Irish whiskey

Beyond cultural Kool-Aid: Guinness and Jameson have always been Americans' cultural Kool-Aid. Now's a good time to dig deeper. (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune)

A single whiskey made from both malted barley and unmalted barley, distilled in a pot still.

Powers John's Lane Release 12-year Single Pot Still, $65

Smell: Sweet, a bit hot
Taste: Smooth and dessert-y; sweet, then peppery with a smoky ending

Redbreast 12, $60

Smell: Spice notes reminiscent of winter
Taste: Deliciously complex, chewy, both tobacco and dried fruit notes at end

Redbreast 15, $70 [adjusted from BevMo to match Binny's scale]

Smell: Simlar to Redbreast 12, but a bit sweeter
Taste: Complex, sophisticated, creamy with lots of body

Single grain

A single whiskey made from just one grain, as opposed to a blend of grains, distilled.

Greenore Single Grain 8-year, $50

Smell: Different, campfire-like, like a heavily smoky bourbon
Taste: Very bourbon-like, not at all like other Irish whiskies