Irish Whiskey is on the rise
Beverage Testing Institute has published their 2021 World Whisk(e)y Review which includes a palate-popping 100-point score not seen in nearly a decade. All results can be explored on Tastings.com, BTI’s sister site, where consumers rely on the beverage alcohol research firm’s fair, consistent reviews to discover drinks they’ll love.
This year’s review boasts a rarely-seen 100-point score awarded to Redbreast 27; the first Irish Whiskey to receive such a prestigious honor in BTI history. Scores this high haven’t been seen in a whisk(e)y category since Kavalan’s Solist Fino Cask showing in 2014. Redbreast 27 now joins the ranks of the other highest-scoring whiskies, among them the 2008 review of Pappy Van Winkle 20-year-old Family Reserve and the 2012 review of The Dalmore 1974. BTI calls Redbreast 27 “unforgettable” and “a dapper extrovert.” Imbibers lucky enough to score a bottle of this several hundred dollar nectar are in for brooding flavors of tantalizing spices and opulent texture that delivers the smooth, inviting palate of a whiskey 30 degrees lower than its dazzling 109.2 proof. After the bottle was revealed to the all-trade blind panel, a full hour was devoted to savoring and pontificating on this superlative spirit.
Top honors were also awarded to the consistently outstanding Aberlour A’Bunadh (95 points), the colossal Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask (99 points), and India’s excellent contribution to the whiskey scene, Amrut Fusion Single Malt (94 points).
Young Irish brands made a huge impression on BTI’s retailer-, bartender-, and distributor-packed panels this year. Method and Madness made their mark with a 92-point Irish SIngle Grain and a 93-point Irish Single Malt, both earning “exceptional” ratings. Judges were intrigued by the Waterford Single Farm Origin Series with the 90-point Dunmore Edition deemed “vivid” and “luxurious” by the panel. Proximo Spirits’ The Sexton Irish SIngle Malt Whiskey was awarded a notable 90 points and delighted panelists with nuance and length.
The takeaway from BTI’s most anticipated spirits review session of 2021? The quality of Irish Whiskey is at an all-time high and is poised for increased trade and consumer interest across its entire range. While Scotch and Japanese whiskies typically evoke the most interest and engagement from BTI panelists, this year’s Irish Whiskies captivated BTI buyer panels with their finesse, depth, and sheer unbridled drinkability. Given the diversity and influence of BTI panelists’ trade experiences, their verdict suggests that other influencers and gatekeepers may too add these sophisticated-yet-crowd-pleasing Irish gems to their menus, schematics and customer recommendations, resulting in increased consumer interest for the category. The complete review results can be viewed here.
Stay tuned for BTI’s North American Whisk(e)y review, published August 1st. Additionally, all spirits brands have one last chance for a 2021 review from the 40-years-and-counting Beverage Testing Institute. This submission deadline has passed but late entries will be accepted for a few more days via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beverage Testing Institute, an alcohol beverage marketing, research and professional review firm evaluates thousands of wine, beer, spirits, cider and sake annually. Member of the American Society of Testing and Materials, BTI is known for their scientific, data-driven approach to evaluating spirits and their year-round sensory lab filled with influential buyers. Attention to detail, impartiality and consistent reviews have been the driving force behind its four decades in operation. Known for their brand-building work with brands Grey Goose, Stoli and Pappy Van Winkle, beverage brands turn to BTI for quality-centric communications that consumers and the trade trust.