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Top 10 Irish whiskeys for St Patrick’s Day

Shouting “sláinte!” at the top of your lungs with an empty glass just doesn’t have the right ring to it. So, in the spirit of St Patrick’s Day, we’ve rounded up 10 Irish whiskey brands to help out with the celebrations.

Irish Whiskey
Pernod Ricard-owned Jameson is the world’s biggest-selling Irish whiskey

Irish whiskey is in the midst of a renaissance at the moment and if there was a time to see what all the fuss is about, it’s St Patrick’s Day.

Held annually on 17 March and celebrated worldwide, the occasion is all about raising a glass to being Irish (even if you’re just adopting the heritage for the day), and provides as good an excuse as ever to explore some of the best tipples coming from the Emerald Isle.

There are more than 40 distilleries in operation in Ireland, but to make easy, we’ve whittled the list down to 10; from Belfast in North all the way down to Cork in the South.

After something other than whiskey to toast St Patrick’s Day with? See our list of the best Irish-made spirits.



Pernod Ricard-owned Jameson, AKA the one that everyone knows, is the world’s most popular Irish whiskey, surpassing 10 million nine-litre cases in sales in 2022. The brand’s recognisability is right up there with the big names from Scotland and the US, and it harbours ambitions of reaching 15m case-sales by 2030.

Outside of Ireland and the UK, Jameson’s star power is also just as strong. According to hospitality platform Union, the brand is the top whiskey consumed at its bars and restaurants in the US. For Paddy’s Day tipples, its flagship triple-distilled blended Irish whiskey, both smooth and versatile, doesn’t get much more iconic.

Suggested St Patrick’s Day serve: JGL (Jameson Ginger Lime)


  • 30ml Jameson Original
  • 90ml Ginger ale
  • 1 Lime wedge

Method: Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in the Jameson Original. Top up the glass with good quality ginger ale and stir briefly to mix. Take a lime wedge, give it a squeeze and drop into the glass. Enjoy.


Irish Whiskey

Single malt, grain, blended – Fercullen does it all. Produced at Powerscourt Distillery in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, the distillery itself received a considerable cash injection last year – to the tune of €25 million (US$27.4m) – and plans to use the investment to develop the brand in new markets worldwide.

Among its whiskeys includes the Fercullen Single Malt, which is one for the history books in that when it launched, it was the first whiskey entirely distilled in County Wicklow in 100 years.

Founded in 2018, the brand’s fast rise up the ranks has made it one of our Irish whiskey brands to watch in 2024.

Suggested St Patrick’s Day serve: The Fercullen Old Fashioned


  • 1 spoon/5ml Sugar syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 50ml Fercullen Falls or Fercullen Single Malt

Method: Pour sugar syrup into a rocks glass. Add Angostura Bitters, Fercullen Single Malt Irish Whiskey and top with ice, before stirring gently with a bar spoon to effuse aromas. Peel a slice of orange rind and gently squeeze over the rim of the glass, drop into your cocktail, stir once again and serve.

Skellig Six18


Skellig Six18 takes its name after the 618 steps that were carved into Skellig Rock by monks during the sixth century, which is now a Unesco world heritage site. The distillery, meanwhile, is located in the heart of the Ring of Kerry, in the town of Cahersiveen along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

The whiskeys are matured onsite and are influenced by the brand’s seaside surroundings, which are said to ‘produce the purest water supply in one of Ireland’s soft water areas’ and bring low temperatures that ‘stop the whiskey from taking on the wood’.

Onwards to taste, a trio of Master medals in The Irish Whiskey Masters 2023 for the single pot still whiskey attest to its quality, and if you’re touching down in Ireland anytime soon be sure to grab a bottle from the airport – the brand has made the global travel retail market a key priority for its ambitions this year.

Suggested St Patrick’s Day serve: Irish Manhattan


  • 50ml Skellig Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 50ml Sweet Vermouth
  • Aromatic Bitters

Method: Stir all ingredients in ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a twist of orange.


