I've put together a list of the Best Irish Whiskeys for Christmas 2020, that you won't want to miss out on! Some of these whiskeys were tasted and trialled throughout the year for you, Santa, or as a gift to enjoy this most unusual festive season. Once the Christmas meal and family games are over, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a dram or two of special Christmas Whiskey. Below, is a list of the Best Irish Whiskeys for Christmas 2020 from The Pot Still Founder, Craig Ellis.
The general consensus from our monthly whiskey tastings has been favourably in cask finishes that have been ex-wine cask, or something unusual that one can have on hand for when you have visitors over. I've compiled a few Irish Whiskeys that are perfect for those occasions and compliment a Christmas dinner or an after-dinner sip.
TEELING WHISKEY WONDERS OF WOOD AMBURANA CASK
The Amburana Cask, the latest of single cask releases by Teeling Whiskey Distillery. The Teeling Amburana Cask is the very first release in their series of 'Wonder of Wood' bottlings. The Teeling Amburana Single Cask is a 14 year old single malt aged initially in bourbon barrels and then in virgin Amburana Brazilian hardwood.. This unique Irish whiskey has a striking carrot cake flavour to it with hints of vanilla, cardamom and walnut. A Teeling Whiskey Distillery Exclusive bottled at 56.9% ABV.
“This is like Christmas in a glass, smooth sweet malt, with carrot cake creaminess and spices, delicious!”
Nose: Cinnamon, Coconut, Almond, Marzipan, Hot Apple, Liquorice
Taste: Bakes Apple, Vanilla, Black Cardamom, Walnut, Carrot Cake
Finish: Long and Spicy finish
Purchase via Teeling Whiskey Shop here.
Athrú Annacoona Sherry Cask
Annacoona is a 14 year old single malt whiskey finished in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry casks. As with all our First Editions it is limited to 6,600 uniquely numbered bottles, crafted and curated by Billy Waker.
“The Annacoona is a great expression of Irish Single Malt, married with the dried fruity flavours of the ex-sherry casks, with a medium dry finish”
Nose: Autumnal aromas of melted dark chocolate, dried fruits and orange peel.
Taste: Salted caramel, candied peels, with citrus undertones, ginger, pepper and dates.
Finish: A lingering finish of honey, oak, high cocoa chocolate and black forest cherries.
Blue Spot Whiskey
Embodying the unmistakable qualities of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, Blue Spot is matured for no less than 7 years in Bourbon casks, Sherry butts and Portuguese Madeira casks all bottled at cask strength!
“Blue Spot was well worth the wait, the fruity flavours are released with a punch at cask strength. It's an explosion of wine influence”
Nose: A light mix of pineapple, kiwi, green banana and lime zest followed by Pot Still spices, baked apple, hazelnut and toasted wood.
Taste: A light mix of pineapple, kiwi, green banana and lime zest followed by Pot Still spices, baked apple, hazelnut and toasted wood.
Finish: A lasting and distinctly palatable balance of exotic fruits and spices.
Purchase via Irish Malts here.
Clonakilty Cognac Cask Finish
This is a Distillery Exclusive, a vatting of whiskey finished in one 1st fill Cognac Cask and two 2nd fill Cognac Casks, with a finishing maturation of over 19 months!
“This is truly something different, well balanced flavours, fruity with a touch of clean oak. A fan favourite in our latest virtual tasting. A very easy drinker for those new to whiskey, while also exciting seasoned whiskey drinkers”
Nose: Sweet with coconut, chocolate and cracked hazelnuts.
Taste: Fruity flavours, such as honeydew melon, freshly cut hay, and toffee.
Finish: Smooth rich wood spice and caramel.
Purchase via Clonakilty Distillery Shop.
Powers Three Swallow
Price: €30 (Usually €45)
Three Swallow Release is a modern retelling of the old Powers story and the traditional "Pure Pot Still Whiskey". Made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley, triple-distilled in copper pot stills, and matured for 5 to 7 years in second-fill and third-fill American oak casks. A small portion (3%) of distillate aged in Oloroso Sherry butts is added, resulting in a non-chill-filtered, complex and full-bodied Whiskey with notes of spice, honey and fruit.
“This is the best bang for buck Single Pot Still, the right amount of spicy, toasted oak and fruity character”
Nose: Orange peel, ripe pear and a touch of tropical fruit. Sweet spice and sherry notes in the background.
Taste: Robust yet smooth with butterscotch and tropical fruits backed up by raisins and spice.
Finish: Smooth and fruity with wood spice notes
Purchase via IrishMalts.
TULLAMORE DEW XO CARIBBEAN RUM CASK
Tullamore Dew XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish Whiskey is an original mix of triple distilled Irish malts and grain whiskeys finished in the best barrels of Caribbean XO rum to offer sweet tropical flavours. To create a whiskey with a distinctive kick tropical fruit, the people behind Tullamore Dew have finished their whiskey (made with a mixture of one pot, a single malt and grain whiskeys) in barrels that previously contained Caribbean rum.
“One of the stand-out fan favourites on the virtual tastings, an easy drink, rum sweetness with a hint of spice, and at an affordable price”
Nose: Cherry pie, lots of tropical mango and banana alongside buttery caramel, with sweet malt and rum spice.
Taste: Lemon curd, caramelised pineapple and brown sugar, with oak spice and lots of dried fruit.
Finish: Chewy orange sweets, ripe banana drizzled with runny caramel, with a prickle of aromatic spice appearing on the finish.
Purchase via Dunnes Stores
If you are looking for something a little different or have a particular palate you are looking to buy for, please feel free to message me and I can make some further suggestions.