The Dingle Whiskey Bar in Dublin’s Nassau Street took the Leinster award, Garavan’s Bar in Galway took the Connaught award and The Duke of York in Belfast took the Ulster award.
For the second year running Redbreast 21 Year-Old Whiskey was named the Irish Whiskey of the Year.
Now in their third year the Irish Whiskey Awards recognise excellence and innovation from indigenous producers and distillers.
The awards spanned 20 categories including two new ones for Irish Gin and Irish Vodka, won by Thin Gin and Dingle Vodka respectively.
Connemara Single Malt took the Irish Single Malt (12 Years & Younger) category prize while Knappogue Castle Vintage 2000 Batch 2 Mongeard Mugneret Burgundy Cask took home the trophy in the Irish Single Malt Whiskey (13 Years & Older) category.
Tullamore Dew 12 Year-Old won best Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60) while Midleton Very Rare 2015 received the Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of €60 or more).
Each category winner received a trophy and the runners-up received Gold Medals that can be prominently displayed on their whiskey at Point Of Sale.
Ally Alpine, Managing Director of the Celtic Whiskey Shop and the Irish Whiskey Awards, commented, “The Irish Whiskey Awards were started almost at the same time as the explosion in interest in Irish whiskey and craft distilling and each year shows the leap in both entry numbers and the quality of the liquid. We hope this journey continues for many years”.
Special guest on the night John Teeling added, “With the renaissance in Irish whiskey gathering pace it’s important now more than ever to recognise the top quality whiskey being distilled here in Ireland”.
He pointed out that some 13 gins and 14 malts were among the entries for the competition.
He also pointed to the growth in Irish whiskey demand around the world.
“In 1971 Irish whiskey sales totalled 2.5 million cases” he explained, “one million of them in Ireland itself. In 2015 that figure is likely to be nearer 10 million cases and by 2025 the figure will have risen to 25 million cases.
“That’s still just a drop in the ocean when you consider that India alone consumes 250 million cases of spirits a year.
“Thailand consumes 125 million cases of spirits a year and even Myanmar (Burma) drinks 17 million cases of spirits a year.”
Africa too is a good prospect for sales of Irish whiskey, he believed.
South Africa, for example, imported 5,000 cases in 1996. Today that figure stands at 30,000 cases, mainly thanks to the growing middle class market there.
At one time Irish whiskey accounted for 60% of all whisk(e)y drunk around the world. The premium end of that Irish whiskey was made here in Dublin and it has returned to Dublin with the opening of Teeling Distillery and others now in the pipeline.
The winners of the Irish Whiskey Awards will be celebrated at Whiskey Live when it returns to Dublin for the fifth time on Saturday 24th October in its new city centre location of The Printworks at Dublin Castle. This move has allowed the event to grow and it now accommodates up to 1,200 visitors over the two sessions 1.30pm to 5pm and 6pm to 9.30pm.
Tickets are limited and available from http://www.whiskeylivedublin.com.
The 2015 Irish Whiskey Awards winners in full:
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Overall Winner)
Glencairn Trophy – Dick Mack’s, Dingle
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Leinster)
Trophy Winner – The Dingle Whiskey Bar
Gold Medal – The Whiskey Palace
Gold Medal – L Mulligans Grocer
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Munster)
Trophy Winner – Dick Mack’s, Dingle
Gold Medal – The Shelbourne Bar, Cork
Gold Medal – The Folkhouse, Kinsale
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Connaught)
Trophy Winner – Garavan’s Bar, Galway
Gold Medal – An Púcán, Galway
Gold Medal – Tigh Neachtain’s, Galway
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Ulster)
Trophy Winner – The Duke of York, Belfast
Gold Medal – Bittles Bar, Belfast
Gold Medal – McCuaig’s bar, Rathlin Island
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (International)
Trophy Winner – Whisky and Alement, Melbourne, Australia
Gold Medal – The Shebeen/Irish Heather – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Gold Medal – Scholars Bar, Rome
Irish Whiskey of the Year (Overall winner)
Glencairn Trophy Winner – Redbreast 21 Year-Old
Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey
Trophy Winner – Redbreast 21 Year Old
Gold Medal – Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy
Gold Medal – Powers Signature Release
Irish Single Malt Whiskey (12 Years & Younger)
Trophy Winner Connemara Single Malt
Gold Medal – Teeling Single Malt
Gold Medal – Tullamore Dew 10 Year Old Single Malt
Irish Single Malt Whiskey (13 Years & Older)
Trophy Winner – Knappogue Castle Vintage 2000 Batch 2 Mongeard Mugneret Burgundy Cask
Gold Medal – The Palace Bar Three Generations Batch 14 Year-Old
Gold Medal – Glendalough 13 Year Old Single Malt
Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60)
Trophy Winner – Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old
Gold Medal – Writers Tears Copper Pot
Gold Medal – Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel
Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of €60 or more)
Trophy Winner – Midleton Very Rare 2015
Gold Medal – Jameson Gold Reserve
Gold Medal – Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve
Irish Single Cask Whiskey
Trophy Winner – An Púcán Teeling Whiskey Single Malt
Gold Medal – Celtic Cask Trí Déag
Gold Medal – Celtic Cask Dó Dhéag
Irish Cask Strength Whiskey
Trophy Winner – Tullamore Dew Phoenix
Gold Medal – Midleton Dair Ghaelach
Gold Medal – Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength
Irish Single Grain Whiskey
Trophy Winner – Kilbeggan Single Grain
Gold Medal – Glendalough Single Grain
Gold Medal – Teeling Single Grain
Trophy Winner – Teeling Poitin
Gold Medal – Bán Poitin
Trophy Winner – Mrs Doyle’s Irish Cream
Gold Medal – Coole Swan
Gold Medal – The Wild Geese Irish Honey Liqueur
Trophy Winner – Thin Gin
Gold Medal – Blackwater No 5
Gold Medal – Dingle Gin
Trophy Winner – Dingle Vodka
Gold Medal – Untamed Irish Vodka
Gold Medal – St Patrick’s Distillery Vodka
Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Irish Craft Beer
Trophy Winner – O’Hara’s Barrel Aged Series
Gold Medal – Independent Whiskey Stout
Gold Medal – Franciscan Well Jameson Stout