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The best Irish whiskeys for St. Patrick’s Day

Midleton Dair Ghaelach is smooth, complex and satisfying.

Midleton Dair Ghaelach is smooth, complex and satisfying. Credit: Midleton

Midleton is a grand name in Irish whiskey.

Using Irish oak that imparts some very distinctive qualities, Midleton Dair Ghaelach is a rich choice: a parade in a bottle. The whiskey has subtle vanilla notes, suggestions of tropical fruit, and hints of cinnamon and apple. It’s very smooth, complex, satisfying, celebratory. At about $270, it should be.

Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is distilled by Midleton for Mitchell & Son. It also has a connection with Château Léoville-Barton since the whiskey is finished for up to two years in the fine Bordeaux’s casks. They give Green Spot a notable, unusual style. You’ll find a trace of mint, citrus, honey and apple in this immediately accessible, very creamy whiskey. Cost: about $100.

Teeling makes three easily recommended expressions of Irish whiskey. The Teeling Single Grain matures in casks that held California cabernet sauvignon. The result is fairly sweet, very good, a bit buttery, delivering plenty of spice. Figure about $40. Small Batch Irish Whiskey gets some of its character from six months in rum casks. There are mellow spices here, along with a bit of vanilla. Figure $50 to $55.

Full of dried fruit, delivering more than a little toffee is Teeling Single Malt Irish Whiskey, balanced and refined. You’ll detect melon and lemon here, as well as clove, neatly folded into an appealing $60 to $65 package.

And for Celtic, punk, ’80s fans: The Pogues, the “official Irish whiskey of the legendary band.” It hits the right sherry-and-bourbon-barrel notes for $40.

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