After many years of picking up a Gold for Best Whiskey Bar in Leinster, Dublin’s Bowe’s Bar walked away with the Best Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year Award recently at the Irish Whiskey Awards 2019 held this year in the Dingle Distillery on the County Kerry coastline.
Bowe’s had been chasing the top award for many years as emerging and established Irish whiskey producers and bars were honoured at the 2019 Awards.
The wet and windy evening commenced with a tour of the distillery and a welcome drinks reception hosted by the Dingle Distillery’s co-founders and team.
For the evening that was in it, the Distillery was reassuringly packed with distillers, whiskey advocates, journalists and connoisseurs as well as quite a few publicans considering its remote location on the County Kerry Peninsula.
Keynote speaker Bushmills Distillery’s Master Distiller Colum Egan presented the awards, now in their seventh year and spanning over 20 categories.
Walsh Whiskey won Best Irish Whiskey of the Year for the Irishman 17 Year-Old as well as picking up a gold medal for its newly-released Writers’ Tears Copper Pot Japanese Mizunara Oak Finish.
Irish Distillers too emerged exceptionally well, winning awards for its Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy (Best Irish Single Pot Still), Jameson Black Barrel (Best Irish Blended Whiskey RRP of €60 or less) Jameson 18 Year-Old Bow Street (Best Irish Blended Whiskey RRP of €60 of more), Redbreast 12 Year-Old Cask Strength (Best Irish Cask Strength) and Method & Madness Single Grain Virgin Spanish Oak Finish (Best Irish Single Grain).
In the Malt categories Dunville’s PX Cask 12 Year-Old — crafted by The Echlinville Distillery — won Best Irish Single Malt 12 Years & Younger and the Teeling Whiskey Company in Dublin won Best Irish Single Malt 13 Years & Older for Teeling Brabazon Volume 1.
Judging of the awards took place in July and August with members of the Celtic Whiskey Club, Irish Whiskey Society, IWS Dingle Chapter, the Kilkenny Whiskey Guild & the Cork Whiskey Society as well as two new participating societies – the Waterford Whiskey Society and the Belfast Whiskey Club.
Additionally, overseas members of the Celtic Whiskey Club had the opportunity to purchase sample packs without having to travel to Ireland whilst members of the trade were responsible for blind-judging the white spirits, liqueurs and barrel-aged beer categories.
“The Irish Whiskey Awards celebrate the excellence and innovation in the Irish Whiskey industry whilst raising funds for our incredible charity partner Mary’s Meals,” commented organiser Ally Alpine, Managing Director of Celtic Whiskey Shop and organiser of Whiskey Live Dublin, “Tonight’s event will feed 702 pupils every day for a year.”
Ally also pointed to the success of Irish whiskey by pointing out that where in 2010 some six million cases of Irish whiskey were being sold, last year saw sales of 12 million cases.
The events charity partner, Mary’s Meals feeds over 1.5 million children every day whilst ensuring they attend school. At €50 per ticket, proceeds from for the awards are donated to sponsor the Kapatomoyo School in Zambia.
Drinks Industry Ireland was the event’s media partner and key sponsors included the Irish Whiskey Association and Tuath Irish Whiskey Glass.
Bowe’s Bar – a Victorian Whiskey hideaway in the heart of Dublin
Winning the Irish Whiskey Pub of the Year was a first for Dublin bar Bowe’s.
Perhaps the warm Victorian look of the Fleet Street hostelry attracted the judges’ favour – or perhaps it was simply Bowe’s huge range of whiskeys from pretty much every part of the world – but whatever it was one couldn’t imagine a more glowingly snug setting in which to imbibe some of the world’s most famous whiskeys.
For Bowe’s doesn‘t just focus on Irish whiskeys.
“To be the best whiskey bar we need to have whiskeys from all over the world,” believes Patsy Doyle, nephew of proprietor Declan Doyle.
Indeed it’s hard to remember ever having seen as many different whiskeys from as many different countries and different regions within Ireland, all in one place at the same time.
