Everyone is Irish on March 17th, no matter where you are in the world, and St Patrick's Day in NZ is no exception. St Patrick's Day is one day of the year when it's not frowned upon to be singing in the streets with a dram of Irish whiskey in your hand...
The Irish may well have invented whiskey. Certainly Bushmills can lay claim to being the oldest existing distillery in the world, having been licensed since 1608. No one is sure whether it was invented in Ireland, but the Irish version (spelt with an e before the y) is charming its way back into people's hearts, if the sales figures are anything to go by.
Less obviously sweet than bourbon and less smoky than scotch, Irish whiskey is really the juice of barley. It has a lovely roundness to it and an approachable sweetness.
There are several varieties available, but it pays to be canny and read the small print. Pot-still whiskey is a much more flavoursome style, from its production in smaller copper pot stills.
To celebrate St Patricks day we're featuring a couple of special Irish Whiskies this week:
Bushmills 10 year old malt Irish whiskey 700ml $42.99 SAVE $31.01
The benchmark Irish single malt, this has a far greater depth of flavour than standard Irish blends. Winner of the 'Best Irish Single Malt Whiskey in the World' at last year's World Whiskies Awards. This particular dram from Bushmills offers up a light, sweet nose with aromas of malt sugar, green apples, vanilla and fresh caramels. To describe the nose as elegant would be an accurate term. Where some whiskies almost assault ones senses, the Bushmills 10 offers a more sensuous look at it charms.
Jamesons 12 year old Irish whiskey 700ml $43.99 SAVE $33.00
Matured in American oak, this product of the River Liffey and a pot still full of malt is hugely popular the world over. A 50/50 blend of grain whiskey and smooth triple distilled, pot still malt. Extra smoothness was imparted by ageing most of the whiskey in old Bourbon casks, 10% was put into sherry casks giving richness.