always the best price, Middleton Irish whiskey, Tullamore Irish whiskey and our other recommendations make the perfect drinks after work or at your next party.