Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year 2016 - The Nominees



Here are the nominees in the Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year section of the 2016 awards! Sláinte!



The Dylan - Kilkenny

The Dylan Whisky Bar in Kilkenny is an old victorian style bar that specialises in fine whiskies. Our Whiskey Libraries now contains over 200 of the worlds finest whiskies, 40 premium gins & is continually growing. With comfortable leather seating, private snugs, an open turf fire & walls adorned with whiskey mirrors, old advertising and Bob Dylan memorabilia; this bar provides a warm cosy atmosphere in which to chat with friends while enjoying your dram. Our Whiskey Ambassadors and Barkeepers are stalwarts in the business are happy to guide you through your whiskey choice in order to give you a very informative, educational and relaxing experience. We provide a comprehensive range of whiskey tasting options to suit all tastes and have regular get togethers and tastings throughout the year. We also have a great selection of beers, wines cocktails and other choice Spirits.

The Palace (Dublin)

Unspoiled and unmodernised, this small unpretentious pub has a fame vastly out of proportion to its size. Established in 1823, it is one of Dublin's oldest pubs. The palace bar has a singular devotion to the promotion of Irish Whiskey and in excess of 110 of the finest Irish whiskeys can be savoured here. 

The Dingle Whiskey Bar (Dublin)

Taking its name from the Dingle Distillery in Co. Kerry, The Dingle Whiskey Bar aims to bring a taste of the western fringe to central Dublin. With its beautiful, cosy interior of reclaimed whiskey barrel oakwood, we are pretty sure you will get into the spirit of the place from the minute you enter the bar. As for the menu, we specialise in everything from Ireland's secret single pot still classics to the malts of Scotland's five traditional whisky regions. From the smoky malts of Islay (where our own John McDougall was once distillery manager at the legendary Laphroaig) to the honeyed white oak maples of Booker's small batch bourbon to the experimental concoctions and traditional stalwarts of Ireland's own exploding whiskey scene, we aim to celebrate the hard stuff in all its rich and wonderful diversity.  When our own distillery's whiskey is ready, rest assured that we will be stocking it in its rightful place on those same eclectic shelves! Unsure what to order? Just ask our bartenders and they will guide you to suit whatever taste you are looking for.  Trust us, we love this stuff. Despite our adoration for the craythur, however, we also enjoy a variety of wines, bottle craft beers, and diverse spirits with a particular focus on our own distillery's artisanal Dingle Gin.

Bowes (Dublin)

Bowe's is a magical place for whiskey drinkers, A place to sit and experience a vast range of whiskey from around the world, with attentive friendly and knowledgeable bartenders but more than that bowe's is where you really feel welcome: it has been a home from home from all over the world for decades,
Like a little piece of the countryside in the very heart of Dublin, it's not just the whiskey that warms the soul bowe's is a place to look out upon the vibrancy of the city while encased in a blanket of warm hospitality.

L mulligans (Dublin)

At L. Mulligan. Grocer, we believe Irish produce is special and worth celebrating. We are particularly keen on whiskey, beer, food and gin and love sharing our old favourites and new discoveries with people.  Our whiskey, beer and food menus are seasonal and change regularly. Each of our main courses are matched with a beer or cider and our desserts are matched with a whiskey.  



Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder - Killarney

Nominated, but not eligible for votes. Please note this is included for display purposes only!

Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder, a mecca for lovers of Irish whiskey everywhere! Close relationships with local suppliers allow the kitchen a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wonderful array of products and talent Kerry has to offer. The bar boasts one of Ireland's largest Irish whiskey collections and you will be amazed by shelf upon shelf of Irish, Scottish & international whiskies. Irish craft gins, a variety of craft beers and ciders, eclectic wine list, and a creative cocktail menu provide something for all to enjoy! A range of whiskey and wine will also be available to purchase and try at home. Whether you're seeking to further your whiskey education, be tempted by something new, or just relax over thoughtfully prepared cuisine Celtic Bar & Larder is the perfect place to visit in Killarney.


