Liar, liar, pants on fire. The bottle states that this Irish Whiskey is single grain, and yet it ain’t necessarily so! The idea that ”single grain” describes a whiskey made with just one grain is a common misconception. The term actually refers to whiskey made in a single location using malted barley and at least one other grain. Kilbeggan Single Grain is made of 94% meticulously sourced corn plus 6% malted barley, and is made in a column still lined in copper, which adds softness by removing impurities and bitter notes through the distillation process. After ageing in ex-bourbon barrels, it is finished in a marriage of ex-bourbon and various fortified wine barrels.

photo credit: Beam Suntory

Well, that certainly sounds like a lot of work, so let’s open this bottle and taste the fruits of all that labor. This whiskey is a very pale amber color. The nose is soft with hints of lemon, vanilla, caramel and a touch of oak. The palate is a blend of spicy, oaky vanilla and caramel and bourbon. The finish is long and spicy with a touch of maple and cherries and the slightest hint of saltiness.

This is a very nice, very light yet very tasty Irish whiskey that can certainly be consumed straight up from a snifter. I’m very glad to see the popularity of Irish whiskey making a dramatic comeback worldwide and I’m even happier that the residents of Kilbeggan rallied around this old distillery and got it up and running again.

Kilbeggan single grain Irish whiskey is 43% ABV or 86 proof and is available in 750ML bottles for around $30.00 and worth every penny.


By George Brozowski