Redbreast 21 Year-Old Whiskey was awarded Overall Best Whiskey.
The event, organised by the Celtic Whiskey Shop, showcased this rapidly-growing indigenous Irish Industry while the judging panel, consisting of members from the Celtic Whiskey Club and the Irish Whiskey Society, chose the whiskey winners based on blind-tastings.
Following the success of the inaugural Irish Whiskey Awards in 2013, the number of categories increased from nine to 17 this year to include new awards for Best Irish Liqueur, Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Craft Beer and four provincial awards for Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year.
The annual awards ceremony was held in Kilbeggan Distillery, Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery and the Irish Whiskey Award winners for 2014 are:
Overall Best Irish Whiskey 2014 – Redbreast 21 Year-Old Whiskey
Irish Single Pot Whiskey – Redbreast 21 Year-Old Whiskey
Irish Single Malt Whiskey (12 years & younger) – Jack Ryans 12 Year-Old Whiskey
Irish Single Malt Whiskey (13 years and older) – Teeling 21 Year-Old Whiskey
Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60) – Powers 12 Year-Old Whiskey
Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of more than €60) – Jameson Gold Reserve
Irish Single Cask Whiskey – Celtic Cask Naoi
Irish Cask Strength Whiskey – Redbreast Cask Strength
Irish Single Grain Whiskey – Teeling Whiskey Single Grain
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Leinster) – Palace Bar, Dublin
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Munster) – Dick Mack’s Bar, Dingle
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Connaught) – Garavan’s Bar, Galway
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Ulster) – Duke of York, Belfast
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (International) – Whisky and Alement, Melbourne, Australia
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Overall) – Dick Mack’s, Dingle, Co Kerry
Irish Poitin – Teeling Whiskey Company Poitin
Irish Liqueur – Coole Swan
Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Irish Craft Beer – Franciscan Well Jameson Stout
Ally Alpine, founder of the Irish Whiskey Awards, commented, “We look to an even brighter future for this vibrant industry as over 20 new distilleries are due to open in the near future”.
The event’s Guest Speaker was Aoife Keane, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, which was established in 2014 to represent the rapidly-expanding sector.
She told the audience, “Tonight we celebrate Irish whiskey – its high quality standards, its global reach and its local roots. Fifteen years ago, 1.5 million cases of Irish whiskey were being sold around the world and there were four distilleries on the island.
“Since then, Irish whiskey has been the fastest-growing premium spirit category in the world, selling 6.2 million cases last year.
“This year, we’ve over 20 new distillery projects in the pipeline; 5,000 people are employed directly and indirectly and more than 500,000 tourists go through our visitor centres annually.
“Irish Whiskey is one of Ireland’s fastest-growing exports, experiencing 220% growth in the last 10 years. We rightly aspire to regain our position as the largest whiskey category in the world.”
The whiskey celebrations continued over the recent Bank Holiday weekend as WhiskeyLive Dublin followed the awardsin the Round Room of Dublin’s Mansion House. This was the fourth year that this event has taken place.