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Whisky Celebrations Get Started Across the Globe

Image Source: donfiore / Shutterstock

With International Whisk(e)y Day coming up on March 27, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the rich and flavorful golden spirit. Here are some notable whiskies from the rugged coastlines, islands, and mountains of Ireland and Scotland that are definitely worth trying.

Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery, Montrose, Scotland

At the family-run Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery in Scotland, they have released their third limited edition Highland Rye Single Grain Scotch Whisky. This whisky, aged for five years, has a honey bronze hue and is matured in charred American oak barrels with a finish in Jamaican rum barrels. Notably, it is the first mature Scotch whisky made with rye in over a century. The ingredients are sourced directly from the family farm at the distillery.

Arbikie Highland Estate, located on a sea cliff along the east coast of Angus, has a rich distillation history dating back to 1794. The Stirling family, spanning four generations – John, Iain, and David, continue the family farming tradition. The microclimate of Lunan Bay where the estate is situated grants longer growing seasons.

The Master Distiller at Arbikie, Kirsty Black, notes the aromas of the Highland Rye Single Grain whisky as ripe bananas, grilled pineapples, vanilla ice cream, roasted almonds, and toasted sugar with a taste profile featuring stewed fruits, demerara sugar, cocoa, grilled pineapples, blackcurrants, and cloves.

 

Powerscourt Distillery, Wicklow, Ireland

Inspired by the atmospheric bodegas of the Andalusian region in Spain, Powerscourt Distillery near Enniskerry introduces its oldest release, a 21-year-old single malt Fercullen whiskey. This whiskey is matured in bourbon, Oloroso, and PX sherry casks, offering a unique combination of flavors.

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John Cashman, Head of Whiskey at Powerscourt, describes the whiskey as a blend of dark fruit sherried flavors with the soft elegance of bourbon matured malt whiskey, creating a delightful vanilla sweetness. The Fercullen whiskey was launched in August 2018, marking the beginning of the distillery’s journey.

Powerscourt Distillery also produces Fercullen Falls, a blend of malt and grain whiskeys matured in various barrels, including a unique and exclusive ‘Prestige Cask Programme.’

 

Wayward Irish Spirits, Killarney, Ireland

Wayward Irish Spirits, located in Killarney, Ireland, was founded by Maurice O’Connell, whose family has a long history in the drinks industry dating back 600 years. The distillery, named after the 18th-century Irish leader Daniel O’Connell, produces its first Single Pot Still Whiskey called the ‘Coming of Age Release.’ This whiskey is matured in different casks, offering a unique flavor profile.

The microclimate at the distillery enhances the maturation process as the whiskey interacts with the wood. Made from barley grown on the estate, the whiskey undergoes a meticulous maturation process.

 

Gortinore Distillery, Waterford, Ireland

Gortinore Distillery in southeast Ireland aims to merge Irish and American whisky traditions with its Natterjack brand. Led by master distiller Jordan Via, the distillery produces whiskies aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and finished in virgin American oak casks.

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The whiskies from Gortinore Distillery offer a smooth, almost creamy palate with notes of orange, spice, cedar, and tobacco. The distillery’s special cask strength variety provides a unique and bold flavor profile.

 

Ballykeefe Distillery, Kilkenny, Ireland

Ballykeefe Distillery is a family-owned operation in Kilkenny, Ireland, run by Morgan and Anne Ging. The distillery, established in 2016, focuses on sustainability by producing grain on the farm and utilizing by-products for livestock feed.

The Single Malt Irish whiskey from Ballykeefe Distillery offers a burst of fruity and sweet flavors with hints of licorice and malt. The Pot Still whiskey showcases notes of orange peel, dark chocolate, and a blend of spices.

 

Rademon Estate Distillery, Crossgar, Northern Ireland

Founded by Fiona and David Boyd-Armstrong in 2012, Rademon Estate Distillery in Northern Ireland produces the award-winning Shortcross Rye and Malt editions. The distillery, situated on a historic estate, uses a unique combination of copper pot stills for distillation and aging in various barrels.

Rademon Estate Distillery offers a small batch Irish poitin alongside its whiskey range, providing a diverse range of flavors.

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Dingle Distillery, Kerry, Ireland

In Kerry, Ireland, Dingle Distillery recently released the triple-distilled Lá le Bríde Single Malt whiskey to celebrate the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolg. This unique whiskey, matured in bourbon casks with a rye finish, offers a blend of sweet and spicy flavors, making it a standout choice for whisky enthusiasts.The Dingle Distillery, founded in 2012 by Oliver Hughes, Liam LaHart, and Peter Mosley, offers a ‘Descendants Cask Programme’ for enthusiasts to invest in. Graham Coull, the Master Distiller, oversees the maturation of the whiskey for eight years.

**Clonakilty Atlantic Distillery, Cork, Ireland**

Situated at Cork’s waterfront, the Clonakilty Atlantic Distillery has been owned by the Scully family for nine generations over 300 years. They grow barley near the Galley Head lighthouse, emphasizing the influence of the pure Atlantic air on their whiskies. Their award-winning Single Grain whiskey is aged in ex-bourbon casks for 10 years and then in ex-Bordeaux red wine casks for an additional two years.

**The Eclinville Distillery, Newtownards, Northern Ireland**

Dubbed as ‘The Spirit of Belfast,’ the Dunville’s Distillery was revitalized by The Echlinville Distillery a decade ago. Their Dunville’s PX 10 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey is aged for a decade and finished in high-quality Pedro Ximenez sweet sherry casks.

**Sailor’s Home, Limerick, Ireland**

Originally built in 1856 near the Shannon Estuary, Sailor’s Home in Limerick is now a distillery known for ‘The Explorer Series’ created by master whiskey maker Jack Ó’Sé. One of their offerings, Stormchaser, is a triple-distilled single malt whiskey with unique finishes from craft Irish stout barrels and Madeira casks.

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**Sliabh Liag Distilleries, Donegal, Ireland**

This distillery in Ardara is led by James and Moira Doherty, reviving an artisan tradition in the Irish northwest. Their ‘Midnight Silkie’ blend is the smokiest in their collection, combining five single malts aged in various casks.

**Ardbeg Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland**

Ardbeg whisky has been produced on the Isle of Islay for over two centuries. Their 10-year-old peaty, smoky single malt is aged in American bourbon barrels, offering a lighter take on the Islay style with fruity and smoky notes.

**Slane Irish Whiskey, Meath, Ireland**

Located on the grounds of a historic castle near Dublin, Slane Irish Whiskey is a triple-casked blend incorporating grain and malt whiskeys. The distillery also produces special editions and batch proof whiskies.

*Image Source: donfiore / Shutterstock*

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