Dick Macks - Dingle

In 2012, Dick Mack's pub was inspired to become Dingle’s first whiskey bar by Finn Mac Donnell and Peter White and consequently it has built a formidable collection of Irish, Scotch and other whiskey from around the world. Dick Mack's hosted the first Irish Whiskey Society tasting outside of Dublin in 2013. As a result, Dingle now has its own IWS Chapter of which Finn is a founding member and numerous pubs around the town have also added to their whiskey collections helping to put Dingle firmly on the whiskey map.
Whiskey conversation is centre stage in the pub now with regulars and tourists alike sharing a dram and eulogising the merits of Ireland’s national tipple in a very unique and warm setting.

O'loclainn's - Ballyvaughan

O’Loclainn’s Whiskey Bar is an authentic old style family run pub in the quaint village of Ballyvaughan on the west coast of Ireland. The pub has been in the family since the 1940’s. Peter, a son of the original owner and his wife Margaret took over the bar in the 1990’s and began to add to the whiskey collection of which they are so proud. Margaret has taken a particular interest in sourcing speciality Irish whiskeys. She always has a bit of a story to go with every whiskey and it is this knowledge and welcome that brings customers back time after time.


The Folk House - Kinsale

Three Irish words come to mind when visiting the Folk House in Kinsale, coel agus craic. Translated this saying means fun and music, which describes this pub perfectly! It is an old world, yet trendy Irish pub that specialises in infused whiskeys, gin, craft beers and ciders. This is a pub with a difference and the wonderful range of exciting and tasty infused whiskeys they offer include, Fig Jameson, Date Paddy, Jameson Pickle Back, Chestnut Hot Whiskey and Sloe Jameson (our favourite!) Famous for its first class selection of whiskeys, atmosphere, friendly staff and central location in the heart of the beautiful town of Kinsale, you may just pop in for a drink and stay for the night! The Folk House has something for everyone and every mood.

Flanagan’s - Killaloe

Flanagan’s take massive pride in their extensive collection of Irish, Scotch and American whiskey. So much so, they’ve built their very own round stone Whiskey Tower in a nod to the Irish monks. The Whiskey Tower is a truly unique venue which is home to an exquisite selection of whiskey and a whiskey library. With its intimate surroundings and enchanting views across the River Shannon, The Whiskey Tower is the perfect place to enjoy guest tastings, a master class,  private dining with whiskey & delectable cuisine pairings or simply just to relax with a warm measure from their impressive collection.

John Bennys - Dingle

John Benny’s Pub Dingle has been serving fine whiskeys since it’s inception as a bar for the fishermen and seafarers in 1904 .
We expanded our whiskey bar in 2014 to stock 30 Irish Whiskies and now serve over 70 Irish Whiskies. We were one of the founding members of the first Whiskey Chapter in Dingle. During 2016 we have hosted 3 fantastic Whiskey tasting events for the IWC. We aim to host 6 per year to introduce newcomers to Irish Whiskey. John Benny’s work closely with the Dingle Distillery in a shared vision for future growth. Visitors taste fine whiskey in John Benny’s where the finest Irish music, language and food complete a memorable experience. Choice, taste and a happy memory of something uniquely Irish.


Benners Hotel - Dingle

"Failte agus Freastail" await in Mrs Benners Bar at one of the most popular Dingle hotels. The interior of this Dingle Bar now offers our guests authentic Irish antique furnishings blended with the best of contemporary design.
Our extensive bar menu features the very best locally sourced ingredients served in traditional and friendly surroundings. Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and old world charm in the comfort of Mrs. Benner's Bar.

Le Chateau - Cork

This charming pub was established in the heart of Cork City in 1793, since the day it was opened it has been a landmark in the city. Le Chateau is the only pub in Cork to be situated on the main promenade on Patrick’s Street (which has been christened Pana by the Cork locals or Corkonians).
On a day out in Cork City there’s no greater feeling than relaxing in the sun on the outdoor patio and seating area of Le Chateau and watching the flurry of people up and down Patrick Street. Situated in Corks city centre, adjacent to Opera Lane, Crawford Municipal Gallery and the English Market.
We specialize in premium Irish whiskey, craft and speciality beers and our wines are sourced from Findlater Wine & Spirit Group.