Japanese whiskeys, for example, are big sellers here.
“We’ve a special section for these,” explains Patsy, “And there are about 20 of them. Fine Japanese whiskeys sell really well – and they’re lovely whiskeys,” he affirms.
“Yamazakai is good seller, as is Togouchi
– these are not easy to get hold of.”
Also to be found are Swedish, Welsh, Indian and even Taiwanese whiskeys.
College Tavern connection
Declan Doyle bought Bowe’s in 2004 but the pub itself has been around since 1850.
The Yeast Company at the front of the Fleet Street block was a hotel in the late 1800s and the ‘College Tavern’ – where we sit surveying the warm glow from the backlighting behind the manifold bottles on the backbar – was then part of the College Tavern Hotel.
These days Bowe’s typical customer profile tends to involve the after-work crowd – especially the office crowd of a Friday evening – mixing it with Bowe’s regulars.
Bowes 12 Year-Old Single Malt
Then, like any self-respecting whiskey bar, there’s the question of Bowe’s own-brand whiskey. Bowes 12 Year-Old Single Malt spent eight years in a Cooley cask before being finished-off for four years in a Town Branch Bourbon barrel purchased from Alltech. Another cask, a 13 year-old Single Malt, will be out in the New Year.
“We were probably the first pub in Dublin to specialise in whiskeys, starting off in 2005 with just the top rail and slowly built it into the whole backbar,” explains Patsy, who’d worked in New York where whiskey was big in Manhattan at the time.
“We thought we could do something similar in Dublin,” he adds.
Bowe’s Bar’s staff
Patsy likes to think that another possible contributory factor to Bowe’s winning the Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year title was the knowledgeable staff here who obtain their knowledge by going to different tastings including those from Irish Distillers and those in Mulligans Whiskey Shop, for example. The staff are all keen readers too reading up on anything whiskey.
Indeed, one couldn’t think of a more accommodating and amenable place to do a drop of reading – accompanied by a drop of the hard stuff too of course…
Beara Distillery is situated on the Beara Peninsula near the fishing port of Castletownbere in Coutnty Cork. Beara itself has a long maritime history, something the Power family wanted to portray in some way when they set about creating their Premium gin.
Infusing their gin with the very salt from the Atlantic Sea and the seaweed from the Atlantic Ocean shore adds a complexity and a back-taste of salt that balances the freshness of Juniper and the zesty citrus aromas while the Coriander, Cardamom and Orris root add complexity – not forgetting the floral sweetness of the Fuschia buds, the Iconic symbol of West Cork.
Consistent quality is the key to the success says John and Valerie Power. Now in the third year of operation they’re very proud of their product, making sure they achieve consistent quality in every batch.
“We’re very proud of the many awards we received over the last few years all over the world but the jewel in the crown is being awarded the highest honour in Ireland and crowned the ‘Best Gin in Ireland’ recently,” they said, “Focusing on sales in Ireland and several European countries until recently, we’ve started to develop a place in the USA market.
“Genuine quality will always stand out and when we produce every small batch; at our distillery we can ensure consistency and premium quality as we say “the cure for everything is sea air and salt water”.
Celtic Cask 27 wins Gold at the Irish Whiskey Awards 2019
The Celtic Cask series is a single cask whiskey range founded by Celtic Whiskey Shop owner Alistair Alpine in 2010. Based on a strong relationship with Irish distillers, European bodegas and wine houses, Ally and his team have been able to hand-pick some very interesting distillates from the length of the country and mature or finish them in a range of great casks from Spain, Portugal and Italy.
The independent bottling series now spans a total of 29 speciality award-winning bottles including one of the latest releases, the Celtic Cask 27 (Fiche a Seacht) which won a Gold for Best Irish Single Cask at the 2019 Irish Whiskey Awards. It’s a very limited expression of 206 bottles, originally double-distilled at the Cooley Distillery and first matured in fresh Bourbon barrels for 18 years. Part of this cask was then re-casked in specially-commissioned 125-litre Oloroso Sherry casks for one year resulting in wonderful flavours of Lemon Meringue, Pineapple and touches of Allspice.
