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The Luck of the Irish! We’ve got the perfect St Paddy’s Day Drinks and the best prices around.

By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr

03/03/2022

St Patricks Day 2022

Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, established his first Christian Church in a small barn at the mouth of the Slaney River, near Wexford. St Patricks Day is celebrated all around the World on 17th March, which marks his death, in the year 461.

Ireland has always been famous for its dark malty Stout ales, the most famous being Guinness, a beer exported and drunk all around the World, and probably the most famous ale. Draft Guinness, apart from its soft malty bitter flavours, has a wonderful creamy head.

The brewers in Dublin have been incredibly innovative to be able to retain this creamy white fine mousse head even in bottled Guinness and in Can, where they have designed a widget which adds nitrogen when opened to bring about the same creaminess.

Ireland has always been famous for its dark malty Stout ales, the most famous being Guinness, a beer exported and drunk all around the World

They are widely available, and from Amazon, for £12, who also do a 12 pack in 500ml bottles for £20.40. Sainsbury's also have the cans, as do Waitrose who have them on discount at £10.50 for the pack of ten cans.

Guinness Original Stout

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One of the other great Stouts is from Cork. Murphy's dark Stout, is also malty, refreshingly bitter, but softer than Guinness, probably due to the local soft water used for brewing. It is a lovely gentle "session" Stout at only 3.5% alcohol by volume, against Guinness's 4.2%. Tesco's have Murphy's in a pack of 4x 440ml cans for £4.49. Amazon are offering 24 x 500ml cans for £49.95.

Murphys Original Stout

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The other great Irish product is Whiskey, spelt with an "e", differentiating it from Scotch whisky.

The Midleton Distillery produces most of the Irish Distillers brands like Powers and Jameson, but it also produces wonderful traditional pot still batches under its own name. The ‘Method and Madness’ range of Midleton Whiskeys is excellent, and the Cherry Wood cask finish is available from Master of Malt for £84.95.

Midleton Cherry Cask

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The other great Irish product is Whiskey, spelt with an "e", differentiating it from Scotch whisky.

Also from Master of Malt, a great whiskey from Tullamore, called Tullamore Dew (from the initials of the Manager of the Distillery, Daniel E Williams!). The standard blend is triple distilled and matured in cask, and is available at Asda for £16.00 per 70 cl bottle.

Tullamore Dew

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One final suggestion, always a good drink, and perfect to celebrate the Patron Saint, is Black Velvet. Created in 1861 by the Steward in Brooks's Club in St James's the day Prince Albert died, and the members thought it inappropriate to drink Champagne!

The Steward mixed Guinness and Champagne 50/50 to make a delicious drink which has lasted the test of time. If you don't have Champagne handy, a version can easily be made with any dry sparkling wine.

Enjoy 17th March.


Christopher Burr, MW

Christopher Burr, MW

Christopher has been involved in the wine business for over 45 years. He is one of only 502 MW’s from 31 countries worldwide. Learn more about his experience as a Master of Wine here.

Read more articles by: Christopher Burr, MW


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Laithwaites 4 for £24