Oliver Plunkett (Frisky Whiskey Bar) - Cork

Take a step back in time, The Frisky Irish Whisky Bar incorporates elements of old time, small town Ireland and creates a new concept for nightlife in Cork City. Quirky yet traditional, The pubs mascot frisky a full size piebald pony is in residence upstairs in his stable always eager to pose for photographs.  Decorated with a large amount of genuine old Irish instruments and beautiful old fireplaces this bar is set  to become fantastic hub for playing music and catching up with friends over a few drinks. The dedicated whiskey bar is a whiskey lover’s dream. The trained staff will be able to help you find the right whiskey for your taste from their extensive collection.

Shelbourne Bar - Cork

The Shelbourne Bar is a traditional Irish pub, which opened in 1895. It was originally two bars of equal size, divided by a pillar you can see in the middle of the bar counter. Up until 1996 the side of bar where the fireplace resides was called ‘An Siol Broin’, which translates from Irish to mean the ‘seed of the womb’ or the ‘seed of life’. In 1999 the two bars merged, creating one bar to be known as The Shelbourne Bar.The Shelbourne boasts the largest selection of Irish whiskey in Cork City with over 110 different choices to enjoy from all styles and flavour profiles. Each whiskey has its own story and our bar staff would be delighted to share it with you. Take a journey across Ireland, from the major distillers to the up and comers.

Coughlans - Cork

Established almost two centuries ago on Douglas Street, Coughlans is a pub steeped in history, unspoiled and untarnished by the passage of time. It is a pub that is held fondly in the hearts of its regular patrons and new visitors alike.
Since the early 1800's the Coughlan and Ellis families have plied their trade as Stone Masons, Publicans and Medical Practicioners on Douglas Street.
As a listed building elements of this history echo throughout the stone walled beer garden built in the 1860's, original medical memorabilia and old bottling equipment which was once used to bottle "The Black Stuff" on these very premises.

Bull McCabes - Cork

Flanagan's Whiskey Room @ Bull McCabe's is dedicated to the craft of Irish whiskey distilling down the ages. With a stock of over 50 Irish Whiskies, with a particular emphasis on Single Pot Still expressions, customers can enjoy the very best that Irish distilling has to offer in warm, friendly and relaxed surroundings.We are especially proud to feature Dungourney 1964. Redbreast Mano a Lamh and Green Spot Leoville Barton.
Flanagan's regularly plays host to Whiskey and food pairing nights where groups can sample the best of local produce matched with exceptional craft whiskies.

Welcome Inn - Cork

Since 1845 The Welcome Inn has been frequented by locals and enjoyed by visitors alike. Always assured of a warm welcome (we still believe in having a chat with our customers), The Welcome Inn offers an excellent choice of fine spirits and local stout, a friendly service and a variety of entertainment (often provided by our colourful regulars!). We are proud participants in the Cork Live Music Experience and you can find free live music here every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. You wont find food here- we prefer to concentrate on the quality of our pints!

Armada Hotel - Clare

The Armada Hotel is located in Spanish Point, West Clare; a place reflecting all that is good about the west of Ireland and the Atlantic Coast. The Hotel Reflects its locality in its food offerings, with local and Irish artisan food and beers, it offers stunning Atlantic views, with many rooms overlooking the coastline, put this all together with cosy fires, traditional music and of course a warm west Clare welcome! Johnny Burkes bar is the place to get a true feel for the magic that is West Clare with keepsakes from history adorning the walls, and a truly local atmosphere. Here you can meet the locals and enjoy an Irish craft beer or whiskey paired with some good wholesome food and a live traditional music session.



Garavans - Galway

Here at Garavan’s we have now been trading for nearly eighty years as a family run business, right in the heart of this vibrant city. We commenced trading in 1939 and we were called a “Spirit Grocer” which was the combination of a grocers and a bar. The original bar counter still remains in the same place since it was installed by my grandfather in 1939. We pride ourselves in our customer service and, the knowledge of Irish Whiskey that our staff offer our customers. We have one of the largest selections of both current and vintage Irish Whiskeys available in Ireland. We are a traditional Irish Whiskey Bar in its true sense. We strive to constantly improve all aspects of our service and offering to our customers. Slainte.

