Whiskey and coffee are two of the most delicious drinks, so it only makes sense that combining them creates the cornerstone for the ultimate treat.
With the caffeine from the coffee and the alcohol from the whiskey, you can feel an energetic buzz and tell your hangover to hit the road.
Best Whiskey for Irish Coffee
Check out our favorite whiskeys to use when making a classic Irish coffee.
Knappogue Castle 12-Year Single Malt Whiskey
Knappogue Castle 12-Year Single-Malt Whiskey is a triple-distilled, single-malt whiskey from the Castle Brands, Inc. company.
The whiskey ages in bourbon oak casks for 12 years, giving it a mellow, fruity taste with notes of baking spice.
The actual Knappogue Castle in Ireland is unfortunately no longer a whiskey distillery. Castle Brands, Inc. sources its whiskeys from nearby distilleries.
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey from Dublin, Ireland, is a unique entry to this list.
I like this whiskey because it doesn’t follow the usual playbook – Teeling first ages the whiskey in bourbon barrels, followed by rum barrels.
The aging process gives it notes of dried fruit, vanilla, and toffee.
Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
UFC legend Conor McGregor founded the Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey, revamping the oldest whiskey distillery on the Isle of Ireland.
Proper Twelve is a blend of grain and malt with notes of honey, vanilla, and toasted wood.
The whiskey ages in bourbon barrels to give it a sweet taste that will blend perfectly with your coffee.
Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
The Bushmills distillery in Northern Ireland has been using the same recipe in their Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey for over 100 years.
The triple-distilled whiskey uses single malt and lighter grains, aging for five years in bourbon and sherry casks.
The aging process gives it notes of vanilla, caramel, fruit, honey, and oatmeal cookies.
The Sexton Single Malt
The Sexton Single Malt is a triple-distilled, 100 percent Irish-malted barley whiskey from Northern Ireland.
The whiskey ages for four years in Oloroso sherry butts, developing flavors of dried fruits, nuts, and honeycomb.
I like this Irish whiskey because it is rich and bold but still smooth.
Mad March Hare Premium Irish Poitín
Mad March Hare claims their Premium Irish Poitín is the oldest spirit in the world, dating back to the 1600s.
It is triple-distilled in copper pot stills, but is technically not a whiskey – Irish Poitín is more akin to an American moonshine.
While smooth, this stuff packs a punch. I’ll add a little Mad March to my coffee when I need a jolt.
Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum Cask
Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum Cask is a triple-blend Irish Whiskey that finishes in XO Caribbean Rum Casks.
The Caribbean Rum casks give it sweet, tropical flavors of caramel, bananas, dates, and raisins.
This is not your typical Irish Whiskey, so it’s fun to experiment with different cocktails and coffee combinations.
Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey is another unique entry on this list.
The sweet and salty peanut butter whiskey flavor is almost overwhelming, which can be good for novice whiskey drinkers looking for something easy.
This San Diego-based whisky is a newer product and is perfect for mixing into cocktails and coffee or sipping neat.
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
Nikka distills it in a classic Coffey Still and lets it finish in American Oak to give it a sweet, mellow, and smooth flavor.
I like this whiskey because its mellow notes aren’t overpowering and blend well with whatever you’re mixing.
Jameson Irish Whiskey
If you’re looking for the best whiskey for Irish Coffee, Jameson Irish Whiskey should be your starting point.
It is perhaps the most classic Irish Whiskey of all time and arguably has the most name recognition.
The Jameson Distillery in Dublin, Ireland, has been producing this whiskey for decades.
I love Jameson for its versatility – it’s superb on its own, neat or over ice – and blends seamlessly into Irish Coffee.
Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Green Spot is a delightful Irish Whiskey from Dublin, Ireland.
The Mitchell family has been producing it for over 200 years.
The whiskey ages in a combination of new bourbon casks, refilled bourbon casks, and sherry casks, giving it notes of orchard fruits, barley, and toasted wood.
This is a full-bodied, mellow whisky that finishes with hints of baking spices.
Roe & Co Blended Irish Whiskey
Roe & Co introduced the Roe & Co Blended Irish Whiskey in 2017.
The company named the whiskey after Dublin, Ireland, whiskey pioneer George Roe.
It is a rich, smooth, and creamy whiskey with notes of spice, pears, sugar, and woody vanilla.
The combination of fruity malt and creamy grain makes it a wise option if you’re looking for the best whiskey for Irish Coffee.
Baker’s Bourbon is a single-barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
The whiskey ages for a minimum of seven years, giving it flavors of vanilla and charred oak.
Each bottle comes from a single barrel and has a distinct taste.
Another potent entry on this list, this bourbon clocks in at an impressive 107 proof. You’ll notice flavors of oak, caramel, and vanilla.
Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey
The Kilbeggan Distilling Company, the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland, has been making whiskey since 1757.
Their Single Grain Irish Whiskey is a sweet whiskey that ages in bourbon barrels and fortified wine barrels.
It has flavors of biscuit, hazelnut, light spice, and oak tannins. The unique flavor notes make this whiskey a perfect pairing for Irish Coffee.
Jameson Caskmates Stout
Stout drinkers are familiar with the beer’s creamy mouthfeel and coffee-like taste.
For the Jameson Caskmates Stout, the Jameson Distillery started finishing its triple-distilled whiskey in craft stout beer barrels.
The resulting product is an exceptionally smooth whiskey with notes of hops and cocoa beans, that is ideal for your next Irish Coffee.
Slane Irish Whiskey Triple Casked
The triple-cask process gives the whiskey a rich profile of toasted oak, vanilla, caramel, plum, banana, butterscotch, raisin, and spice.
Bushmills Black Bush
The Bushmills Distillery has been making superior Irish Whiskey for over 400 years.
The Bushmills Black Bush is an Irish Whiskey that ages for eight years in Oloroso sherry casks, using high amounts of malt whiskey.
The aging process gives it a rich, dark fruity taste with notes of peaches, baking spice, and nuts.
Best Whiskey for Irish Coffee
- Knappogue Castle 12-Year Single Malt Whiskey
- Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
- Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
- Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
- The Sexton Single Malt
- Mad March Hare Premium Irish Poitín
- Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum Cask
- Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
- Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
- Jameson Irish Whiskey
- Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
- Roe & Co Blended Irish Whiskey
- Baker’s Bourbon
- Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey
- Jameson Caskmates Stout
- Slane Irish Whiskey Triple Casked
- Bushmills Black Bush
Even the most particular whiskey drinkers occasionally switch it up and mix their favorite liquor into a coffee.
The best whiskey for Irish Coffee is a matter of preference, but you can’t go wrong with any on this list. From the bold and rich whiskeys to the light and fruity ones, there is a wonderful selection of whiskeys to satisfy every palate.
Check out other top shelf whiskeys on our blog!