Mad March Hare – Best Irish Poitín

Mad March Hare Irish Poitín won Best Irish Poitín at the 2019 Irish Whiskey Awards, which took place at the Dingle Distillery in County Kerry recently.


From left: Ian Doody and Fergal McGuinness with the award for Best Irish Poitín at the Irish Whiskey Awards in Dingle Distillery.

From left: Ian Doody and Fergal McGuinness with the award for Best Irish Poitín at the Irish Whiskey Awards in Dingle Distillery.

Previously winning Gold in 2017, Mad March Hare, launched in 2014, took the top award this year. The brand also took a Gold Medal at the SIP Awards 2018 and Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2016.

Distilled in West Cork, Mad March Hare forms part of a national revival of Poitín as an emerging, modern, innovative and vibrant category led by independent Irish producers. This year has been a significant one for the Poitín category with the opening of Bar 1661 on Green Street off Dublin’s Capel Street. The cocktail bar features Poitín at its heart and is the global flagship for the spirit, one of the oldest in the world.

Traditionally the spirit of choice for the average Irish man or woman, it was secretly distilled for over 300 years despite being banned by the Crown forces, remaining an integral part of everyday Irish life.

Mad March Hare is triple-distilled in copper pots using only locally-sourced, malted barley from farmers within a couple of miles of the stills. Copper has catalytic properties that more modern ‘column stills’ cannot match. The mash bill is 95% malted barley, 5% whey and the spirit is triple-distilled, filtered and bottled at 40% ABV for a smooth finish.

Poitín itself is an extremely versatile spirit, an ideal alternative white spirit which works well in a simple mule such as the ‘Mad March Mule’ cocktail made with 2oz Mad March Hare, 1oz Ginger Beer, fresh Lime and Bitters, a house drink at Bar 1661.

Since being legalised in 1997 Irish Poitín has grown as a category with 13 distilleries now operating on the island of Ireland, with different regional styles and mash bills.

In 2008 Irish Poitín gained the protection of Geographical Indicator status under EU rules (similar to Champagne in France) and Bord Bia has gone on to facilitate the establishment of the Irish Poitín Collective, made up of Poitín producers from all over the island.

Mad March Hare is distributed throughout Europe and the US via independent Irish company Intrepid Spirits which is committed to bringing innovative and resurgent brands to the marketplace.

For more information visit or connect with Mad March Hare on Instagram @madmarchharepoitin.

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