An Pucan - Galway

An Púcán is an award winning bar set in the heart of Galway, located just off Eyre Square.
At just over 240, An Púcán has the largest selection of Irish and international whiskies by the glass in the city. An Púcán offers monthly specials on Irish whiskey, remarkable Irish whiskey cocktails as well as whiskey events and tasting platters. The Irish whiskey and Food platter is a pioneering offering for the city and is popular with visitors. An Púcán has hosted a wide range of Irish whiskey events and is a founding member of The Galway Whiskey Trail.

Tigh Neachtan’s - Galway

Tigh Neachtain is located on the corner of Cross Street and Quay Street in the heart of Galway City. Since 1894, the former home of prominent animal rights activist Richard Martin has been a meeting place since it first opened its doors for a diverse and eclectic clientele. Tigh Neachtain’s strong connection with Galway’s arts and musical communities adds to the allure of its already welcoming interior. Whether you are looking for a seat by the fire on a chilly winter’s day or to soak up the atmosphere of Galway city while enjoying a drink in our beer garden, Tigh Neachtain’s door is always open.

Sonny Molloy's - Galway

When you step inside Sonny Molloy’s you instantly know you are in a very unique Irish Whiskey Bar. The shelves and cabinets are brimming with an exclusive selection of local and international whiskey including; the Famous Galway Bay Irish Whiskey. The bar staff are whiskey experts, happy to make a recommendation to suit your taste and palate, while the atmosphere in Sonny Molloy’s is that of a lively local in the heart of Galway city.  Located in The Latin Quarter, Galway’s cultural centre, it was once a famous drapery shop ran by Sonny Molloy and to this day the bar counter is still the same as when the man himself worked behind it! With beautiful old world architecture and original furnishings, the Sonny Molloy’s “Whiskey Tasting Experience” is rated as one of the best in the country, and the bar is also part of the much loved 'Galway Whiskey Trail'.

Freeney's - Galway

Situated right in the Heart of Galway City on High Street, Freeneys is a great place to get away from the crowds during the week when some of the larger pubs nearby are packed full. They stock a wide range of Whiskey and are part of the Irish Whiskey Trail. From the outside some people don’t even realise it’s a pub at all due to its display of Swiss army knives and Zippo lighters in its window. This compact property also houses a small fishing tackle and outdoor shop beside the pub. As recently as 1976 it was still a Pub and a General Merchant, acting as a grocers’ shop for the locals and supplying everything and anything to the many fishing trawlers in nearby Galway docks. They packed their own sugar and tea, bottled their own Jameson and Powers whiskeys from the cask, but as the small grocers trade changed with the arrival of supermarkets, the grocery shop was converted to a fishing tackle shop.

O'Connell's - Galway

O’Connell’s was once a grocery and a small bar but has been solely a pub since the 1970’s. Our décor is truly stunning, with all original features including tiled floors, antique lighting, stained glass windows, solid wooden seating and an amazing pressed tin ornate ceiling in the main bar. Historic photos line the walls. The pub is currently subject to a preservation order so it will be staying much the same for the foreseeable future. The long bar also displays a wide range of whiskeys.
O’Connell’s is a popular venue attracting a diverse crowd, although it is particularly popular with professionals especially in the early evening after work. It has undergone expansion since it was sold in 2006. The venue now boasts one of Galway City’s best outdoor beer gardens which doubles as a smoking area and BBQ area. The beer garden features large picnic tables and wooden decking where its easy to forget you are in the very centre of the City. Parts of the beer garden are covered and heated so even in Winter you can at least pretend Ireland has a warm climate!

