Irish whiskey is one of the fastest growing spirits categories in the States.
And if the new Concannon bottling is any indication, the boom is warranted.
Concannon ($19 for 750 ml) is distilled at Cooley Distillery, on the northeast coast of Ireland, where it's aged for at least four years. The spirit's relationship to the U.S. is deep: Some of Concannon whiskey is placed in casks that formerly held Petite Syrah from Concannon Vineyard in California's Livermore Valley.
After four months, the whiskey is blended and sent Stateside, where it's served on its own or mixed in drinks such as the tart and herbal Fighting Irish Punch, a concoction from San Francisco's Bon Vivants (click here to see the recipe).
Made from barley and corn, Concannon has a golden color and a bright, grassy aroma touched with apples and pears. The spirit's cross-cultural connection is apparent at first sip: The whiskey evinces the familiar Irish flavors of honey and malt coupled with a fruity richness and an earthy gravitas from the California wine.
Here's to further smooth transatlantic sailings.