Irish Whiskey Awards 2015

Last night, October 15th, saw the Teeling distillery open its doors after hours to host this year’s Irish Whiskey Awards.

The Irish Whiskey Awards are organised by the Celtic Whiskey Shop’s Ally Alpine. Members of the Celtic Whiskey Shop’s Celtic Club and members of the Irish Whiskey Society are invited to judge each year’s awards.

The whiskey awards are by far one of the most anticipated events of the year, only overshadowed by whiskey live perhaps. Industry professionals and whiskey geeks alike, come together to celebrate the best parts of the booming Irish whiskey industry.

Companies can submit their entries for free and all profits of the event go to local charity Mary’s Meals.

It’s not just whiskey that makes an appearance at the awards though!
Poitins, gins, vodkas, liqueurs and even barrel aged beers were submitted this year for judging!

Judging consists of a blind tasting. Each of the whiskeys and spirits that have been submitted for the current year’s awards are tasted by members both in Ireland and up to 40 members are available to register from abroad.
Each entry is marked out of 100 points and all of the voting is completely anonymous.

This is a very transparent and logical voting process. The winners are what the public deem to to be the best of the best. The judges have varying degrees of whiskey knowledge, from complete novices to master distillers. The results reflect the true quality of the whiskey before them!

This year there were a lot of familiar faces at this year’s awards. Big brand names and famous bars throughout Ireland all in attendance. 2015 was witness to several triumphant returns to the top spots! Redbreast 21 year old picked up Irish Whiskey of the Year for a second year running and Garavan’s bar Galway retained the Connaught Irish Whiskey Bar of the year!  Although there was a whole heap of new entrants in nearly all of the categories, including my favourite Irish whiskey bar in North America The Shebeen/Irish Heather in Vancouver BC, which took home a gold medal for best international bar.

Before we get to this year’s winners and runners up, if you too want to try a whole host of the whiskeys and spirits that hauled in the gold at these awards make sure to check out Whiskey Live in Dublin Castle on the 24th of October. Not to be missed for any Ireland based whiskey fans!
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Results for the Irish Whiskey Awards
Irish Whiskey of the Year (Overall winner)
Redbreast 21 Year-Old

Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey
Trophy Winner – Redbreast 21 Year Old
Gold Medal – Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy
Gold Medal – Powers Signature Release

Irish Single Malt Whiskey (12 Years & Younger)
Trophy Winner – Connemara Single Malt
Gold Medal – Teeling Single Malt
Gold Medal – Tullamore Dew 10 Year Old Single Malt

Irish Single Malt Whiskey (13 Years & Older)
Trophy Winner – Knappogue Castle Vintage 2000 Batch 2 Mongeard Mugneret Burgundy Cask
Gold Medal – The Palace Bar Three Generations Batch 14 Year-Old
Gold Medal – Glendalough 13 Year Old Single Malt

Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60)
Trophy Winner – Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old
Gold Medal – Writers Tears Copper Pot
Gold Medal – Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel

Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of €60 or more)
Trophy Winner – Midleton Very Rare 2015
Gold Medal –Jameson Gold Reserve
Gold Medal – Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve

Irish Single Cask Whiskey
Trophy Winner – An Púcán Teeling Whiskey Single Malt
Gold Medal – Celtic Cask Trí Déag
Gold Medal – Celtic Cask Dó Dhéag

Irish Cask Strength Whiskey
Trophy Winner – Tullamore Dew Phoenix
Gold Medal – Midleton Dair Ghaelach
Gold Medal – Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength

Irish Single Grain Whiskey
Trophy Winner – Kilbeggan Single Grain
Gold Medal – Glendalough Single Grain
Gold Medal – Teeling Single Grain

Irish Poitín
Trophy Winner – Teeling Poitín
Gold Medal – Bán Poitín

Irish Liqueur
Trophy Winner – Mrs Doyle’s Irish Cream
Gold Medal – Coole Swan
Gold Medal – The Wild Geese Irish Honey Liqueur

Irish Gin
Trophy Winner – Thin Gin
Gold Medal – Blackwater No 5
Gold Medal – Dingle Gin

Irish Vodka
Trophy Winner – Dingle Vodka
Gold Medal – Untamed Irish Vodka
Gold Medal – St Patrick’s Distillery Vodka

Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Irish Craft Beer
Trophy Winner – O’Hara’s Barrel Aged Series
Gold Medal – Independent Whiskey Stout
Gold Medal – Franciscan Well Jameson Stout

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Overall Winner)
Dick Mack’s, Dingle

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Leinster)
Trophy Winner – The Dingle Whiskey Bar, Dublin
Gold Medal – The Whiskey Palace, Dublin
Gold Medal – L Mulligan Grocer, Dublin

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Munster)
Trophy Winner – Dick Mack’s, Dingle
Gold Medal -The Shelbourne Bar, Cork
Gold Medal –The Folkhouse, Kinsale

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Connaught)
Trophy Winner – Garavan’s Bar, Galway
Gold Medal –An Púcán, Galway
Gold Medal – Tigh Neachtain’s, Galway

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Ulster)
Trophy Winner – The Duke of York, Belfast
Gold Medal – Bittles Bar, Belfast
Gold Medal – McCuaig’s bar, Rathlin Island

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (International)
Trophy Winner – Whisky and Alement, Melbourne, Australia
Gold Medal – The Shebeen/Irish Heather – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Gold Medal – Scholars Lounge, Rome

What’s on Weekly

Competition of the week!