Mad March Hare Irish Poitín
Mad March Hare has added to its 2017 Gold Medal at the Irish Whiskey Awards by winning the Best Irish Poitín category at the 2019 Awards, voted by members of the trade in a blind-taste test.
Quietly distilled in West Cork, Mad March Hare is part of a national revival of Poitín as an emerging, modern, innovative and vibrant category led by independent Irish producers.
Using only the best locally-sourced malted barley from farmers within a couple of miles of the stills, the mash bill is 100% malted barley and the spirit is triple-distilled, filtered and bottled at 40% for a smooth finish.
An extremely versatile spirit, poitín has grown to become an essential component of the modern cocktail scene. It’s a great alternative to whiskey in an Irish coffee, an excellent base for craft cocktails and shines in a simple mule, mixed with Ginger Beer, fresh Lime and bitters, a house drink at Bar 1661, the world’s first poitín-focused cocktail bar.
Mad March Hare is distributed by Intrepid Spirits through Celtic Whiskey Shop, Classic Drinks and MCM Spirits.
Teeling Whiskey Single Pot Still
We’re the first distillery to open in Dublin City for 125 years yet whiskey-making flows through our family’s veins – over two centuries of it.
The Teeling Whiskey Single Pot Still is the first release from our new distillery and the first Dublin-distilled whiskey in almost 50 years.
Crafted using a combination of 50% malted and 50% unmalted barley which has then been triple-distilled and aged in a combination of virgin Oak, ex-wine and ex-Bourbon barrels, it was recently awarded a Gold at the Irish Whiskey Awards. This whiskey is bottled at 46% with no chill-filtration.
This is not how everyone makes Irish Whiskey – but it’s our way.
That’s The Spirit of Dublin.
Brabazon Series 1
Brabazon Series 1 was the first in a new series of limited-edition Single Malts produced by Teeling Whiskey. This series re-affirms Teeling Whiskey’s continued dedication to creating new and interesting expressions of Irish whiskey. The new series focuses on creating a full-flavoured experience that pays homage to the unique and distinct role that fortified wines can have on the taste of Irish whiskey.
This first release in the Brabazon Bottling series focuses on the maturation effect of ex-Sherry casks on the character and flavour of Irish Single Malt. By choosing a complementary range of vintages, sizes and styles of Sherry cask-matured Single Malt whiskey, the Brabazon Series No 1 captures all the layers and aspects of flavour that Sherry casks can impart.
Recently awarded Best Irish Single Malt Whiskey (13 years+) at the Irish Whiskey Awards, Brabazon Series 1 is bottled at 49.5% ABV with no chill-filtration, allowing for all the natural flavours of this whiskey to be retained. Series No 1 is limited to 12,500 bottles.
Triple win for The Echlinville Distillery
The Echlinville Distillery celebrated a triple win at the Irish Whiskey Awards. Dunville’s PX 12 Year-Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey was named Best Irish Single Malt Aged 12 Years and Under. This latest accolade for Dunville’s PX 12 adds to its win in the same category at this year’s World Whiskies Awards.
Echlinville Single Estate Irish Pot Still Gin won its second consecutive Gold Medal in the Irish Gin category with Bán Poitín also picking up Gold.
“The Irish Whiskey Awards are particularly special to us as they’re judged by members of whiskey clubs and societies the length and breadth of Ireland,” said Echlinville’s Jarlath Watson, “It’s an honour to be recognised by our friends and colleagues within the Irish whiskey family.
“We now have more than 30 global awards under our belt – that’s quite an achievement in the six years since we became Ireland’s first farm distillery. We’re exceptionally proud that our small, independent, family-owned distillery is making such an impact in an increasingly competitive sector.
