The resurgent Irish whiskey industry has come on leaps and bounds in recent years.
The figures tell you all you need to know – global sales have increased over 300% in the past decade, according to the Department for International Trade. Distilleries in Northern Ireland were singled out as being an important factor in boosting the category’s growth earlier this year, which the Irish Whiskey Association forecasts will hit 12 million nine-liter cases by 2020.
A few weeks ago a group of expert tasters attended Mayfair, London to taste and rate a selection of Irish Whiskeys. Some of the judges included: Mark Jennings, founder of Drinks Galore, Joe Harper, assistant bars manager at The Savoy hotel, Jamie Matthewson, Waitrose buying manager – wine, Derek Millar, retired whiskey retailer, Amy Hopkins, editor of The Spirits Business magazine and Billy Abbott, Ambassador for The Whisky Exchange.
Reflecting on this year’s tasting:
“The variety of styles was broad. There were a couple of standout, exceptional whiskeys.” Joe Harper
“There were some real differences in terms of character and quality.” Jamie Matthewson
“perfume, violets, Turkish Delight” Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy
Single Pot Still – Ultra Premium
“The worst whiskeys today were still incredibly well made. There was nothing I disliked in this competition and some really interesting examples that are worth seeking out.” Jamie Matthewson
Here is a list of the results for: Blended – Standard; Blended – Premium; Blended – Super Premium; Blended – Ultra Premium; Single Grain – Premium; Single Malt – Standard; Single Malt – Premium; Single Malt – Super Premium; Single Malt – Ultra Premium; Single Pot Still – Premium; Single Pot Still – Super Premium; and Single Pot Still – Ultra Premium:
Source: The Spirits Business