New York City is home to the best Irish whiskey bar outside of the Emerald Isle.

By Mike Pomranz
October 23, 2019

If your complaint about the award shows is that not enough statues are given for Irish whiskey, then consider this the kudos fest of your dreams:  The Irish Whiskey Awards honors the best booze and bars that Ireland (and for the latter, the world) has to offer. And as Irish whiskey continues to boom in America—we're even getting our first Irish whiskey festival next month—having your fingers on the pulse of the Irish whiskey scene is hipper than ever before.

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2019's biggest winner, taking the overall prize for Best Irish Whiskey of the Year, was The Irishman 17-Year-Old. Though The Irishman offers a number of expressions, the 17-Year-Old ages the longest—a single malt that spends its entire 17 years in a single Sherry cask. As such, this whiskey also claimed the top prize for the Best Irish Single Cask Whiskey.

The other biggest prize of the evening was for Best Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year—and lo and behold, it went to a joint in Dublin. (Who'd have thought?!) Bowes Bar—located on Fleet Street—dates back to 1880, but apparently this iconic spot is as good as ever for grabbing a tipple from its massive whiskey selection. Meanwhile, the winner for Best Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (International) is a name any American fan of Irish whiskey is sure to recognize: New York City's The Dead Rabbit. Not only has The Dead Rabbit been named the best bar in the world, period, in the past, the owners are also the same people behind the aforementioned Irish whiskey festival.

And speaking of recognizable names, even the world's best known Irish whiskey brand was able to haul in some awards: Jameson won the Best Irish Blended Whiskey Under $66 for its Jameson Black Barrel and the Best Irish Blended Whiskey Over $66 for its Jameson 18-Year-Old Bow Street. Not too shabby.

Overall, awards were handed out in 19 categories. Beyond the usual whiskey categories (each of which contains a winner and two gold medal runners up), the event also named the best Irish whiskey bars for all four Irish provinces—which could prove handy if you have any upcoming travel plans to Ireland—as well as winners in non-whiskey categories like Best Irish Gin, Best Irish Vodka, and even Best Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Irish Craft Beer (which is a lot to wrap your head around). You can find the complete list of winners on the Irish Whiskey Awards website.

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