The Irish Whiskey Society America (IWSA) recently announced the favourite Irish whiskeys across 13 categories as voted by Irish whiskey drinkers across America. The awards have been given the moniker “The Izzys” which is a play on the societies’ acronym, IWSA, and the society announced the favourites in a recent online ceremony that is available to view here on YouTube with time stamps for the individual awards in the “See More” section.
The 2022 Izzys were focused on Irish whiskeys that are available for sale in the United States in addition to a couple of categories that celebrate those who sell Irish whiskey with both a Pub/Bar of the Year and a Liquor Store/Retailer of the Year category. Massachusetts topped the voting in both these categories with The Dubliner in Boston voted Favourite Pub/Bar and Norfolk Wines & Spirits in Norfolk being voted Favourite Liquor Store/Retailer.
“We wanted to include the hospitality and retail categories given that both of these areas have been through so much during the past almost three years,” said Allan Dwyer a founding member and now President of the IWSA “and it was great to see a strong turnout of voters from the New England states who propelled their local favourites to the top of the voting. Nominations for the awards were taken during the month of November and the top 3 in each category were then open for voting during December by anyone residing in the USA.
The winners in the 13 categories are listed below:
- Favorite Everyday Under $35 – Powers Gold Label
- Favorite Irish Cream Liqueur – Baileys Irish Cream
- Favorite Single Grain Irish Whiskey – Teeling Single Grain
- Favorite 2022 US Release – Gold Spot
- Favorite Liquor Store/Retailer – Norfolk Wine & Spirits, Norfolk, MA
- Favorite Blended Irish Whiskey – Jameson Black Barrel
- Favorite Peated Irish Whiskey – Connemara Peated Single Malt from
- Favorite Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey – Redbreast 12yo
- Favorite Irish Pub/Bar – The Dubliner, Boston, MA
- Favorite Single Malt Irish Whiskey – Bushmills 16yo
- Favorite Premium $35-$100 – Green Spot
- Favorite Super-Premium $100+ – Midleton Very Rare
- Favorite Distillery in Ireland – Midleton Distillery
Irish whiskey sales have seen phenomenal growth in US sales over the last number of years buoyed by a substantial number of new distilleries that have opened across the island of Ireland. The most recent “official” number of these distilleries is “over 40” according to the industry body in Ireland, the Irish Whiskey Association; however, the number of market participants far exceeds this when factoring in bonders, independent bottlers, and private label brands.
“Midleton Distillery garnered the most praise amongst voters,” continued Dwyer “as it took home Favourite Distillery and 6 of 10 favorites in the whiskey categories. In all, 11 different whiskeys were nominated from Midleton Distillery cementing it as the established leader in the industry which should come as no surprise. Teeling Distillery had a strong showing with nominations for the favourite distillery and in three whiskey categories. Established brands with strong distribution across the USA were a consistent theme with Connemara and Bushmills also being recognised. Still, it was great to see some relatively new brands break through and get nominated like JJ Corry’s The Gael, Slane Triple Casked Blend, and two from WD O’Connell: Bill Phil and 10 year Single Grain.”
Talking about the Irish Whiskey Society America, Dwyer commented:
“We’ve come a long way since the society was founded in the now defunct Whiskey Priest pub in Boston in 2010, as back then we were tasting and talking about Irish whiskey from only four operational distilleries. It’s great to have seen it evolve to this stage and we are delighted to honour those who have done so much for Irish whiskey and will continue to do so each year as the renaissance continues. We’re excited that The Izzy’s will become the vehicle for celebrating Irish whiskey here in the USA each year going forward.2022 has been a banner year for the society,” continued Dwyer “with the release of our COVID delayed Tenth Anniversary bottling and the announcement of our first Cask Program with Powerscourt Distillery in Co. Wicklow. We look forward to continuing that momentum in 2023 with our member trip to Ireland around WhiskeyLive Dublin in May, a number of exclusive virtual events, and further membership growth across the USA.
More details about the IWSA 2022 Annual Awards can be found on their website – https://irishwhiskeyusa.com/blogs/the-izzys-iwsa-awards/izzys-review-2022
More details on the Irish Whiskey Society America can be found on their website – https://irishwhiskeyusa.com/
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