Top 5 Whiskey Brands for Saint Patrick’s Day
“It’s Saint Patrick’s day. Everyone’s Irish tonight!” – Murphy MacManus
The art of making a good whiskey has come a long way in recent years. Some of the greatest brands still hail from the Emerald Isle, but America, and even Japan, have become strong contenders for the title of “World’s Best” in the 2010’s. As an avid fan of whiskey myself, I haven’t held back on giving new and often underrated brands a try. Here are my Top 5 Whiskey Brands for Saint Patrick’s Day from recent years for your drinking pleasure.
The first of my Top 5 Whiskey Brands for Saint Patrick’s Day is from the Land of the Rising Sun. Japanese whiskey is rapidly gaining international recognition for its excellent flavor, possibly due to Suntory Distilleries having won four titles of Distiller of the Year in the past 7 years in the International Spirit Challenge. That is truly no small feat. Suntory is a personal favorite of mine most of all because it was the choice of Bill Murray’s character in “Lost in Translation”. If it’s good enough for Bill, it’s good enough for the rest of us, true? More to the point, Suntory Toki uses a white oak cask, giving it a great flavor without the oak overpowering the smooth notes of caramel and Yamazaki malt. As a result, you have a liquor that can be drank neat, or in a cocktail and it will still be noticeable while not overpowering.
Bushmills Black Bush
This whiskey is one of the most well known Irish exports. First of all, the original Bushmills whiskey is excellent on its own. Black Bush adds to the flavor by aging in sherry casks, as well as oak, to sweeten it slightly. This makes it a perfect whiskey to sip slowly on its own, rather than in a cocktail. Possibly an Old Fashioned, if you feel the need for a little more bittersweet tinge, making it a perfect addition for the Top 5 Whiskey Brands for Saint Patrick’s Day.
Maker’s Mark 46
Maker’s Mark 46 represents the 46th combination of various elements to add an extra level to the already complex and lovely Maker’s Mark. By using seared French oak staves inside the already charred barrels, Maker’s 46 added the spiciness of cinnamon, and aromatics of caramel and vanilla. The subtle changes make this entry on my top 5 whiskey brands for Saint Patrick’s Day the most versatile. Alone or in a Manhattan, or lined up in a neat little row for shots, this most certainly hits the mark.
Four Roses Single Barrel
I was shocked to find out that one of the premier bourbon whiskies in the world was distilled right in my own national backyard. Four Roses Single Barrel almost snags the number one spot because of it’s amazing flavor, mellow intensity, and smooth finish. Fruity, yet not too sweet. Full bodied yet still mellow and tasteful. This is the perfect bourbon whiskey for anything your heart desires. Cocktails? You’ll make the best Old Fashioned in history. Mixed drink? Ginger beer and Four Roses combine to make the finest whiskey mule. The only question you’ll have to ask yourself is, “Why didn’t I buy this sooner?”.
“When in doubt, get out the Jameson” — A-A-RON
The ultimate choice for whiskey drinkers around the world is drank so much and in so many venues on Saint Patrick’s Day. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it tops my list. Jameson in general would be grand, but I find myself drawn to the char and marzipan taste, and the finish of chocolate and butterscotch of the Caskmates for my celebration with Saint Patrick. Triple distilled and aged in stout soaked charred barrels, nothing comes close to topping Caskmates as the drink of choice for me to toast Saint Pat.
So, sláinte mhaith to all of you on this night, and always remember, an Irishman is never drunk so long as he can grasp a single blade of grass and not fall off the face of the earth.