Lowry's - Clifden 

Located in the centre of the bustling town of Clifden in Connemara, Lowry’s Bar Clifden is an Iconic Irish pub, famous throughout Connemara, Galway and beyond for its warm and friendly atmosphere, legendary Irish Music, inviting character and vibrant mix of both locals and visitors.
As the 2015 winner of the “Best Traditional Bar in Ireland“ at the prestigious National Hospitality Awards, Lowry’s Bar Clifden can rightly claim to be one of the best traditional bars in the Country! With live Irish music 7 nights a week in season and a famous whiskey selection as recommended on the renowned Irish Whiskey Trail , coupled with consistently top class reviews on, Lowry’s Bar Clifden is a must for anyone looking to experience a true Irish pub.



Fealty's - Bangor

Standing gracefully on Bangor's high street, Fealty's has been a meeting place of choice for generations. It boasts an impressive array of distillates with Irish whiskey dominant. Behind the bar there are multi-level, bespoke mahogany shelves showcasing over 150 bottles; from both established and new distilleries that encompass the different styles and expressions of the Irish Whiskey industry.
Regular tasting events are promoted and their inclusion in the newly established Northern Ireland "Whiskey Club" can only forward the exposure of this elder statesman of a bar that is proud to promote and educate the joys of the "Irish tipple".

The Duke of York - Belfast

The Duke of York is a welcoming and friendly pub with light reflecting from the antique whiskey mirrors onto the bright copper table tops.
Dozens of Irish whiskeys are crammed precariously onto the bar shelves and cabinets display whiskeys from long lost distilleries.
The staff are very proud of their whiskey heritage which includes single malts, pot stills, blends, single grain and small batch. They are happy to advise and inform each customer on a whiskey choice. This is the perfect setting for the regular customer, the expert, the novice or the tourist to enjoy their whiskey experience.

Bittle's Bar - Belfast

This beautiful old bar is situated in a unique wedge-shaped corner building bedecked with shamrock motifs, just off Belfast's bustling Victoria Square. It is as narrow as a fish tank and has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The walls and drapes are dark green and adorned with a varied assortment of interesting artwork. Bright oils of literary luminaries from Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats to James Joyce and Samuel Beckett and a cluster of local paintings evoke the history of Northern Ireland and are a great accompaniment to the bar's wide variety of drinks. In 2011, Bittles held a Samuel Beckett Centenary Exhibition. The bar's friendly staff are extremely helpful when it comes to ordering, offering a superb selection of bottled beers, ciders and local and micro-brewed beers and ales. Tasty traditional pub grub is served in hearty portions and is perfect when washed down with a pint of Belfast Ale or any one of the fine whiskeys that line the back of the bar.

McCauls bar - Cavan

Mc Cauls Bar and Guest House is the perfect place to savour a glass of Irish Whiskey, and relax and enjoy good company. The bar offers a wide selection of whiskies from all four provinces, with Declan the owner, on hand to advise on the qualities and history of each. The bar also offers a creative matching of certain whiskies to local artisan cheeses and chocolates.  Declan is the third generation of Mc Caul bar owners in Cavan. It is his interest and passion that is driving the growing reputation of Mc Cauls as the border region’s leading whiskey bar.  



County Clare, Milwaukie, WI, USA

The highly acclaimed County Clare Irish Pub celebrates the music, the food and the drink of Ireland. Whether you are seated in the Saint’s Snug, at the bar or in the dining room, the twenty, elegant, stained glass windows are easily visible. The titles of some of our favorite towns in County Clare are enclosed within the glass and reflect the evening sun. Cozy up to the Waterford wood burning stove in the Saint’s Snug with a cocktail from the gleaming wood bar.

JD Williams Whisky Bar - Amsterdam

As the owner, my number one goal is to give everyone of my patrons a fantastic whisky experience at our bar. Whether you are a seasoned expert or a novice, my aim is to make your visit to J.D. William's a memorable one.
We stock many rare whiskies from around the world, but also just enough of the popular brands for the whisky enthusiasts and beginners. When it comes to Irish whiskies we carry anywhere from 25-35 different brands at a time. Overall with our full stock we have 250+ whiskies in the bar at any given time.
Whisky cocktails and Gourmet Asian-Fusion Bar food from our kitchen complete the total whisky experience at J.D. William's Whisky Bar.
Whisky..."Isn't it time you tried"?

