Whiskey for all occasions

“What’s your favourite whiskey?”
I asked this of a German at a tasting in Smithfield, and the moment I had uttered the words, I knew it was a silly question. The German composed himself, and replied that it depended what mood he was in, and who he was with. Silly me. It’s a bit like asking a wine lover what his favourite wine is, or trying to decide your favourite food. It really does depend on the occasion.

If you want to give an Irish whiskey gift to someone, bear in mind that although he (or she!) might have favourites, the range of Irish whiskey is rapidly expanding. There are now 14 Irish whiskey distilleries (10 of which are new), with plans for a further 22!
Irish whiskey producers are having whale of a time trying out new ways of finishing whiskey before bottling. Having said that, John Noonan our Clondalkin manager, would recommend looking for an alternative from the person’s preferred brand. Jameson now produces a range of whiskeys under the famous Jameson banner.
You are spoiled for choice with Molloys’ whiskey range – here’s a handful to inspire you!
Early evening, out with friends calls for something affordable and flavoursome.  Jameson Original is the obvious choice: Slightly floral and spicy aromas, then smooth, with a balance of spicy, nutty, sweet vanilla and hints of sweet sherry.
One for the road, when another beer seems too heavy, go for Black Bush - a high proportion of triple distilled malt matured in sherry casks, and blended with grain whiskey matured in bourbon casks. Distinctively nutty & spicy.
Outdoors, at the Races, or perhaps a reviving dram during a New Year hike, try a reviving Power’s Gold Label (Full-flavoured with a predominantly pot still character and honeyed, apricot, spicy notes). Teeling Single Grain would be super too. It was awarded ‘World’s Best Grain at the World Whiskey Awards 2014. Single grain whiskey, matured in Californian red wine barrels, and bottled at 46% without chill-filtration. Strong spice, lush red berries, grapes, and a woody, spicy finish.
Sipping and savouring by the fire on a wintry evening, try Green Spot - triple distilled single pot still whiskey, aged in bourbon 7 sherry casks for 7-8 years. Aromas of oils & spices. Full spicy body, with cloves, apple, and toasted oak.
Friday evening, feet up, perhaps with some chocolate, savour Jameson Caskmates. The spiciness of pot still marries with notes of hop, charred oak, and a long chocolatey/vanilla finish.
After a good meal, enjoy Bushmills Malt 10 year old. Triple distilled, 100% malted barley. Matured in bourbon barrels. Honey, vanilla & milk chocolate, toasted wood.
A welcome drink for neighbours at Christmas: Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve is an impressive choice. It won Gold at the Irish Whiskey Awards ‘Best Blended Whiskey under €60’ category. Expect more concentrated spice, nutty notes and vanilla sweetness, while the pot still whiskey in sherry casks adds sherry fruit flavours
To celebrate a special anniversary, Redbreast 12 year old –assertive, strongly-flavoured yet smooth. Very fruity (red fruits), with spices, sherry, oil and a long complex finish. 
The bonus has arrived - time to treat yourself, go for Midleton Very Rare. The 2015 blend (Trophy Winner for the ‘Best Blended Whiskey over €60’ category at the Irish Whiskey Awards). Deliciously smooth, vanilla (from American oak) features heavily, cut through with orange, lemon, and peppery notes.