Irish Whiskey Tasting Experience

Editor’s note: Bella Supiana is working with JJ Kavanagh & Sons on a new series called ‘Tastes of Ireland’. She’ll be travelling to our destinations around Ireland and scouting out the best places to eat for hungry travellers. In this post she meets Chris aka the ‘liquid chef’ and experiences a truly Irish Whiskey Mat at the Dylan Whiskey Bar, Kilkenny.


The Dylan Irish Whiskey Bar with Chris Hennessy

I had the pleasure on your behalf, of experiencing a truly Irish Whiskey mat. From three corners of the Emerald Isle, taste Ireland through its most famed alcoholic beverage for just €25. With Chris Hennessy, head mixologist and all round Whiskey-tech or ‘liquid chef’ as we concluded, I tasted three of Ireland’s finest Whiskies – Bushmills from the north, Redbreast from Midleton in Cork and Teeling’s from the capital.

Admittedly, I’m no Whiskey drinker and you can learn with me during our live JJ Kavanagh Facebook video that we filmed during the tasting. With no Whiskey knowledge at all and if I’m very honest, no appreciation, I have to say it was an eye opener that everyone should experience once in their life.

Irish Whiskey Tasting Mat by JJ Kavanagh & Sons

The Bushmills Ten Year Old Single Malt

The Bushmills ten year old single malt was up first, accompanied by a rich square of bitter dark chocolate mixed with the sweetness of the decade old Whiskey allowed for a creaminess to come through. Described as having a very biscuity flavor with notes of apple and pear, it was rich and definitely a mouthful that would get you going mid afternoon! I never matched chocolate with Whiskey but all that said I really do know very little about this Irish loved bevy.

Redbreast – Lustau Edition

Redbreast, Lustau Edition is a very traditional Irish pot still Whiskey with a mixture of barley and unmalted barley. The nose is dried fruit with a spice resembling an alcoholic laced Christmas fruit cake. Chris explains the tingle at the back of your throat is the type of characteristic you want for a pot still Whiskey, black and white pepper giving it that warming spice. A nice piece of fudge goes hand in hand with the Redbreast. The vanilla allows for the bourbon cask influence to shine through and it balances the intensity of the Christmas cake notes.

Teeling Whiskey Single Grain

Teeling Whiskey Single Grain, sweeter and less intense, this one was my favorite. More of an entry level Whiskey I felt and something I could see myself sipping on! Aged in a Cabernet cask which allows for more of a dried fruit flavour and out of the three I tasted this was the cheaper at €65 a bottle.

For Irish Whiskey Beginners

Irish Whiskey Tasting Mat by JJ Kavanagh & Sons

For Whiskey beginners, Chris advises starting with the Bushmills and Redbreast as guided through the video and also Green Spot to ease you into what seems like a pretty addictive upmarket drink to savour. If you want to use Whisky rocks or stones, pop them into an airtight freezer bag to avoid catching any predominant smells like fish or other pungent frozen goods. Can you imagine how ruined a measure of the liquid gold stuff would be?

The Dylan Whiskey Bar has over two hundred Whiskies to choose from. High end and more affordable so everyone can have a taste… And if that’s not enough to enjoy your glass of booze at Dylan’s, they have a cosy snug too, which was awarded Powers Whiskey best snug in Leinster and Ireland, 2011. Try meet with Chris who is like an open book on Whiskey and drink in general, his passion is infectious and his rapport is both friendly and welcoming.

Competition on Facebook

The winner of the two tasting mats at the Dylan Whiskey Bar is…

Pauline Farrell

Book a trip to Kilkenny with JJ Kavanagh & Sons and experience your personalised Whiskey Tasting at the Dylan!