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Irish Whiskey: A Tasting

by Mike Bertha on Mar 16, 2012 in Liquor for Tir Na Nog
Irish Whiskey: A Tasting

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just about kegs and eggs at 6 AM, dressing up like a leprechaun, drunkenly running up the Art Museum steps or having car bombs with breakfast, lunch and dinner. While those things are all well and good, sometimes celebrating the Irish culture requires a little more (ahem) tact. Enter your neighborhood liquor store.

The folks at Fine Wine & Good Spirits were kind enough to put together an event that showcased the one of the tastier traditions Ireland has to offer: good whiskey. We got together at their location on Girard Avenue in Northern Liberties (attached to the much ballyhooed Super Fresh) for a little pre-St. Paddy’s celebration.

Tir Na Nog was on hand with some traditional Irish fare (the bangers and mashed were fantastic), as reps from Jameson and Bushmills walked us through a tasting of a handful of delicious poisons.

First we got a crash course in the history of Irish whiskey (apparently Prohibition and famine weren’t good for business, who’d have thought?). Luckily, though, the industry rebounded and now Irish whiskey is considered one of the fastest growing spirits in the world. This allows for a wider range of products from a wider range of successful brands — like Bushmills and their new honey-flavored whiskey.

Bushmills Irish Honey will be on state store shelves soon. It has a sweeter taste than most whiskeys, but the honey flavor is subtle — it definitely grows with the second and third sip and isn’t overbearing like the other honey whiskey’s I’ve tried.

In addition to the new, sweet spoils of a growing industry, the tasting focused on the pillars of the trade. The Jameson rep walked us through a tasting of Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve and Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve before a Bushmills representative (complete with an authentic kilt) introduced us to Bushmills Irish Honey and re-introduced us to Bushmills Black Bush.

The event served as quality foreplay for one of my favorite holidays of the year. And it certainly didn’t hurt that we were sipping aged Irish whiskey instead of the usual St. Pat’s standbys of dyed-green light beer or Smithwick’s pints. This weekend, give some authentic Irish whiskey a try. Guinness will still be around when you're done.

Photo via Bushmills USA on Facebook

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