“This has been an incredible year for us, culminating in the recent launch of our Dunville’s VR 18 Year Old Rum Finish Whiskey. With more new releases planned for the coming months, including a Dunville’s PX 12 Cask Strength Whiskey, we hope that success will continue into 2020.”
DV8 Gold Cream Liqueur
Winner of the Best Irish Liqueur at the Irish Whiskey Awards and Gold winner at Blas na heireann, DV8 Gold Cream Liqueur (ABV 16%) is produced by 1721 Spirits, a dynamic drinks company based in County Laois which creates premium liquor brands by bringing new expression to old favourites.
1721 Spirits also produces DV8 Pink Gin Cream Liqueur and Brennan’s Old House Gin, products made with exceptional taste and quality.
The company has won eight awards in the last two years for the company itself and both its products.
A divinely different Irish Cream Liqueur, this mix of decadent cream & vodka distilled from whey with white chocolate and biscuit flavours is based on a new formulation that’s lighter than traditional cream liqueurs.
It can be served straight, over ice, in cocktails or in coffees and is the perfect addition to desserts and cheesecakes.
For further information contact Carla Taylor on 0863095235 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Irishman Premium Irish Whiskey has been named the Best Whiskey in Ireland. Crowned overall Irish Whiskey of the Year at the annual Irish Whiskey Awards, the accolade tops-off what has been a fantastic year for The Irishman and in particular it’s 17 Year-Old Single Malt which was also named Best Irish Single Cask Whiskey at the Awards on top of taking home a Masters medal at the Irish Whiskey Masters earlier this year and being crowned Irish Single Cask of the Year by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2019.
The Irishman is a Premium and Super-Premium Irish Whiskey brand produced by Walsh Whiskey since 2006. The award-winning portfolio includes The Irishman – Founder’s Reserve; Single Malt; 12-Year-Old Single Malt, Cask Strength and 17-Year-Old.
Walsh Whiskey also produces the internationally-renowned boutique brand Writers’ Tears. Other expressions from the Walsh Whiskey portfolio that received Irish Whiskey Awards for 2019 were the newly-released Writers’ Tears Copper Pot Japanese Mizunara Oak Finish and Writers’ Tears Cask Strength 2019 Release, both of which received Gold Medals.
“The quality of competition across all categories is testament to the fantastic industry we have here in Ireland,” said Bernard Walsh, Managing Director of Walsh Whiskey, commenting on the Awards, “The Irish Whiskey Awards are the equivalent of the Oscars for the industry and we’re honoured to hold the title of Best Irish Whiskey 2019.”
The Irishman is currently enjoying sharing the spotlight with Martin Scorsese’s latest release of the same name. Premiered at the New York Film Festival in September and now on Netflix, The Irishman movie is no doubt hoping to emulate The Irishman whiskey’s success across the boards.
For the third year running The Whistler Single Malt 7 Year-Old Cask Strength has scooped Gold at the Irish Whiskey Awards in the Best Irish Cask Strength category. This follows on from Gold wins in 2017 and 2018.
The Whistler story is based on a rich history of family traditions inspired by the legendary Boyne Valley. The range is born of noteworthy craft and time-honoured traditions as old as the story told, the written word and the whistled tune.
The whiskey has been aged in Bourbon barrels before being transferred to hand-selected Oloroso Sherry casks to finish for two years. The Sherry cask finish adds a rich sweetness and depth to the whiskey. Bottled straight from the cask at 59% ABV with natural colour without chill-filtration, the 7 Year-Old Natural Cask Strength edition is limited to 1,200 bottles per batch.
For further details, please contact: Sally Anne Cooney on 041-9878078. Mob – 086-2207616.
For trade details, email email@example.com or join the conversation on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram – @boanndistillery.
Introducing Tullamore DEW 12 Year-Old Special Reserve
They say with age comes wisdom or in this case, complexity, character and maturity – one of the reasons why this truly unique whiskey has been awarded plaudits in abundance from whiskey connoisseurs around the world.
