Irish Whiskey 2020

Irish Whiskey - 2020


The Fifty Best Irish Whiskey Tasting 2020


The Tasting: The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of Irish whiskies with seventeen members of our spirits judging panel. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the whiskies were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting. The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The distilleries and alcohol proofs are identified for each brand.



Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey Small Batch Rye
(Kilbeggan Distillery, Kilbeggan, Ireland)
Blend of malt, barley & rye.   88 prf

Aroma: Butterscotch, caramel, creamy chocolate, butter, crème brulée, ginger, citrus, lemon peel, light orange, barley, rye, grain, coffee, walnut, clove, spice, spicy, white pepper, peppery, malty, chalk, saline, briny, peaty, smoke, wood shaving, dry wood, cedar, oak.

Palate: Toffee, dark chocolate, caramel, creamy, vanilla, honey, banana peel, lemony, mint, anise, barley, almond, walnut, tobacco leaf, allspice, bright cloves, cinnamon, spice, pepper, white pepper, black pepper, peppery, maritime, smoke, young wood, oak, cedar, nice spicy kick, clean, crisp, soft, velvety.

Finish: Toffee, white chocolate, lingering honey, grain, lemon, mint, clove, spice, pepper, peppery, woody, oak, smooth, flavorful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey Small Batch Rye


Dingle Single Malt Irish Whiskey
(The Dingle Whiskey Distillery, Kerry, Ireland)
Marriage of bourbon, sherry & port casks.   93 prf

Aroma: Toffee, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cocoa, buttery, caramel, treacle, molasses, vanilla, honey, baked yellow fruits, honeysuckle, pineapple, floral, flowery, grain, malt, nutty, clove, spicy, briny, peaty, smoky, woody, cedar, oak.

Palate: Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, toffee, butter, caramel, molasses, vanilla, honey, raisins, baked pineapple, apple, orange peel, lemon zest, intense mint, almond, coffee, mushroom, cinnamon, smooth spice, spicy, peppery, mineral, peaty, wood, cedar, well balanced, creamy, smooth.

Finish: Dried dark fruits, great caramelization, lingering honey, lemon zest, coffee, pepper, briny, tannic, balanced, smooth, flavorful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Dingle Single Malt Irish Whiskey


Barr an Uisce – Wicklow Rare
Small Batch Blended Irish Whiskey

(Cooley Distillery, County Wicklow, Ireland)
10 yr old malt. Matured in bourbon barrels for 4 yrs.
Finished in Oloroso sherry casks for 6 ms.   88 prf

Aroma: Toffee, Milk Duds, sweet cream, butter, caramel, honey, dried apricots, baked fruits, apples, green apple skins, orange peel, floral, grain, malty, touch of cinnamon, spicy, leathery, wood shavings, cedar, oaky.

Palate: Toffee, milk chocolate, creamy, buttery, caramel, vanilla, maple, honey, raisins, orange, apple, lemon, mint, spice, grain, woody, cedar, oak, soft, smooth, savory.

Finish: Butterscotch, caramel, toffee, demerara sugar, honey, raisins, lemon zest, minty, cinnamon, clove, barley, smooth, great, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Barr an Uisce Wicklow Rare Small Batch Blended Irish Whiskey

Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey
(Jameson Distillery, County Cork, Ireland)
Aged in double charred bourbon barrels.   80 prf

Aroma: Butterscotch, light caramel, treacle, vanilla extract, honey, banana bread, raisins, stone fruit, citrus, orange peel, orange spice, carnations, wheat, grain, straw, malty, walnut, nutty, nutmeg, cloves, rock salt, slightly briny, wet soil, peaty, woody, cedar, oak.

Palate: Toffee, chocolate, dark chocolate, good quality caramel, creamy, clotted cream, vanilla, sweet coffee, Kahlúa, sauterne, raisins, dried apples, orange peel, banana, ginger, almonds, almond oil, cinnamon, clove, rye, white pepper, peppery, mineral, dusty, wood, oak, bitter oak, rich, soft.

Finish: Spicy cocoa, dark raisins vanilla, hint of orange peel, grain, nutty, straw, mint, spice, light wood, oaky, nice, soft, smooth, rich, velvety.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey

Barr an Uisce
1803 Single Malt Irish Whiskey

(Cooley Distillery, County Wicklow, Ireland)
Aged 10 yrs in first-fill bourbon barrels.   86 prf

Aroma: Butterscotch, dark chocolate, vanilla, Juicy Fruit, tropical fruits, dried fruit, pear, melon, orange, lemon, sour cherries, green apple, spiced apple, Sweet Tarts, citrus, peppery, lilies, potpourri, floral, minty, tobacco leaves, cinnamon, spicy, peaty, smoky, dark wood, oaky, clean, fresh.

Palate: Toffee, touch of caramel, creamy, honey, candied citrus, ripe guava, bananas, pineapple, orange, orange peel, citrus, apple, raisins, ginger, spearmint, cloves, rye, spices, spicy, pepper, peppery, mineral, peaty, woody, cedar, oaky, layers of flavors.

Finish: Toffee, dried fruits, honey, apricot, orange peel, bitter tangerine lemon zest, lingering citrus, mint, anise, caraway seed, white pepper, peppery, sweet smoke, woody, buttery, smooth, great.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Barr an Uisce 1803 Single Malt Irish Whiskey


Hyde - 1916 No. 3
The Aras Cask Single Grain Irish Whiskey

(Hyde Whiskey, County Cork, Ireland)
6 yr old. Bourbon cask matured.   92 prf

Aroma: Vanilla, molasses, honey, bergamot, citrus, orange peel, lemon zest, nutty, clove, white pepper, pepper, fresh cut grass, pine, cedar, mineral, crisp.

Palate: Chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel, buttery, maple, honey, sweet coffee, almond, grain, elderflower, minty, grassy, pepper, spicy, briny, oak, smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Finish: Chocolate, toffee, caramel, dried fruit, mint, rye, spice, peppercorn, briny, wood, savory, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Hyde 1916 No. 3 The Aras Cask Single Grain Irish Whiskey




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