Tag Archives: irish whiskey

The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey

the sexton irish whiskey

In the past few months, you may have noticed a new Irish whiskey on the shelves: The Sexton Single Malt. Introduced in early 2019 to the North American market, The Sexton comes in a stunning near-black hexagonal bottle with a dapper skeleton insignia. More attractive than that may be The Sexton’s price, though, at only $25 per bottle.

Made from 100% malted Irish barley and distilled in copper pots, The Sexton is aged 4 years in sherry casks. Often, Irish whiskey has a sweeter profile than the neighboring whisky from Scotland, but in this particular case The Sexton offers a surprising and slightly unfamiliar profile: spices and anise. So while there is a familiar Irish-ness in the initial sip of The Sexton, the back of the palate feels the warmth from the anise, while the tip of your tongue tingles from other spices as well.

Any time an “imported” whiskey is available at a decent age (remember this is 4 years old), and with a good price point, it’s a no-brainer to pick up a bottle to try. The Sexton can be used in cocktails where Rye is normally called for, which should add an interesting twist and character. At a relatively tame 40% ABV, I prefer sipping The Sexton neat or in an Old Fashioned, and often enjoy it with a cigar.

Tullamore D.E.W.

tullamore dew

Tullamore DEW is an actual, ancient whiskey. I say that because, particularly in the United States, Prohibition really short-circuited both the legends and history of all the old whiskey brands. Some refer to legends from long ago featuring George Washington and Lincoln, both many of our modern legendary whiskies (Bulleit comes to mind) are just that – modern.

But back to Tullamore. I always envisioned the dew on the grassy fields of the Emerald Isle when I heard that name, and I’m sure that’s intended, but the DEW in Tullamore is actually names for the original manager of the distillery: Daniel E. Williams. The bottle bears his signature.

Irish whiskies are somewhat of a forgotten element of the spirits world, at least to common folks. They’re an essential element of the Irish Coffee cocktail, but outside of that, it’s usually not called for specifically in a drink. Irish, in my opinion is a real gem though. While I’ve openly struggled with adapting my palate to scotch. The bourbon-Irish transition is an easy one. Irish whiskey is usually distilled more times (traditionally three times vs scotch’s double distillation), and almost never uses peat or smoke in the process. This results in a cleaner, less earthy whiskey that’s more familiar to an American palate.

Tullamore DEW, specifically, has some nice rich caramel with finishes clean and dry. I’ve been enjoying it on the rocks with all nature of holiday-season desserts: pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and pumpkin ice cream. It pairs well with buttery, flaky desserts like this and is a good companion for a cigar, too (because of its cool sweetness).

Ultimately, you owe it to yourself to try an Irish whiskey that’s not Jameson. Not that Jameson is bad in any way, but it’s prolific and just like “big brands” usually do, it appeals to the masses, and isn’t particularly unique. Tullamore DEW is a great example of a historic, classic Irish whiskey and you should definitely have a sip if you get the chance.


Teeling Irish Whiskey

teeling irish whiskey

Teeling is a very interesting whiskey in several ways. Firstly, the whiskey is distilled from all (or almost all) corn, making it sweet and pleasing particularly to a bourbon drinker. Next, Teeling is finished in rum casks, adding some fascinating flavor elements to the whiskey (Teeling has said it’s their goal to make an interesting Irish whiskey). If you tend towards American whiskeys, this Irish is likely to be very pleasing for you.

When I first tasted Teeling on Instagram, a few people chimed in saying they really like it, and I can see why. Though only available in the U.S. for a year or so, it’s an absolute darling with it’s fans. A 6 year old whiskey, Teeling will run you about $35-40 for a bottle. I’ve enjoyed sipping on Teeling and though it’s wonderful on its own, it also mixes really well in cocktails like the Paddy:

Paddy Cocktail

  • 1 1/4 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash bitters
  • stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Last week, Lisa and I tasted Teeling Irish Whiskey on the podcast.


Trader Joe’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey

trader joe's single malt irish whiskey

I’m not much of a whiskey guy.  Every time I tried Jack Daniels, I shivered at the taste. My friend is a Jameson fan, and I discovered that Irish whiskey has the smoothness I couldn’t find in its Tennessee brother.  I found a bottle of Single Malt Irish Whiskey at Trader Joe’s (their house brand) to try out for $20.  Jameson was $30 at Trader’s, but I know you can find it for $20 too if you shop around enough.

It’s good – definitely as good as Jameson – on my tongue.  There’s some bite, but it’s very smooth, and there’s a great citrus nose (fancy drinking word) and aftertaste.  I bought this as a “sippin’ whiskey,” so I haven’t bothered to mix it in a cocktail, though I’m likely to try and Old Fashioned and a Manhattan soon.