Irish whiskey

Having produced 2,000 tonnes of spring barley and mainly fed it to cattle, Alex Conyngham had a bit of a ‘eureka’ moment in 2009 when he thought why not just make whiskey instead.

The barley-only distillery, which is within the Slane Castle estate that Conyngham’s ancestors built in 1703, produces a triple-distilled blend of single malt and single grain whiskeys, using water sourced from the River Boyne that flows below the castle and straight through the farm.

The three casks – virgin oak, Tennessee whiskey and oloroso Sherry – give the resulting liquid a spicy, creamier taste, with notes of caramel, butterscotch and dried fruit.

Slane also has a long-established link to St Patrick’s Day lore. It was on The Hill of Slane, in 433AD, when Saint Patrick lit the ‘paschal fire’ and defied the pagans and King Laoghaire.

Suggested St Patrick’s Day serve: Irish Coffee


  • 1 part Slane Irish Whiskey
  • ⅔ parts Demerara syrup
  • Double cream float
  • Freshly-brewed double espresso
  • Dark chocolate orange shavings
  • Glassware: Coffee glass

Method: Prepare double shot espresso. Add boiling water to halfway up glass, until the glass is warm and then pour the water out. Add syrup, double espresso and whiskey, then stir. Top with the cream float and garnish with chocolate shavings.

Kirker Shamrock

Kirker Shamrock

After a two-year tour of Ireland, stopping by many of the nation’s Irish whiskey distilleries along the way, Drinksology Kirker Greer’s co-founder and head of liquid development, Richard Ryan, came back with, what else, but his own version of the spirit: Kirker Shamrock, dubbed Ireland’s first and only four-province blended whiskey.

Ryan crafted the blend through six whiskeys, sourced from four different distillers across the four provinces of Ireland; The Great Northern Distillery from Leinster; The West Cork Distillery from Munster; The Shed Distillery from Connacht; and an unnamed producer in Ulster.

The blend incorporates three styles of Irish whiskey – single grain, single malt and single pot still – each bringing its own distinct taste and profile to the table, which are ‘enriched’ by first-fill ex-Bourbon and oloroso Sherry casks.

Suggested St Patrick’s Day serve: Kirker Shamrock John Collins


  • 50ml Kirker & Greer Shamrock⁠
  • 25ml Fresh lemon juice⁠
  • 15ml Sugar syrup⁠
  • Soda Water⁠

Method: Add Kirker Shamrock Irish Whiskey, lemon juice, sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled.⁠ Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.⁠ Top with soda water.⁠ Garnish with a mint sprig and lemon wedge.⁠


Clonakilty Galley Head

Located to the west of Cork, Clonakilty Distillery comes with a ton of coastal character thanks to its proximity to the sea, and it makes some quality Irish whiskey too. The liquid is blended using the brand’s own well water, and is made with malted and unmalted barley grown on the founding family’s farm.

The team have a fondness for cask finishes – in Bordeaux, double oak and Port – and last year released a new single malt, named Galley Head, which was inspired by a lighthouse built in 1875 that towers 53m above the Atlantic Ocean just outside of Clonakilty town.

Suggested St Patrick’s Day Serve: Clonakilty Irish Coffee

  • 43ml Clonakilty Double Oak Whiskey
  • 1tsp Muscovado brown sugar
  • 142ml freshly-brewed coffee

Method: Fill glass with hot water to warm glass; empty water when warm. Add whiskey, a spoonful of muscovado brown sugar and stir gently until sugar is dissolved. Add freshly brewed coffee, pour fresh cream over a bar spoon to float and sprinkle with cocoa power if desired.


Teeling Irish whiskey

While other brands may focus on other parts of Ireland for their production, Jack Teeling was all in on the capital when he and his brother, Stephen Teeling, started Teeling, and said: “When we launched Teeling Whiskey in 2012 our dream was to restore Dublin to its former whiskey distilling glory.”

More than 10 years on from those early days, Teeling has made good on his dream, turning Dublin into a proper destination for whiskey fans with the case in point being its distillery that opened in 2015: the first in Dublin for 125 years and now one of the UK’s most visited.

