Dick Mack's pub in Dingle has won the Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year award for the second year running. Landlord Finn MacDonnell, the grandson of Tom MacDonnell who opened the bar in 1899, was delighted with the win, saying that while last year was a complete suprise, they worked hard this year to try and keep the title.
In Dublin, the Dingle Whiskey Bar on Nassau Street took the award for the best whiskey bar in Leinster, their first time winning this award and which was won last year by the Palace Bar. The Duke of York in Belfast and Garavans in Galway retained their best bar titles for Ulster and Connaught respectively.
In the whiskey category, the Irish Whiskey of the Year was once again Redbreast 21 year old. Distilled in Midleton, Co Cork, it was also the trophy winner in the Irish Single Pot Still whiskey category.
In a newly-crowded category, Thin Gin from Blackwater Irish Spirits in Co Waterford won the best Irish gin title with a product that was only launched in August 2015. Expressing her delight and surprise at taking the title ahead of Dingle Gin and Blackwater No 5, owner Nichola Beresford explained that this new star product was named after a one-time suitor of her great gandmother Constance who was called Isaac Thin.
Dingle Vodka won the best vodka category and another relatively new entrant took the best Irish liqueur title: Mrs Doyle’s Irish Cream. Manufactured in Derry by the independent drinks company Niche Drinks, it beat Coole Swan and the Wild Geese into Gold Medal position.
The awards are judged in a blind tasting by up to 160 members of the Celtic Whiskey Club and the Irish Whiskey Society as well as 40 members who are based overseas. If you'd like to sample the winning whiskeys you'll find them all at Whiskey Live on Saturday October 24th at the printworks in Dublin castle. See whiskeylivedublin.com for more.
The full list of 2015 trophy and gold medal winners by category:
Irish Whiskey of the Year (Overall winner) Glencairn Trophy Winner: Redbreast 21 Year-Old
Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey Trophy Winner: Redbreast 21 Year Old
Gold Medal: Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy Gold Medal: Powers Signature Release
Irish Single Malt Whiskey (12 Years & Younger) Trophy Winner: Connemara Single Malt
Gold Medal: Teeling Single Malt Gold Medal: Tullamore Dew 10 Year Old Single Malt
Irish Single Malt Whiskey (13 Years & Older) Trophy Winner: Knappogue Castle Vintage 2000 Batch 2 Mongeard Mugneret Burgundy Cask
Gold Medal: The Palace Bar Three Generations Batch 14 Year-Old Gold Medal: Glendalough 13 Year Old Single Malt
Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60) Trophy Winner: Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old
Gold Medal: Writers Tears Copper Pot Gold Medal: Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel
Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of €60 or more) Trophy Winner: Midleton Very Rare 2015
Gold Medal: Jameson Gold Reserve Gold Medal: Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve
Irish Single Cask Whiskey Trophy Winner: An Púcán Teeling Whiskey Single Malt
Gold Medal: Celtic Cask Trí Déag Gold Medal: Celtic Cask Dó Dhéag
Irish Cask Strength Whiskey Trophy Winner: Tullamore Dew Phoenix
Gold Medal: Midleton Dair Ghaelach Gold Medal: Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength
Irish Single Grain Whiskey Trophy Winner: Kilbeggan Single Grain
Gold Medal: Glendalough Single Grain Gold Medal: Teeling Single Grain
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Overall Winner) Glencairn Trophy: Dick Mack's, Dingle
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Leinster) Trophy Winner: The Dingle Whiskey Bar
Gold Medal: The Whiskey Palace Gold Medal: L Mulligans Grocer
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Munster) Trophy Winner: Dick Mack's, Dingle
Gold Medal: The Shelbourne Bar, Cork Gold Medal: The Folkhouse, Kinsale
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Connaught) Trophy Winner - Garavan's Bar, Galway
Gold Medal - An Púcán, Galway Gold Medal - Tigh Neachtain's, Galway
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Ulster) Trophy Winner - The Duke of York, Belfast
Gold Medal - Bittles Bar, Belfast Gold Medal - McCuaig's bar, Rathlin Island
Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (International) Trophy Winner: Whisky and Alement, Melbourne, Australia
Gold Medal: The Shebeen/Irish Heather - Vancouver, BC, Canada Gold Medal: Scholars Bar, Rome
Irish Poitin Trophy Winner: Teeling Poitin
Gold Medal: Bán Poitin
Irish Liqueur Trophy Winner: Mrs Doyle's Irish Cream
Gold Medal: Coole Swan Gold Medal: The Wild Geese Irish Honey Liqueur
Irish Gin Trophy Winner: Thin Gin
Gold Medal: Blackwater No 5 Gold Medal: Dingle Gin
Irish Vodka Trophy Winner: Dingle Vodka
Gold Medal: Untamed Irish Vodka Gold Medal: St Patrick's Distillery Vodka
Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Irish Craft Beer Trophy Winner: O'Hara's Barrel Aged Series
Gold Medal: Independent Whiskey Stout Gold Medal: Franciscan Well Jameson Stout