The Pogues Irish Whiskey Review Header

The Pogues Irish Whiskey Review

In Irish Whiskey Reviews by Patrick "Pops" Garrett9 Comments

Editors Note: Today’s post is from Alan McVeigh, one of the semi-finalists who are applying to become a regular contributor to Bourbon & Banter. We hope you’ll read all of their posts and let us know what you think of each applicant by commenting below the post, sharing online or dropping us a note via email. You can find out more about Alan on Twitter and Instagram. Good luck!

This whiskey is a measure of who we are, made with the sole intention of spreading that same raucous joy.
If you’re drinking you’re welcome, pull up a seat and pour.
If not, póg mo thóin.The Pogues
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The Pogues Irish Whiskey

  • DISTILLER: West Cork Distillers | Brand Website
  • MASH BILL: 50% 10 year-old single malt and seven year-old Irish malt whiskey aged in Bourbon oak barrels and 50% four year-old single grain aged in Bourbon oak casks.
  • AGE: 3 years and one day.
  • YEAR: 2017
  • PROOF: 80 (40% ABV)
  • MSRP: $31.99 – $39.99
NOSE: Honey Ι Apricot Ι Dark Fruits Ι Vanilla Essence

TASTE: Spicy Ι Blackcurrant Ι Malt Milk Ι Chocolate Ι Caramelized Red Fruits

FINISH: Toffee Ι Spice Ι Dark Chocolate

SHARE WITH: Fans of the band, or friends who are fairly new to Irish whiskey. This is definitely not one for the more experienced or refined Irish whiskey drinker.

WORTH THE PRICE: Just about. For the quality, the price is okay especially if you can get it at the lower end of the range. However, you will get better Irish whiskey in a similar price range.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This is not a whiskey that you’ll readily see in most bars, but if you do it’s definitely worth a try. If not and you have a friend who has a bottle, ask them for a sample. For me, it’s a bust.

OVERALL: Branded The Original Irish Whiskey of the Legendary Band, what West Cork Distillers have attempted is to capture the spirit of The Pogues in a bottle. Have they succeeded? Well, yes and no. Like the band’s raucous reputation, the whiskey is a bit rough and ready. It does have a smooth side, but the rougher, spicy edges are more prominent. Unlike the band, however, this whiskey is far from legendary. A higher proof could have made all the difference, perhaps packing that little bit of extra punch to make you sit up and take more notice. In essence, this whiskey is not the headline act, rather more the support act which some will like and others won’t pay much attention to. If you’re a major fan of The Pogues you may want to check out Limited Edition Fairytale of New York 30th Anniversary edition and pick it up, purely for the novelty factor. It’s the same whiskey, the only difference being it comes in a nicely designed tin which includes a booklet detailing how the classic Christmas song was born, and how band came to have its own whiskey.


The Original Irish Whiskey of the Legendary Band.

This whiskey is a measure of who we are, made with the sole intention of spreading that same raucous joy.

If you’re drinking you’re welcome, pull up a seat and pour.

If not, póg mo thóin.

The Whiskey

The Pogues Irish Whiskey is a unique blend of 50% 10-year single malt Irish whiskey aged in sherry oak casks and seven year old single malt Irish whiskey aged in bourbon oak casks and 50% four year Irish grain whiskey aged in bourbon oak casks. The liquid has an aroma of malts and cracked nuts, with a sweet taste and a smooth, intense flavour. Notably, West Cork is Ireland’s only whiskey producer to malt its own barley, enabling exceptional precision and control over flavour profile. It is distilled using ingredients indigenous to Ireland, including locally grown grain and spring water from the idyllic River Ilen. It’s carefully crafted in small batches in handmade copper stills at West Cork’s distillery in Skibbereen, the cultural home of Irish whiskey.

The Distillers

Our whiskey is made by West Cork Distillers, one of Ireland’s last independent distilleries. From humble beginnings and the coming together of a Master Blender and his two fisherman friends it now has become a global success, built on friendship and a passion for innovation and quality. The Distillery is based in Skibbereen in the heart of West Cork, the cultural home of Irish Whiskey.

I am going where streams of whisky are flowing if you bottle that, they said, so we did.
What you make of it’s your own lookout.

Tasting Notes

  • COLOR: Mahogany Oak
  • AROMA: Malt, almond, spiciness, dark chocolate.
  • TASTE: Citrus, spice, cracked pepper and dried fruit, with lingering sweetness.
  • FINISH: Long lasting and rounded, with a delicate balance.

About the Author

Patrick "Pops" Garrett

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Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends.


  1. Pingback: The Pogues Irish Whiskey Review – Beer and Bourbon

  2. Thanks for this. You probably saved me a bit of money. I think I will try to find a taste before buying, as it sounds a bit unrefined for my tastes.

  3. The Whiskey sounds like a ‘B’ side but the Limited Edition would be worth it if only for the tin!

  4. Definitely not in the class of other West Cork legends..Middleton. Or even the Kilbeggan 8 yr old single pot still

  5. Thanks for the write up, Al! Sounds like more of a niche whiskey for fans of the band. I’ll stick with Teeling Small Batch for my budget Irish bottle

  6. Nice solid review. Will help with my next Irish Whiskey purchase.

  7. Thanks for the review. Very helpful. I think I will give this particular one a miss and go searching some of the other Irish whiskey labels.

  8. Informative review – will definitely help me decide about what I spend my money on when next thinking buying a bottle for my other half!! Shame this is more of a disappointment than a ‘fairytale.’

  9. Great review, cheers. I’ve noticed this on the shelf quite a few times while deciding what would be my next purchase but had never heard anything about it. Think I’ll stick with jamesons and red breast for ‘re time being although I am a bit of a sucker for novelty packaging and unique bottles.


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