With investment from Bacardi, Teeling’s whiskeys are consistently ranked among the top-tier and its Small Batch in particular, both creamy and full of dried fruits and spices, has won many plaudits, including a Master medal at The Irish Whiskey Masters 2023.

Suggested serve: Irish Maid – created by Jack McGarry, co-founder of Dead Rabbit in NYC


  • 57ml Teeling Small Batch
  • 14ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 21ml Fresh lemon juice
  • 2 inches of cucumber
  • 14ml Sugar syrup

Method: Muddle cucumber in bottom of shaker tin. Add all other ingredients, shark and strain into ice-filled glass.

Proper No Twelve

Proper Twelve Apple

As a proud Irishman, besides fighting, the other thing Conor McGregor feels very passionately about is his whiskey. The mixed martial arts star co-founded Proper No. Twelve back in 2018 and it has since shipped more than 500,000 nine-litre cases (more than six million bottles) in eight global markets.

Although McGregor has since sold Proper No. Twelve to Jose Cuervo-maker Becle in a deal said to be worth up to US$600 million, the star still actively promotes the brand and it has launched in the US, the UK and Canada.

Beyond the original blended whiskey that’s created at the Old Bushmills Distillery, the brand also launched an apple-flavoured expression last year (pictured above), which is said to taste of crisp Irish apples.

Suggested St Patrick’s Day serve: Proper Irish Apple Cider


  • 57ml Proper No. Twelve Irish Apple
  • 4 cups Apple Cider
  • 6 Sticks of Cinnamon
  • 4tbsp Nutmeg
  • 10 Cloves, orange zest and twist

Method: Over heat, combine Proper No. Twelve Irish Apple, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves and fresh orange zest. Pour into a heat-protected mug, garnish with an orange twist and enjoy warm.


Belfast-Distillery ProWein

Everyone loves a good comeback story and McConnell’s is no different. The brand was resurrected in 2020 by the Belfast Distillery Company having been closed for more than 90 years, and you’ll have to roll the tapes even further back to get to when it was first established: in 1776, by two brothers, John and James McConnell.

In returning McConnell’s to its former glory, Belfast Distillery Company poured £22.3 million (US$27m) worth of investment into opening a new distillery and visitor centre, which is where the brand’s award-winning Sherry Cask expression is produced – aged for five years, in first-fill select Bourbon barrels and then finished in oloroso Sherry casks.

Suggested St Patrick’s Day serve: McConnells Apple Fizz


  • 25ml McConnell’s Irish Whiskey
  • 10ml Apple brandy
  • 10ml Simple syrup
  • 150ml Soda water

Method: Stir ingredients together. Garnish with an apple wedge.

Neit Whiskey

Neit Irish Whiske

Sporting an Irish soul and an Italian style (not to say there’s anything against the Irish style, that is), Neit is the newcomer on the scene and will make its bow this month.

Founded by two Italians brothers Francesco Fracassi and Luca Fracassi, the pair say they are seeking to bring some ‘dolce vita’ to the younger generation of Irish whiskey drinker, by combining Italian influences with Irish production methods – bringing a ‘unique touch’ to the category.

Packaged as though they’ve been shipped straight from Milan’s design week, in chic fragrance-like bottles, the opening range will consist of two core products: 12-year-old single grain whiskey Mellow Spice, and no age-statement Toffee Dream.

In February, we caught up with Angelica Siciliani Fendi, who joined the brand as an investor and advisor, to get the lowdown on what Neit is all about.

Suggested St Patrick’s Day Serve: Neit Peppered Sour Twist


  • 45 ml Orange and Sarawak black pepper cordial
  • 45 ml Mellow Spicy Whiskey

Method: Start with the orange. First wash and take off the skin, then put everything in a blender with the pepper (Sarawak black pepper in this case because it reminds us of the flavour of the whiskey). Then filter, add some sugar and some citrus mix. Finish by mixing the cordial with the whiskey.

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