CHRISTMAS wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive tipple or two and if you’re after something for yourself, or to give as a gift, you’ll find you're spoilt for choice with the Irish brands currently on offer in Britain...
From one of the newest gins to come out of Ireland to one of the oldest Irish single malts in the world, there’s a perfect drop to be found for every Christmas occasion.
Coole Swan Irish Cream Liqueur
Complete your Christmas drinks cabinet with a delicious blend of the best Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Belgian White Chocolate and the most amazing light Dairy Cream straight from the farm.
Fresh and natural: subtle and complex; fresh vanilla cream combines with creamy chocolate and refined top-notes of rich cocoa and delicate hints of soft whiskey to give your taste buds an experience they'll never forget.
The family behind Coole Swan have a long history of dairy farming and the spirit is still made on the family farm on the Eastern Seaboard of Ireland.
Stockist: John Lewis Price: £22
Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey
A lovely, light and drinkable whiskey, Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey is also complex with a depth of flavour beyond its years.
American oak Bourbon barrels bring sweet honey and smooth vanilla notes, laying down the foundations of the flavours. Spanish oak Oloroso barrels layer on dried fruit, and nutty flavours. On the nose the whiskey is rich with dark fruit, cherry, raisin, fig and Christmas pudding.
The Glendalough distillery was set up by five friends from Wicklow and Dublin with a deep passion for reviving the deep heritage of craft distilling in Ireland.
Upon its release, Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey won double gold at The World Spirits Competition in San Francisco.
Stockists: Nationwide at Oddbins, online at Amazon.co.uk, MasterofMalt.com & TheWhiskyExchange.com Price: £32.00 - 37.00
Glendalough Rose Gin
Released at the beginning of January 2019, Glendalough Rose Gin is much more than “just another pink gin” and is the perfect gift for gin lovers this Christmas. It’s a small-batch product, made when the distillers took their Wild Gin recipe and redistilled it with extra fruit, flowers, spices and fresh wild rose petals from three varieties – the rare and elusive Wild Rose found in the Wicklow mountains, the ancient prized Damask Rose and the large fragrant Heritage Rose.
Because of the delicate ingredients used to make the Rose Gin, a slow distillation process is used with the vapour distillation playing a large role in extracting the essential oils and flavours. After distilling it is infused with more roses to deepen the flavour. All this gives it an aromatic nose, a gentle sweet spice, reminiscent of Turkish delight, as well as a lovely pink hue.
Available: Ocado, Master of Malt and Amazon Price: £26.75
The Dingle Distillery, in Co. Kerry, opened its doors in 2012 to first make whiskey, and they now produce gin and vodka as well.
Dingle Original Gin is produced using the distillery’s very own hand crafted 500L copper pot called Oisin. Production in small batches allows the distillery to ensure a greater control of the artisanal craft. The Dingle location for the distillery was chosen for its supply of botanicals that are foraged directly from the beautiful, rugged surrounding coastal areas.
Dingle Gin also recently won World’s Best Gin at the World Gin Awards.
Stockists: Master of Malt, Celtic Whiskey Shop and Amazon Price: £32.00
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is slow-distilled by hand in a gleaming medieval copper pot still fired by steam; the method combines vapour distillation of fresh citrus fruits with a special selection of oriental botanicals including gunpowder tea, star anise and local Drumshanbo meadow sweet, giving a bold and bright flavour with a slight spicy freshness.
The first striking bottle of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin was distilled on Winter Solstice (21st December) 2015 at The Shed Distillery, and every bottle since is uniquely hand filled, labelled and sealed by the team at The Shed Distillery. The type of bottle to keep forever and the perfect gift for gin lovers this Christmas.
Stockists: Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Amazon, Asda & Master of Malt Price: £25 - £28
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey is a deliciously creamy, spicy and rich blended Irish whiskey.
Each step of The Teeling Small Batch process, from hand selecting casks of grain and malt whiskey, blending each batch to taste, and finishing in only the highest quality rum casks, gives Teeling Small Batch Irish whiskey its distinct taste and extra spice. Encased in a sophisticated, premium gift box, it’s the perfect gift this Christmas season.
Stockists: Gift Set: Selfridges, The Grape Vine, Inn at Home, 23 Wine & Whiskey, www.masterofmalt.com. Bottle: Asda, Waitrose, Tesco, Premium Independent Retail Outlets, Travel Retail, www.masterofmalt.com Price: Gift Set: £45.55, 70cl Bottle: £34.95 - £37.99
Teeling Single Pot Still
Teeling Single Pot Still is an Irish whiskey, crafted using a recipe of 50% unmalted spring barley and 50 per cent malted barley which is triple distilled and matured in a combination of virgin oak, ex-bourbon and Sherry casks.
The first release to come from The Teeling Distillery in Dublin, and the first new Single Pot Still to come from the City in over 40 years, Teeling Single Pot Still pays homage to the traditional Dublin style of Irish whiskey making.
At 46% ABV, aromas of hibiscus flowers on the nose combine with honeycomb, white grape and citrus. The palate begins with notes of white pepper leading to roasted peaches & baked biscuits and the finish is dry with hints of spice, roasted almonds and maple sugar.
A landmark liquid for Irish Whiskey and the Teeling Whiskey Company, the Teeling Single Pot Still is a real must for whiskey lovers this Christmas.
Stockists: www.masterofmalt.com Price: £49.95
Teeling 24 Yr. Old Single Malt
Teeling 24 Yr. Old Single Malt is one of the oldest Irish Single Malts in the world. Limited to just 5,000 bottles, it was awarded the World’s Best Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2019.
Part of The Teeling Vintage Reserve Collection, this 24-year-old Irish single malt whiskey was matured in bourbon casks before being given an additional maturation in ex-Sauternes wine barrels, imparting a distinctly unique flavour.
Aromas of white grapes, cut grass, apricots and white chocolate on the nose leads to a silky smooth taste with flavours of fig, jam, and honey on the palate. The taste maintains the apricots and white chocolate and a crisp saltiness at the end balances the sweetness off. The finish is long and mellow.
The World’s best is the perfect gift for that someone special this Christmas.
Stockists: Premium Independent Retail Outlets, www.masterofmalt.com Price: £314.95