Originally published in Forbes Life.
What a time to be an Irish whiskey fan.
Between 2002 and 2017, the Irish whiskey category grew by leap and bounds. Last year, Irish whiskey imports to the U.S. notched a record $897 million in revenues, according to the Distilled Spirits of Council of America. By comparison, Irish whiskey imports in 2003 leveled off at $74 million in 2003. (Last year's numbers represent a 1113.2% increase in sales between 2003 - 2017.)
"If you look at what's happening in Irish whiskey, it's a Renaissance period," Tim Herlihy, Tullamore D.E.W. brand ambassador says. "It's one of the fastest growing categories on the planet."
"In the next 5 years, there will be 30 distilleries in Ireland," he notes. "As recently as 2008 there would have been five. If you go back to 1978, you would have only had 2 distilleries."
Within the last year, and as recently as last month, brands released a new slate of notable expressions to turn any spirits enthusiast's head. Here's six new Irish whiskeys to toast with on St. Patrick's Day.
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