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 last night at the awards ceremony 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 Awards. The evening commenced with a tour of the distillery and a drinks reception hosted by Dingle Distillery’s co-founders and team.
Considering its remote location on the County Kerry Dingle Peninsula the Distillery was reassuringly packed with distillers, whiskey advocates and connoisseurs as well as quite a few publicans.
Keynote speaker Master Distiller for Bushmills Distillery 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 also 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 Award and the Teeling Whiskey Company in Dublin won Best Irish Single Malt 13 Years & Older Award for Teeling Brabazon Volume 1.
Judging of the awards took place in July and August via members of the Celtic Whiskey Club, Irish Whiskey Society, Irish Whiskey Society Dingle Chapter and the Kilkenny Whiskey Guild & Cork Whiskey Society as well as two new participating societies – the Waterford Whiskey Society and the Belfast Whiskey Club.
Overseas members of the Celtic Whiskey Club also 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 celebrates 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 highlighted the success of Irish whiskey by pointing out that in 2010 some six million cases of Irish whiskey had now doubled to more 12 million cases.
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 will be donated to sponsor the Kapatomoyo School in Zambia.
Drinks Industry Ireland was the event’s media partner and key sponsors include the Irish Whiskey Association and Tuath Irish Whiskey Glass.
Irish Whiskey Awards & Gold Medal 2019 Winners:
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