Kicking things off is my favourite competition for the week! This has to be from Boann Distillery (in conjunction with Thetaste.ie) who have launched their new Boann Cask Society. New distillery on the block, Boann, are offering you the chance to win a ten year membership of the cask collection.
The Boann Cask Collection offers members 10 exclusive bottlings over the period of 10 years. As a member, the winner will own exclusive bottlings from the Boann Distillery’s choice casks, each handpicked by the Master Distiller. Members will receive 10 bottles of whiskey over a 10 year period. Each of these bottles will carry a unique limited edition label, building a covetable collection of Boann’s special whiskeys. This sounds super cool and I’m very interested to see what they produce! To enter click here!

Monday 12th

Galway – An Pucan 

Powers’ Three Swallow is the whiskey of the month in An Pucan in Galway for 10% off for the entire month of October! Only €5.85 per glass!

Cork – Folkhouse Kinsalecocktail
A special on our “Folkhouse Jameson Black Barrel, Basil & Rosemary Whiskey Sour” for just €7.00.

This Folkhouse Cocktail was the 2015 Winner of Best Jameson Black Barrel Cocktail in the Barrelman’s Bar Battle
Ireland and it was cocktail that the Folkhouse Represented Ireland with in the World Competition last June. Literally one of the best cocktails in Ireland!

Tuesday 13th

Dublin – Dingle Whiskey Bar Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 12.14.57
The weekly whiskey tasting class with Dublin’s own Whiskey Genius Fionnan O’Connor is back again this Tuesday. Only €18 to explore the world of whiskey with this tutored tasting. This week’s class is “Whiskey and the Woodwork: American Oak”. Explore everything Quercus Alba with this in-depth look at American white oak.


Dublin – Dublin Cocktail Festival
Tuesday also sees the launch of the Dublin cocktail festival with Kalak Vodka Martini Masterclass and Shortcross Gin Sensory Story.


Wednesday 14th

Dublin – Vintage Cocktail Club

Wednesday sees the first of the whiskey themed events from the cocktail festival! Bushmills Masterclass at 2pm
One of their few masterclasses that are held outside of the distillery. This is a free but ticketed event. Very worth checking out.

Dublin – Gin Palace

Glendalough take their turn after Bushmills to offer their distillery tasting at 4pm in the Gin Palace on Dublin’s Middle Abbey Street. Tickets only €11.20.

Dublin – Teeling Distillery
Teeling conclude the evening’s activities with a cocktail class with their cocktail masterclass in the distillery with global brand ambassador Kevin Hurley. Doors 6.30pm, Tickets can be found here.


Thursday 15th 

Dublin – Teeling Distillery

The Irish Whiskey Awards take place this Thursday in the Teeling Distillery. A host of venues, brands and companies are bidding for the gold in their respective categories for this event. Unfortunately tickets are long sold out but keep an eye on my Twitter account for updates throughout the night.

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Dublin – South William Bar

Jameson infusion workshop with Oisin Davis, founder of the Sugar Club Dublin, for an in-depth look at creating wonderful Jameson cocktails and creations. Doors 3pm, tickets €5.98 available here.

Dublin – The Liquor Rooms

Why the f*ck is everybody talking about poitín? This is being run by a company that I’ve only just come across, Ban Poitin. I could find nothing about them online other than they are selling Poitin for cocktails in both Ireland and the UK. Who knows could be the diamond in the rough of the whole event! Tickets are €5.98 and available here.

Dublin – Meeting House

Tullamore DEW presents: Where is my whiskey? A look into the history of whiskey, its rise to fame, fall from glory and paired with some tasty Tullamore DEW treats. Presented by Tullamore DEW whiz Kevin Piggot, this will be one great event! Tickets are€11.20 (incl fees) available here, doors at 8pm.

Friday 16th

Dublin – Irish Whiskey Museum

Fancy chatting about Irish whiskey? Fancy an Irish Coffee overlooking the front gates of Trinity College? Irish whiskey museum has you sorted! With late opening times all through the week, Irish whiskey museum is one of the latest opening whiskey attractions in the city this weekend so check it out! Super knowledgable and one of my personal favourite hangout spots in the city! Check out their website here.


Saturday 17th

Dublin – Old Jameson Distillery
Looking for something different to do this weekend? Why not check out the Jameson Barrelman’s Feast? A banquet of food, whiskey and entertainment in the home of Jameson Whiskey. A very cool outting in the centre of the city.
Price €49.50 pp
Check out more details on the website.

Dublin – Cocktail Festival
The Dublin cocktail festival concludes on the 17th but don’t worry deals are still to be had all across the city! ou can get involved by hitting any of the participating venues and purchasing a €5 wristband that will work in all venues for the whole week of the festival. The wristband will get you a 30% on the special festival cocktail that they’re rolling out. To see the delicious drinks the venues are all doing, check out www.greatirishbeverages.com


Sunday 18th

Ireland – O’Brien’s Wine
Sit back and relax. Feet up, by the fire and enjoy one of the great Irish whiskeys that O’Brien’s wine still have on sale! Get there before they’re gone!

Keep an eye out next week for another instalment of What’s On Weekly! If you think anything should be included in our weekly round up feel free to get in touch!