On March 11th I attended the third annual New York Irish Whiskey Festival. The festival was established back in 2019 and after a two-year pandemic break, returned to New York City in 2022.
At one time, Irish Whiskey was the most popular style of whiskey in this country, Prohibition and politics brought that all to a halt and for decades less than a handful of distilleries remained in the country. In the past couple of decades, the industry in Ireland has been infused with innovators and new startups that has expanded the industry greatly making it a one of the fastest growing categories in the U.S. with sales of $1.3 billion in 2021.
The basic regulations for Irish Whiskey are that the spirit has to be distilled in Ireland from a mash of malt and cereals, triple distilled and aged for a minimum of three years. Most (90%) are blended whiskeys, but they also produce single malt, single grain, single pot still and potcheen (unaged) whiskeys that have been aged different types of barrels. There is much more diversity than the usual Bushmills/Jameson pours available at the local pub.
At the well-attended event I, and the rest of the crowd was able to try a wide range of over 25 Irish whiskeys, The blended whiskeys in general were smooth and drinkable while I found the aged single malts the most interesting.
The event was held at The View at the Battery, an event space at 1 Battery Place at the southern tip of Manhattan overlooking New York Harbor.
Some of what I sampled:
|Keeper’s Heart American and Irish blend||Bushmills 10, 12, 16, 21, 25, 30yr old single malt|
|Powers Irish rye||RedBreast 12yr single pot still|
|Croithli single malt||Teeling single pot still|
|J J Corry The Gael||The Quiet Man blended|
|Roe & Co blended||Proper Twelve blended|
|Proclamation blended||Drumshanbro single malt|
|The Tyrconnell blended||Naterjack blended|