Walsh Whiskey’s Irishman takes top prize at national awards
The 17-year-old single malt cleaned up at ceremony in Dingle Distillery
Rosanna Goswell of Tuath Glass presenting the overall award for Irish Whiskey of the Year 2019 for The Irishman 17-Year-Old Single Malt to Bernard Walsh (Walsh Whiskey) with Colm Egan (Irish Whiskey Association)
The good and the great of the Irish whiskey business gathered in Dingle Distillery recently for the seventh annual Irish Whiskey Awards. These are the Oscars of the whiskey business. Including awards for the best whiskey bar in each province, there were some 21 gongs on offer. As the Irish whiskey business expands, the competition gets tougher each year.
Walsh Whiskey won the coveted Best Irish Whiskey of the Year award for their Irishman 17-Year-Old Single Malt, which also won the Best Single Cask Whiskey category. Originally released three years ago to celebrate their 17th anniversary, it has received many other plaudits too.
A maximum of three casks, each containing 600 bottles are produced each year. It is available in specialist retailers for €120-130 a bottle. Walsh also won gold with their recently released Writers’ Tears Copper Pot Japanese Mizunara Oak Finish, which might have been the perfect whiskey to drink had the Ireland rugby team done better.
Away from Ireland, the company achieved a notable feat in the influential Whisky Advocate magazine, which named their Writers’ Tears Double Oak as one of the top 10 whiskeys in 2019 – at half the price (€55) of all the other whiskeys. The Writers’ Tears Cask Strength was also named in the next 11 best whiskeys.
Walsh Whiskey was founded by Bernard Walsh and his wife Rosemary in 1999, making it one of the first new wave Irish distilleries. Running a ski chalet in Switzerland, Rosemary found herself making countless Irish coffees every evening for guests. The couple decided to make the job easier with The Hot Irishman, a blend of coffee and whiskey. In 2007, seeing the growing demand for Irish whiskey, they launched the Irishman, made to their specifications by another distiller. It was followed in 2009 by the first Writers’ Tears.