If you are a whiskey drinker of any value then you’ll know that St. Patrick’s day is almost upon us. March the 17th is a great day in our calendar; it shines bright as we lumber out of winter and look forward to better, brighter days. So, get out your best copy of Dubliners (or Ulysses if you’re feeling clever), put a bit of Pogues on the stereo and read on for the Neat & Shaken way of celebrating St. Patrick's day.
The usual St. Paddy celebrations are boring. We all wear too much green - quite frankly, not our best colour - and we all drink too much in too many tacky top’o the mornin’ to you pubs. At one point one of us will start singing O Danny Boy, the rest of us will cry and we’ll all wake up to very sore heads the next morning.
So this year we have vowed to celebrate St. Patrick’s day with a bit more style. Yes, we will start off the day with an Irish Coffee. The key is to avoid cheap ingredients and use good coffee and real, hand-whipped heavy cream. And if we see you breaking out the can of squirty cream, you’re officially banned from the rest of this guide.
If you want to avoid any shamrock shenanigans and fancy a bit of class in a glass this year then read on. Here’s our pick of the top 5 best Irish whiskeys:
A 200 bottle, small batch, limited-edition whiskey lover’s wonder. This 16-year-old single malt is what Friar John Cor, dreamt of when he started making aquavitae back in 1495. Named Keeper’s Coin after the 17th-century legend that the crypts under Christchurch Cathedral were used as illicit drinking dens. The cellar keepers each had their own coins and casks - hence the name. Packed full of aromas of fudge, soft toffee, dried fruit and toasted hazelnut, this whiskey is aged for 16 years in bourbon barrels and finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. Smooth and sweet, this is a whiskey for the connoisseur.
A brainchild created by the Dublin Liberties Distillery and the founders of the excellent Dead Rabbit Saloon in New York City. Dead Rabbit is a blend of malt and grain whiskeys, which is matured first in bourbon casks before being finished off in virgin American-oak casks for an extra kick. Named after the notorious Irish immigrant street gang that ruled the slums of NYC in the late 1800s, this is a drink that marries all the flavour of the Emerald Isle with the essence of NYC. A must for anyone who wants to add an unusual twist to their St. Paddy’s day drink.
Another limited edition lovely from the Dublin Irish Liberties. This is the second release in The Dublin Liberties Irish Whiskey range - a 10-year-old single malt that has enjoyed a finishing period in Orloso Sherry casks. We particularly love the dark chocolate, red grape, golden syrup and walnut taste of this whiskey, while the nutty notes linger long after the last sip. But don’t just take our word for it - this gorgeous drink is a multiple award winner including double gold medal at The Irish Whiskey Masters in 2019. Try this straight up, with just a drop of water to release its aromas.
Capture the true essence of Dublin this St. Patricks Day with a blended whiskey that is as warm and welcoming as the city it calls home. If you’ve yet to join the heady ranks of Irish whiskey drinkers, then this is a great way to start - and what a day to begin! The whiskey errs on the sweeter side (think tastes of brown sugar, caramel, green apple and sticky toffee pudding) so is very approachable, even at a young age. The perfect introduction to the wonderful world of Irish whisky, this gets a 5-star rating from us here and Neat & Shaken. Silky to drink and perfect for on the rocks. Slainte!
A further beauty from the distilleries of The Dublin Liberties. We love everything they produce, but this 13-year-old single malt whiskey will make even St. Patrick himself weak at the knees. To be sure, it’s a bit on the expensive side, but if you're willing to splurge a little, this rich whiskey is a true Irish treat. Named after the notorious unmarked alleyway that connects Bow Street and James Street in Dublin, Murder Lane is one of the famed sets of the Forty Steps of the Liberties. With lots of warm flavours from ripe apricot flesh and white peach to hints of coconut and gentle spice, this wonderful whiskey is best sipped neat.
Still can't decide which Irish whiskey to choose to make your St. Paddy’s day go as smooth as a triple-distilled tipple? Check out our full range!