Tullamore DEW 12 Year-Old Special Reserve is a carefully-crafted blend of old Irish whiskeys.
Known for its smooth and gentle complexity, Tullamore DEW is named after Daniel E Williams, the man who decided that true craft could only come from true character and insisted that his whiskey was made accordingly.
Tullamore DEW is the only whiskey to insist on the ‘Power of Three’ at the three key stages of whiskey-making: it’s triple-distilled to produce a whiskey of exceptional smoothness – a triple blend of all three types of Irish whiskey: golden grain, single malt and pot still, yielding a whiskey of greater complexity. It’s triple-cask matured in three distinct cask types to create unrivalled depth and balance of flavour.
Like Tullamore DEW Original, Tullamore DEW 12 Year-Old Special Reserve is a triple-distilled blend of all three types of Irish whiskey. However, it has a higher proportion of pot still whiskeys, matured in ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks for over 12 years.
“What makes Tullamore DEW 12 Year-Old Special Reserve different is that the predominant whiskey in the blend is pot still whiskey, a style of whiskey which is unique to Ireland,” said Tullamore DEW’s Global Brand Ambassador John Quinn, “This gives it a very rich and somewhat spicy character. I call it my chocolate whiskey because the combination of the fruits from the malt whiskey, the spice from the pot still whiskey, together with the Vanilla notes from the Bourbon casks and the slightly nutty character delivered by the Sherry casks, all combine beautifully to produce a rich chocolate and nuts flavour.”
He continued, “The finish of the whiskey is a rich combination of berries and nuts and red wine – the red wine coming from the Sherry casks. This is a delicious whiskey and one that has been recognised around the world for its complexity and character, winning over 30 whiskey awards including 15 Gold medals.”
Tullamore DEW 12 Year-Old received a Gold medal in the 2016 Global Irish Whiskey Masters competition, a very fine aged whiskey with an ABV of 40%.
For further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kilbeggan Small batch Rye – a limited-edition release
Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye Irish whiskey is made using a historical Irish mash bill consisting of rye, malted barley and fresh green unmalted barley. This is then double-distilled at Kilbeggan Distillery in copper pot stills, one of which was made in the early 1800s and is the oldest working pot still in the world.
Kilbeggan distillery began using its pot stills again for the first time in 2010 since its closure in 1957. The first whiskey to be completely distilled and matured at the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland dating back to 1757, Kilbeggan small batch rye picked up ‘Best New Irish Whiskey’ at the Irish Whiskey Awards. In addition, Kilbeggan Distilling Company won three Golds including; Best Irish Single Malt (12 years and younger): Tyrconnell 10 Year-Old Port Finish; Best Irish Single Malt (12 years and younger): Tyrconnell Single Malt and Best Irish Single Grain: Kilbeggan Single Grain.
Expect some more exciting whiskey releases from the Kilbeggan Distilling Company including the highly-anticipated Kilbeggan Single Pot Still whiskey to be released in early 2020.
Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye International Wine and Spirits Challenger verdict:Kilbeggan Rye is an excellent example and a true testimony showing how rye can work beautifully. It’s aromatic with fresh fruity notes and earthy spices – sweet and savoury with zesty Oranges, Honey and Marmalade. The initial sweetness is balanced by sour notes and spices. The wood and alcohol are also well-integrated. This is a great product and highly-recommended.
Slane Irish Whiskey’s Gold for best blend under €60
Slane Irish Whiskey won Gold for for Best Blend under €60 for its triple-casked blend.
We’re proud of our unique maturation process which brings together our unique combination of American Virgin Oak, seasoned Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry Casks resulting in a smooth blend that’s rich in colour and full of flavour. As we look towards the future with our fully operational state-of-the-art distillery and through the use of barrels from the Brown-Forman cooperage as well as barley from the surrounding fields of Slane, our original triple-casked blend can only go from strength-to-strength.