Whisky Café L&B - Amsterdam

Boasting a huge properly vast - collection of whiskeys from all around the world, L&B's is a must for any dedicated whiskey nut. It stocks some 1,400 whiskeys and also boasts some extremely helpful bar staff who are more than happy to talk you through the list if you find all that choice a bit daunting (which, let's face it, many of us might).
Let them know what flavour profile you prefer and they'll offer you some pointers. As well as Scottish, Irish and American whiskeys they also offer a range of Japanese distillations as well as some more accessible whiskeys for novices and the unconvinced though true whiskey fans will probably get the most out of this place.

Allens Bar, Toronto, Canada

The glow of comfortable tradition warms Allen's. Opened in 1987, the restaurant has achieved near-institutional status, as its bar, featuring 340 whiskies, over 100 VQA wines and 140 beers, and dining room are considered the very best of type. Customers travel from all over Canada, the U.S. and Europe to sample the unique offerings, but a solid core of local regulars maintains a consistent atmosphere of good cheer, conversation and welcome. The menu focuses on Ontario farmed and grown produce, with an urivalled presentation of naturally-raised or organic meats from area farmers.

Dillon Bar, Reykjavik, Iceland

Whiskey bar with Over 150 whiskeys, live music thu to sat and the legendary Dj Andrea on weekends! Happy hour every day from 16:00 to 20:00. Big backyard.

Whiskey & Alement, Melbourne, Australia

Open from 2010, Whisky and Alement is one of Australia’s longest running whisky bars and one that has subsequently played a large part in re-introducing Australian’s to the whisky category with ease. Whisky Bar, Bottle Shop and School of Whisky, the bar operates weekly whisky classes and has educated over 8,500 Australian’s. A passionate and small team of eight staff travel annually to maintain their knowledge of whisky and meet like minded whisky enthusiasts from around the world. The bar’s collection is constantly evolving offering up to 20 new whiskies weekly, some hand selected from travels and others simply sourced for flavour alone. Whisky and Alement offers a great whisky collection, passionate bar team and a welcoming, cosy, local atmosphere for whisky lovers and novices alike. 

The Craigellachie Hotel, Craigellachie, Scotland

Built in 1893, where the rivers Fiddich and Spey come together, the small 26-room hotel stands at the very heart of Speyside and its whisky trail. Macallan and Aberlour are the hotel’s closest neighbours.
Speyside is the largest whisky region in the world and the Quaich bar at the Craigellachie is the world’s leading whisky bar. With over 900 whiskies lining its walls, The Quaich is the perfect setting in which to enjoy a guided whisky tasting or a modern twist on a classic whisky cocktail, mixed by our expert and locally renown bartenders.

Ri Ra, Las Vegas, USA

Since its opening in 2011, Rí Rá The Irish Pub, Las Vegas has become a staple in the city where national and international visitors can drink and dine in true authentic Irish fashion. Since opening, the goal has been to create an inviting experience that both the whiskey expert and the true novice will enjoy. We have a well curated listing of high caliber Irish Whiskey’s offering eclectic and exquisite flavor profiles. We have over 340 Whiskies and of those 69 are our native Irish offering, including the Knappogue jewel in crown 1951 bottling, Redbreast 21 year, Midleton Barry Crockett, Connemara Cask, to name but a few. We pride ourselves on having an Irish whiskey available covering every style, palate and price point. 

Oscars Bar, Hanover, Germany

Our passion is to serve our guests cocktails and drinks in excellent quality carefully prepared with the best ingredients. Of course this high standard also satisfy our wines, the outstanding range of whiskeys, is second to none, as well as a select range of premium spirits.

Patricks Bar - Paris 

Patricks Le Ballon Vert is a family run pub in existence since 2007.
A rotating drinks menu of 10 draught and 30 bottles of Irish Craft beer and cider Patricks at the forefront of Irish pubs in Europe promoting Irish craft beers .
Over 300 Irish whiskeys on the menu has developed Patricks into one of the première whiskey pubs in Paris promoting Irish Whiskey to the French and international market.

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The Irish Whiskey Awards started in 2013 and the event has gone on to be one of the biggest celebrations of Irish whiskey in the world.

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