The diversity and quality of Irish Whiskey were celebrated at the second annual Irish Whiskey Awards, which took place at Kilbeggan Distillery in Co. Westmeath on 23rd October 2014. The event, which was organised by the Celtic Whiskey Shop, showcased and honoured this rapidly growing indigenous Irish Industry over 17 categories.
The judging panel consisting of members from the Celtic Whiskey Club and the Irish Whiskey Society chose the winners based on blind tastings. Redbreast 21 Year Old Whiskey was awarded Overall Best Whiskey 2014 while Dick Mack’s in Dingle won The Whiskey Bar of the Year. Following the success of the inaugural Irish Whiskey Awards in 2013, the number of categories increased from 9 to 17 this year to include new awards for Best Irish Liqueur, Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Craft Beer and four provincial awards for Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year. All categories awarded both an overall winner with a trophy and the runner up was awarded a gold medal, which in turn will be used as promotion for and by the respective winners.
The Irish Whiskey Award winners for 2014 are:
Overall Best Irish Whiskey 2014 – Redbreast 21 Year Old Whiskey
Irish Single Pot Whiskey – Redbreast 21 Year Old Whiskey
Irish Single Malt Whiskey (12 years &younger) – Jack Ryans 12 Year Old Whiskey
Irish Single Malt Whiskey (13 years and older) – Teeling 21 Year Old Whiskey
Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60) – Powers 12 Year Old Whiskey
Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of more than €60) – Jameson Gold Reserve
Irish Single Cask Whiskey – Celtic Cask Naoi
Irish Cask Strength Whiskey – Redbreast Cask Strength
Irish Single Grain Whiskey – Teeling Whiskey Single Grain
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Leinster) – Palace Bar, Dublin
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Munster) – Dick Mack’s Bar, Dingle
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Connaught) – Garavan’s Bar, Galway
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Ulster) – Duke of York, Belfast
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (International) – Whisky and Alement, Melbourne, Australia
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Overall) – Dick Mack’s, Dingle, Co. Kerry
Irish Poitin – Teeling Whiskey Company Poitin
Irish Liqueur – Coole Swan
Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Irish Craft Beer – Franciscan Well Jameson Stout
Ally Alpine, founder of the Irish Whiskey Awards commented, “I would like to congratulate all of the winners from this year’s Irish Whiskey Awards. The standard was extremely high across all categories, reflecting the superb quality of whiskeys and whiskey bars in Ireland.
We look to an even brighter future for this vibrant industry as over 20 new distilleries are due to open in the near future. The standard and popularity of Irish Whiskey continues to rise and this is why it is important to honour those who are contributing to the huge growth in this sector in recent years.”
Special Guest Speaker, Aoife Keane, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association which was established in 2014 to represent the rapidly expanding sector said: “Tonight we celebrate Irish whiskey – its highquality standards, its global reach and its local roots. Fifteen years ago,1.5m cases of Irish whiskey were being sold around the world and there werefour distilleries on the island. Since then, Irish whiskey has been the fastest growing premium spirit category in the world, selling 6.2m cases last year.This year, we have over 20 new distillery projects in the pipeline; 5,000 people are employed directly and indirectly and more than 500,000 tourists go through our visitor centres annually. Irish Whiskey is one of Ireland’s fastest growing exports, experiencing 220% growth in the last ten years. We rightly aspire to regain our position as the largest whiskey category in the world.”
The whiskey celebrations will continue over the Bank Holiday weekend as WhiskeyLive Dublin takes place in the magnificent Round Room of The Mansion House in Dublin on Saturday, 25th October 2014. This will be the fourth year that the world’s premier whiskey tasting show event has taken place. Tickets are available for two sessions, 2.00-5.30pm and 6.00-9.30pm priced €37.50 and the Celtic Whiskey Shop will donate a minimum of €10 per ticket to Down Syndrome Dublin. Available from www.celticwhiskeyshop.com, or at the Celtic Whiskey Shop, 27-28 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 or by phone 01-675 9744.