At Slane Irish Whiskey we’re very much carving out our own story of success and just as the concerts at Slane inspired a new generation of music-lovers we’re looking to inspire the next generation of Irish Whiskey fans.
The winners of the 2019 Irish Whiskey Awards are as follows:
Best Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year – Bowe’s, Dublin
Best Irish Whiskey of the Year – The Irishman 17 Year-Old
Best Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Leinster):
- Winner: Bowe’s, Dublin
- Gold Medal: The Palace Bar, Dublin
- Gold Medal: The Sky & The Ground, Wexford
Best Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Munster):
- Winner: Dick Mack’s, Dingle
- Gold Medal: The Shelbourne Bar, Cork
- Gold Medal: The Folk House, Kinsale
Best Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Connacht):
- Winner: Garavan’s, Galway
- Gold Medal: Sonny Molloy’s, Galway
- Gold Medal: Sean’s Bar, Athlone
Best Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Ulster):
- Winner: The Duke of York, Belfast
- Gold Medal: Bittle’s Bar, Belfast
- Gold Medal: Madden’s, Belfast
Best Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (International):
- Winner: The Dead Rabbit, New York
- Gold Medal: Milroy’s of Soho, London
- Gold Medal: The Dillon, Iceland
Best Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey:
- Winner: Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy
- Gold Medal: Redbreast 15 Year-Old
- Gold Medal: Green Spot
Best Irish Single Malt Whiskey (12 Years & Younger):
- Winner: Dunville’s PX Cask 12 Year-Old
- Gold Medal: Tyrconnell 10 Year-Old Port Finish
- Gold Medal: Tyrconnell Single Malt
Best Irish Single Malt Whiskey (13 Years & Older):
- Winner: Teeling Brabazon Volume 1
- Gold Medal: Dublin Liberties Keeper’s Coin
- Gold Medal: Knappogue Castle 16 Year-Old
Best Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60):
- Winner: Jameson Black Barrel
- Gold Medal: Slane Triple-Casked Irish Whiskey
- Gold Medal: Tullamore Dew 12 Year-Old Special Reserve
Best Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of €60 or more):
- Winner: Jameson 18 Year-Old Bow Street
- Gold Medal: JJ Corry AN FA
- Gold Medal: Writers’ Tears Copper Pot Japanese Mizunara Finish
Best Irish Single Cask Whiskey:
- Winner: The Irishman 17 Year-Old
- Gold Medal: Sonny Molloys Redbreast 16 Year-Old
- Gold Medal: Celtic Cask 27
Best Irish Cask Strength Whiskey:
- Winner: Redbreast 12 Year-Old Cask Strength
- Gold Medal: The Whistler 7 Year-Old Cask Strength
- Gold Medal: Writers’ Tears Cask Strength 2019 Release
Best Irish Single Grain Whiskey:
- Winner: Method & Madness Single Grain Virgin
Spanish Oak Finish
- Gold Medal: Glendalough Triple Barrel
- Gold Medal: Kilbeggan Single Grain
Best New Irish Whiskey:
- Winner: Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye
- Gold Medal: Dingle Single Malt Batch 4
- Gold Medal: Teeling Single Pot Still Batch 3
Best Irish Gin:
- Winner: Beara Ocean Gin
- Gold Medal: Echlinville Single Estate Irish Pot Still Gin
- Gold Medal: Dingle Gin
Best Irish Vodka:
- Winner: Lough Ree Zesty Vodka
- Gold Medal: Assaranca Vodka
- Gold Medal: Loch Measc Vodca
Best Irish Poitín:
- Winner: Mad March Hare Poitín
- Gold Medal: Straw Boys Poitín
- Gold Medal: Bán Poitín
Best Irish Liqueur:
- Winner: DV8 Gold Cream Liqueur
- Gold Medal: Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur
- Gold Medal: Coole Swan
Best Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Irish Craft Beer :
- Winner: Dingle Celebration Stout
- Gold Medal: Crann Beatha Imperial Stout
- Gold Medal: DOT Brew Easy Malt Dipa