The 7 Best Irish Whiskeys Under $40

Monticello / Shutterstock
Monticello / Shutterstock

Believe it or not, Jameson isn’t the only Irish whiskey out there. In fact, thanks to quality Irish bars like the Dead Rabbit in New York, more and more unique bottles of Irish whiskey are being imported into the states. But with a diverse range of prices, limited releases and rare bottlings to choose from, it’s not easy to navigate through all the Irish whiskies that are available. Allow us to steer you in the right direction. Here are seven Irish whiskies from the Emerald Isle that are readily available, affordable, and, most importantly — drinkable.

A triple-distilled, blended Irish whiskey, Tullamore D.E.W. is aged in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks. With flavors of honeycomb, citrus peel and toffee, this Irish whiskey is ultra smooth and refined on the palate. The finish is a burst of vanilla sweetness and baking spices from the sherry barrels. Extremely drinkable (even neat) for the price range, this whiskey is the perfect buy for any occasion.

This is the whiskey that every die-hard Jameson drinker will quickly grow to love. Aged from five to six years in ex-bourbon casks, Powers is a distinctly flavored spirit. Bold, bright and honeyed, with notes of cereal grain and a spicy rye-esque finish, this whiskey is deliciously quaffable.

A blend composed of primarily single malt Irish whiskey, Bushmills Black gets its robust flavor from its time aged in Oloroso sherry barrels. On the palate, the whiskey is malty, with flavors of baked apples, golden raisin, and burnt sugar sweetness. The finish is long and drying, with a mouth-coating viscosity before it turns tannic. Deceptively complex, this Irish whiskey has the flavor of more mature spirits twice the price.

The flagship brand of the Watt family distillery, this whiskey is named after a defiantly lucky race horse owned by the distillery’s original owner, Andrew Alexander Watt, who won the The National Produce Stakes race with odds of 100 to 1 (the race horse graces the label). Smooth and creamy, with notes of buttered toast, grass and honey, this Irish whiskey is an underrated bottling that deserves more attention that it gets.

Made in Dublin, Teeling Small Batch blended whiskey is aged in ex-rum casks, which gives the spirit its unique flavor and aroma. On the nose there are notes of raisin, prune, molasses, burnt sugar and baking spices common in darker, aged rums. The whiskey’s palate is rich and viscous, with woody undertones and flavors of marzipan and caramelized flan. The finish is long and drying, with wafts of high alcohol heat (the spirit is bottled at 46 percent). This spirit is for fans of Irish whiskey looking for a new and exciting bottling that’s different than their usual fare.

Produced in Cork since 1779, but not available stateside until 2012, this much loved Irish whiskey is a blend of the three classifications of the spirit available in Ireland: single malt whiskey, grain whiskey and single pot still whiskey. Triple distilled and aged up to seven years in oak (despite the lack of a proper age statement), Paddy is an excellent Irish whiskey for Irish whiskey neophytes. The spirit is light, easy to drink and extremely approachable. On the palate, the whiskey is nutty, aromatic and slightly oily, with flavors of toffee, malted vanilla milkshakes, oak and cedar. This is the kind of spirit that’s perfectly paired with a pint of Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale—Guinesses’ lighter, honeyed brethren.

One of our favorite new Irish whiskeys, the Sexton single malt is made from 100-percent Irish malted barley. Distilled three times on a copper pot still for smoothness, this whiskey is then matured in ex-Oloroso sherry casks before being bottled. On the palate, the whiskey is honeyed, malty and extremely drinkable. There are notes of stone fruit, Frosted Mini Wheats cereal, sea salt, almonds and custard. This singular spirit has become a staple on our home bar and we assure you that you won’t regret picking up a bottle.