HomeWorldThe World's Most Wanted Irish Whiskeys | Wine-Searcher News & Features

The World’s Most Wanted Irish Whiskeys | Wine-Searcher News & Features


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In advance of the world’s favorite official drinking holiday tomorrow, we go back to the original well.

© Maike und Björn Bröskamp/Pixabay | Tomorrow is a day just made for drinking whiskey.

Uisce beatha, the water of life, is close to millions of hearts at this time of year.

To be honest it’s close to mine all year, but there’s an added cultural imperative at play around March 17th that means everyone considers themselves to be Irish for a day – that being Saint Patrick’s Day. You can only imagine the effect it has on the actual Irish.

Sure, you’ll find naysayers droning on about cultural cringe, paddywhackery, ethnic stereotyping and generally sniffing about how not all Irish people are brought to a juddering halt by the prospect of a day on the sauce, but frankly those joyless bastards can go and crawl back under their rock. No one needs to hear that kind of effete, neo-prohibitionist milksoppery at any time of the year, let alone mid-March; St Patrick’s Day is a time for professionals. Hold my beer and stand aside.

Obviously, there is only so much Guinness that a single human can consume in a 24-hour period, so whiskey is the obvious alternative. It is, after all, an Irish invention – it was mentioned in the annals of Clonmacnoise in 1405, almost a century before the spirit made its appearance in print in Scotland – and thanks to the ongoing revival in Irish distilling, there is a greater choice available than ever.

That said, when it comes to searching for Irish whiskeys on our vast database, people tend to stick to the classics, as we can see from our list of the 10 most searched-for Irish whiskeys.

The World’s Most Wanted Irish Whiskeys on Wine-Searcher:

Looking at that list (and, indeed, the last time we ran this list) you’d think we were still living back in the days when there were only two distilleries on the island of Ireland, instead of the 30-something there are today. None of those names will be unfamiliar to anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with Irish whiskey: Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew, the “Spots”, Bushmills.

Perhaps what is most surprising is the appearance of the standard Jameson, Tullamore Dew and Bushmills Original – none of these whiskeys are particularly hard to find, certainly not compared to the likes of the Blue Spot or the Redbreast Port Cask.

The prices make for interesting reading, too. Obviously, the entry-level whiskeys haven’t changed much in price, but the fluctuations elsewhere on the list are far from consistent. The Midleton, for example, has seen its global average retail price fall by 33 percent in the past two years, on the back of a hefty jump in availability – it has more than four times the number of offers it had in 2022.

The Mitchell Blue Spot has also fallen away in price, from $365 in March 2022 to $287 today, a fall of 21 percent. Going the other way is its stablemate Red Spot, which has risen by 15 percent over the same period, while the Redbreast Port Cask is up by 38 percent and the Jameson Rarest Vintage has jumped a whopping 41 percent in average retail price.

Whichever whiskey you decide to celebrate with tomorrow (or can afford to drink), remember there is only one Saint Patrick’s Day every year, so make it a memorable drop that you honor the saint with. On the other hand, today can still be considered Saint Practice Day, so perhaps you can experiment with your flavors today. 

After all, tomorrow is a big day; you wouldn’t want to look like an amateur. Sláinte.

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