Slane Irish Whiskey Review

Slane Irish Whiskey Review

Meet Luke

Luke is a Level I Certified Whiskey Specialist with a passion for exploring and unearthing the best whiskeys around. Luke has a preference for Rye whiskeys but has tasted over 250 different whiskeys to date varying from bourbons to scotches. He continues to expand upon his whiskey knowledge by tasting dozens of bottles monthly and reviewing them here on Barrel and Brew as he pursues his Masters of Whiskey certification.

Slane Irish Whiskey is a blended whiskey that combines whiskey from three separate types of casks. Today, we’re going to find out if the Irish Whiskey that was released in 2017 can hold up next to whiskeys such as Bushmills and Jameson – two brands who have been distilling whiskey for centuries.

We’ll discuss some of the history and production methods behind Slane Irish Whiskey, but most importantly, we’re going to cover the tasting notes to find out if Slane Whiskey is good.

Is Slane Irish Whiskey Good?


Slane was founded by Alex Conyngham/The Conyngham Family and Brown-Forman. Alex is the son of Lord Henry Conyngham, and he wanted to make his home town of Slane, Ireland a “mecca” of whiskey.

One thing I do respect about Slane Whiskey is that they don’t BS any kind of backstory. A guy and his family had a lot of money and status, and he partnered up with Brown-Forman to make some whiskey.

Too often, especially in the world of Scotch and Irish Whiskey, brands pop up with some 300 year old story of how they were founded and the land it was founded on or the recipe they use.


  • Spirit: Blended Irish Whiskey
  • Owned By: Conyngham Family & Brown-Forman
  • Distilled By: Slane Distillery
  • Aged: 3+ years
  • ABV: 40%, 80 proof
  • Mashbill: blend of malt and grain whiskey
  • Price: ~$25

Types of Irish Whiskey

There are 4 types of Irish whiskey. Malt, Pot Still, Grain, and Blended. Malt whiskey is made from 100% malted barley, Pot Still whiskey is at least 30% malted barley and at least 30% unmalted barley with no more than 5% of other grains, distilled from a pot still. Grain whiskey contains no more than 30% malted barley.

Then, there’s blended whiskey like we have here with Slane. Blended Irish Whiskey is a blend of any combination of malt, grain, and pot still whiskey. Slane Irish Whiskey is a blend between malt and grain whiskey.

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Lastly, Slane Irish Whiskey uses whiskey from three types of casks – virgin toasted oak, seasoned oak with American whiskey, and ex-sherry casks. Slane is aged a minimum of 3 years as is required by Irish whiskey regulations.

It’s speculated that the seasoned casks are seasoned with Jack Daniel’s as Brown-Forman is an owner of both Slane and JD. If it were seasoned with something else, they’d probably say bourbon seasoned oak and not American whiskey seasoned.

Tasting Notes

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s jump into the profile of Slane Irish Whiskey. Time to pour myself a dram and find out if it’s any good.

Nose: More complex than a lot of Irish whiskey. Apples, cherries, honey, and vanilla. Deep toasted oak, brown sugar, cinnamon apple glaze, butterscotch…. Honestly, it smells more like a bourbon or American whiskey to me – and a good one at that as well.

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Palate: hmmm there are a lot of strong flavors coming in from all different directions. It’s a little sharp and unbalanced. it’s honey and apple up front, but toasted sugar, oak, and some pepper and spices come in.

After a couple minutes and a couple sips, the whiskey seems to balance out a bit.

Finish: The finish is a little funky, It’s a little dusty and grainy with oak and vegetal spice.

Slane Irish Whiskey Tasting Notes

Taste Summary – is Slane Irish Whiskey Good?

I’ve actually quite enjoyed my little sipper of Slane Irish Whiskey. It’s not fantastic, but it’s good enough and it’s been a very very interesting whiskey to taste.

For someone, like myself, who enjoys trying new whiskey and learning about whiskey and its different flavors, I’ve been quite pleased with Slane – especially since I got a 50ml sipper for $0.99.

The most intriguing aspect was how it portrayed itself as a bourbon or American whiskey – from a profile standpoint, that is.

On the nose, toasted oak, cherries, vanilla, brown sugar… these are all staples of American whiskey that come from newly charred oak. Of course some of these fruity flavors such as cherries and apple can appear from the sherry casks. Then notes of butterscotch and honey can be ascribed to the malt character.

While Slane is an Irish whiskey through and through, it’s a great example of an Irish spirit partnered with American aging (not all American aging, as the use of Sherry casks is much more common with Irish whiskey and Scotch).


Slane Irish Whiskey is worth buying simply for the enjoyment and learning experience of seeing how much flavor casks can impart on a whiskey. Perhaps you can even do a bourbon whiskey tasting and slip Slane in there to see if anyone picks it out as Irish whiskey.

As I mentioned in the tasting notes, Slane can be a little sharp and unbalanced, but most $25-30 whiskeys will have some flaws. Slane is an intriguing whiskey to drink with a lot of character. For that alone, it’s at least worth a try in my book.

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