If you’re a whiskey drinker of any stripe, chances are good you’re planning to enjoy a drop of the Irish on March 17. That could mean shots of Jame-O or a splash of Proper No. Twelve in your coffee, but you can do better than that. We put together a roundup of the best St. Patrick’s Day whiskey of 2023.
Ireland’s whiskey industry is booming, and many of the year’s new releases come out around this time, just before Saint Paddy’s Day.
There’s a huge variety of single malts, blends, and grain whiskeys pouring out of the Emerald Isle, as delicious, complex, and high quality as their peers from Scotland or the United States. (Though if you’re dead-set on drinking bourbon, even on Ireland’s national holiday, Kentucky Owl just released a bourbon co-created by Ireland-based blender Louise McGuane—making it Irish-ish.)
No need to follow a leprechaun to the rainbow’s end. All the gold you’ll need for a delicious Saint Pat’s celebration can be found in these bottles. Let us introduce you to the best St. Patrick’s Day whiskey of 2023.
1. Powers Irish Rye
Rye isn’t just for North America anymore. Distillers the world over have embraced the grain, Ireland among them. The country has a history of using rye in its whiskey recipes, although few have been made since the 19th century. Kilbeggan released a whiskey made partly with rye a few years ago, and now Powers has debuted this 100 percent rye offering. Triple distilled and bottled at 43.2 percent ABV, it’s not going to taste like Kentucky rye—but with the Powers reputation behind it, it’s sure to taste great
2. Bushmills 25- and 30-Year-Old
You’d expect Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery to have deep stocks of very aged whiskey, and you’d be right. No one’s bench is deeper than Bushmills’, and these two new releases, coming in as part of the brand’s permanent lineup, prove that. The 25-year-old spends six years in bourbon and sherry casks, then goes into ruby port pipes for 21 years. (If you notice that’s a bit older than 25, consider the extra age a bonus.) Bushmills 30-year-old does a 14-year stint in bourbon and sherry casks, then finishes its maturation with 16 years in PX sherry. Both whiskies are 46 percent ABV and non-chill filtered, meaning they retain more body and flavor than they otherwise would.
3. Redbreast Kentucky Oak
Single pot still standby Redbreast has taken pains in recent years to secure supplies of high-quality casks. Redbreast Lustau Edition sees the Irish brand partner with Spain’s Bodegas Lustau to season custom-made casks with its oloroso sherry. Now, the latest release brings new American oak into play, with wood that’s been sustainably sourced from Elk Cave Farm in Kentucky, then air dried and made into barrels used to finish a special batch of Redbreast. The resulting whiskey boasts elevated spice and vanilla flavors, amped up by a bottling proof of 50.5 percent ABV.