Irish Whiskey 2021

Irish Whiskey - 2021


The Fifty Best Irish Whiskey Tasting 2021


The Tasting: The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of Irish whiskies with a panel of ten judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. The Irish whiskies were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at room temperature. Each of the whiskies were judged and scored separately. Only ice water, unflavored unsalted crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals were awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting. Medals are provided based entirely on merit and only to products judged worthy of such award.

The tasting notes below are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The distilleries, alcohol proofs and other tidbits are identified for each brand. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.



Hinch Irish Whiskey Double Wood
Aged 5 Years

(Hinch Distiilery Co., Ireland)   86 prf

Aroma: Vanilla, light cocoa, brown sugar, raisins, dates, lemon juice, citrus, iced tea, grain, dough, barley, hops, malt, almond, nutty, malt, rainwater, mossy, briny, peat, woodsy, oak.

Palate: Caramel, toffee, cocoa, vanilla, maple syrup, honey, figs, citrus, iced tea, baked goods, wheat, grain, nutty, barley, malt, cinnamon, sandalwood, tobacco, leather, touch of smoke, cedar, oak, nicely blended, clean, soft.

Finish: Maple, creamy, bread pudding, brûléed figs, sweet nuts, spicy, pepper, oak, very smooth, soft, mellow.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Hinch Irish Whiskey Double Wood



Fercullen Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Aged 18 Years

(Powerscourt Distilling, Co., Wicklow, Ireland)
Matured in fresh bourbon barrels.   86 prf

Aroma: Caramel, orange blossom honey, guava, pear, ginger, floral, roasted nuts nutty, malty, briny, smoky peat, oaky, cedar, fresh.

Palate: Caramel, chocolate, creamy, honey, sweet citrus, orange peel, ginger, herbal, almond, cinnamon, clove, white pepper, smoky, woody, oak, sherry, creamy mouthfeel, satiny, savory.

Finish: Hint of orange, citrus, cream, almond, toasty, light briny notes, woody, oak, sherry-like, bright, smooth, approachable, pleasant.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Fercullen Single Malt Irish Whiskey Aged 18 Years

The Legendary Silkie Irish Whiskey
(Sliabh Liag Distillers Co., Donegal, Ireland)
Blend of double & triple distilled malts.   92 prf

Aroma: Caramel, toffee, savory butterscotch, buttery, creamy, vanilla cream, crème brulée, molasses, honey, caramelized figs, dried pear, popcorn, toasted pecans, nutty, spicy, peat, woody, oak.

Palate: Caramel, toffee, vanilla, raisins, red apple, stone fruit, candied pecans, nutmeg, allspice, spicy, peppery, white pepper, minerals, peat, sawdust, wood barrel, smoky, fresh cut wood, American oak, French oak, welcoming, classic.

Finish: Caramel, creamy, vanilla, fresh figs, hint of orange, spicy, tannic, peat, smoky, oak, some complexity, smooth, mellow, great.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

The Legendary Silkie Irish Whiskey

Hinch Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Aged 5 Years

(Hinch Distillery Co., Ireland)  86 prf

Aroma: Vanilla, buttery, cereal, oats, dry grass, pine, clove, brine, saline, cured meat, BBQ, char, smoky peat, explosion of smoke.

Palate: Toffee, creamy, buttery, vanilla, oats, malt, eucalyptus, lemon, citrus, pepper, wet stone, mossy, brine, saline, peat, sweet peat, smoke, BBQ pit, cigar box, wood, oak, pine, balanced.

Finish: Vanilla, lingering honey, grain, raisins, lemon, citrus, spicy, earthy, woody, oak, well balanced, intense, nice, soft, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Hinch Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey Aged 5 yrs.

Fercullen Single Grain Irish Whiskey
Aged 10 Years

(Powerscourt Distilling, Co., Wicklow, Ireland)
Matured in American white oak & fresh bourbon barrels.   86 prf

Aroma: Caramel, Milk Duds, honey, banana, orange peel, lemon peel, lemon, citrus, spicy gum drops, sweet grain, malty, hazelnut, nutty, savory notes, oak, wood.

Palate: Caramel, toffee, chocolate, treacle, vanilla, nougat, honey, dried stone fruits, red apple, lemon, sweet citrus, ginger, floral, rye spice, clove, nutty, peat, dark wood, oak, cedar, soft, smooth.

Finish: Caramel, toffee, creamy, honey, stone fruit, citrus peel, ginger, touch of smoke, cedar, lingering sweetness, nice even finish, smooth, delicate, pleasant, romantic, great.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Fercullen Single Grain Irish Whiskey Aged 18 Years




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