Black Irish: whiskey blended with stout

An Irish spirit combines flavours of whiskey and beer


Black Irish combines whiskey and beer in a new way: We know whiskey that is matured in beer casks and beer that is stored in whiskey casks to combine the flavours of both products. The Irish Darker Still Spirits Company, based in Dublin, chooses a direct way of marrying the whiskey and beer for their Black Irish.

Black Irish has been available in Great Britain since last year, and now also has been launched in other European countries. It still offers 40% ABV, but is of course no longer allowed to be called whiskey.

Behind the Black Irish are old hands in the liquor industry. Co-founder David Phelan's vita includes former employers such as Jose Cuervo, Castel Brands, Diageo and Hinch Distillery and brand names such as Baileys, Irish Mist, Clontarf and Boru Vodka. The recipe for the Black Irish was developed by Adrian Walker, whose name is associated in press releases with the Coole Swan and the Ciroc Vodka.

Triple distilled whiskey and strong stout

The base for the Black Irish is a triple-distilled blended whiskey from the Great Northern Distillery, which was stored in ex-Bourbon barrels which were heavily charred. The whiskey, which makes up around 80% of the Black Irish, is then blended with strong stout and barrel-aged stout from O’Hara’s. This not only ensures a stout aroma, but also a dark colour. Black Irish is supplemented with an infusion of chocolate malt, roasted barley and spices.

Black Irish neat and in mixdrinks

Black Irish can be enjoyed pure, but the producers also give various tips for mixed drinks on their homepage. There are shorttails like

  • the Black Irish Double Black made from a shot of Black Irish and a shot of espresso
  • the Black Irish Black Draft consisting of half a shot of Black Irish and half a shot of Grand Marnier
  • the Black Irish Pickle Back made from half a shot of Black Irish and half a shot of pickled cucumber
  • the Black Irish Burn from half a shot of Black Irish and 5 drops of Tabasco

and cocktails such as Black Irish Coke, Black Irish Coffee, Black Irish Shandy, Black Irish Soda, Black Irish Tea, Black Irish & Ginger and Black Irish Martini.