When March comes around, we have one thing on our minds: how long until St. Patrick’s Day? Because on March 17th, everyone is Irish to us. We started our celebrations early this year with the help of some Irish whiskey and honey liqueur.


Castle Brands sent us their “Irish to the Core” collection including their Knappogue Irish Whiskey, Clontarf Irish Whiskey and their Celtic Honey Liqueur to taste. Here’s what we thought.


Knappogue Castle: We tried three of Knappogue’s Irish whiskeys – their 12 year, 14 year and 16 year old offerings. We’ve had some Irish whiskey in our day, most of which wouldn’t stand a chance up against Knappogue.  The 12 year whiskey was smooth, boasted a subtle sweetness and went down easy. Even smoother was the 14 year, that had the classic Irish whiskey burn that we love in the finish. The 16 year whiskey was the best of the three and had a smooth caramel flavor with a sweet note of honey in the flavor. The three Irish whiskies were a pleasant surprise and far surpassed our expectations. We suggest you buy yourself a bottle before St. Patrick’s Day rolls around.


Clontarf 1014 Irish Whiskey

This triple distilled whiskey is smooth and delicious. Aged in bourbon barrels, Clontarf had a distinct smoky flavor that complimented the sweetness that we love about Irish whiskeys. Though it wasn’t quite as easy to drink as the Knappogue, Clontarf had a redeeming after taste that left us wanting more. The finish was fairly smooth but there was definitely a whiskey bite to watch for. We dropped an ice cube in our glass which helped with the finish and made the whiskey that much more drinkable. We can see ourselves drinking this one any day of the week.


Celtic Honey Liqueur

Of the three offerings that we tried from the “Irish to the Core” collection, Celtic Honey Liqueur was at the bottom of our list. At first sip, the liqueur was intensely sweet but strangely lacked flavor. It tasted a little too watered down for our taste and the finish was less than smooth. It was slightly syrupy and lacked a crispness that we like in our spirits. Though we wouldn’t sip on this one straight, we would add it to our cocktails without a doubt.


This St. Patrick’s Day, stock up on Knappogue, Clontarf and Celtic Honey – we certainly will be. And while you’re at it, visit the “Irish to the Core” contest they have going on.