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All of the Platinum Medal Winning Irish Whiskeys From The 2024 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Irish whiskey is seeing a boom in popularity in overseas markets, with the USA seeming to have a particular love of spirit from the Emerald Isle. As such, the competition for medals at the 2024 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) was fierce in the Irish whiskey category. 

Continuing the rundown of some of the best whiskeys at the SFWSC, here are all of the Platinum medal-winning Irish whiskeys from this year’s competition. 

Read up on other award-winning whiskeys here

Jameson Bow Street 18 Year Old Irish Whiskey 

Credit: Jameson

Medal: Platinum
Tasting Notes: Toffee, oak, leather, vanilla, sherry nuttiness, spice
BUY NOW: $169.99 

Let’s kick things off with the best-selling Irish whiskey brand in the world: Jameson

Originally produced at the Bow Street Distillery (for which this expression is named), Jameson Irish Whiskey is now distilled at the Midleton Distillery, with production having begun there in 1975. 

The brand was founded by John Jameson in 1780. Almost 250 years later, the brand still uses Jameson’s grain-to-glass approach and triple distillation method.  

The Jameson Bow Street 18 Year Old pays homage to the brand’s Bow Street Distillery, which now serves as the Jameson Distillery Bow St. Dublin Tour complete with cocktail classes, whiskey tastings, and a blending experience. 

The whiskey is a blend of pot still and grain whiskey aged for 18 years before being married together. The casks then undergo a finishing period at Bow Street prior to bottling at a cask strength of 55.1% ABV. 

Jameson bills this expression, first released in 2018 and still going strong, as “the perfect gift for the whiskey lover in your life.” 

Given that the brand is so popular in both domestic and foreign markets, it is hardly surprising that it won big at the 2024 SFWSC. 

Kinsale Spirit Company Wild Atlantic IPA Irish Whiskey 


Medal: Platinum
Tasting Notes: Apple, candy, hops, pineapple, warm brown sugar
BUY NOW: $38

Now, from the biggest Irish whiskey brand in the world to one that might have flown under your radar: Wild Atlantic from Kinsale Spirit Company.  

Wild Atlantic IPA Irish Whiskey is something of a novelty in the world of cask finishing. 

The whiskey is a blend of triple-distilled grain and malt Irish whiskeys. Following over four years of maturation, the whiskey is finished in an Indian pale ale (IPA) barrel. The resulting whiskey has, according to Kinsale Spirit Company, “no bite, no burn”. 

Kinsale Spirit Company was founded by Tom O’Riordan, a resident of Kinsale in County Cork. Beginning as a kitchen-table operation with a small still, Kinsale Spirit Company now produces gin and whiskey that is exported across the globe. Plans for a distillery in Kinsale are also in the works. 

The Wild Atlantic IPA Irish Whiskey has previously won Double Gold medals at the SFWSC in 2022 and 2023. 

Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey 

Medal: Platinum
Tasting Notes: Fruit, toasted wood, spice, sherry
BUY NOW: $69.97

Redbreast Whiskey saw three separate expressions win Platinum medals at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Let’s start with the cask strength version of Redbreast’s signature 12 Year Old. 

The Redbreast 12 Year Old is triple-distilled in copper pot stills from a mash bill of malted and unmalted barley. It is then matured in a combination of seasoned American oak barrels and Oloroso sherry seasoned Spanish oak butts. Bottled at 57.6% ABV, the cask strength expression carries a but more of a kick than the standard 40% ABV expression. 

According to Redbreast, “The Cask Strength expression gives a glimpse of Redbreast 12 in its natural, full flavoured taste.” 

Redbreast Irish Whiskey has a rich history dating back to 1903 when Gilbey’s, a Dublin-based wine and spirits merchant, first marketed “JJ Liqueur Whiskey 12 Years Old,” which later became Redbreast. This whiskey was produced using pot still distillate sourced from the Jameson Distillery in Bow Street, Dublin. Production ceased in the mid-1980s, but in 1991, Irish Distillers revived Redbreast. It is now produced at Midleton Distillery in Cork, which is also home to brands such as Jameson and Green Spot. 

Redbreast 27 Year Old Ruby Port Casks Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey 

Credit: Redbreast

Medal: Platinum
Tasting Notes: Tropical fruits, nuts, dried fruit, vanilla, toasted oak, sherry, spices
BUY NOW: $519.99

The Redbreast 27 Year Old Ruby Port Casks is the oldest whiskey in Redbreast’s range. Matured in a combination of bourbon, sherry, and ruby port casks, the whiskey is layered and complex. It is also, notably, bottled at an impressive cask strength of 54.6% ABV despite its almost three-decade-long aging period. 

Redbreast says “Nearly three decades in the shaping, this cask strength Redbreast is a joy to behold in each and every bottle.” 

Redbreast Lustau Edition Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey 

Credit: Redbreast

Medal: Platinum
Tasting Notes: Dark fruits, prunes, dates, figs, liquorice, marzipan, spices, sherry, Spanish oak
BUY NOW: $54.99

The Redbreast Lustau Edition was brought about by a collaboration between the Bodegas Lustau in Jerez, Spain, and Midleton Distillery where Redbreast whisky is produced. 

Redbreast is well-known for its sherried expressions, and the Redbreast Lustau takes this one step further. Initially matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry for between 9 and 12 years, the whiskey then undergoes a 12-month finishing period in hand-selected sherry butts. The butts has been seasoned with Oloroso sherry from Bodegas Lustau. 

Bottled at 46% ABV, the whiskey is gentle, smooth, and complex. The judges at the 2024 SFWSC clearly recognized this, as well as Redbreast’s other superb bottlings. 

Bunratty Premium Blend With Peated Malt 

Medal: Platinum
Tasting Notes: “Gently balanced”
BUY NOW: $32.99

Bunratty Premium Blend Irish Whiskey With Peated Malt consists of a mixture of grain and malt whiskey, triple-distilled. As the name would suggest, the whiskey also contains a hint of peated malt that lends a subtly smoky character to the spirit. 

Following distillation the whiskey is matured for at least four years in a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and virgin oak casks. Virgin oak casks are usually known for their use in the production of bourbon, and here lend an oaky character to the blend. According to Bunratty, “it warms the soul.” 

Bunratty is a fairly new Irish whiskey brand on the scene, named after the small town to the west of Limerick.

The Growth of the Irish Whiskey Category 

In recent, Irish whiskey has seen a huge growth in popularity across the Atlantic. In 2022, over 6.1 million 9-cases of Irish whiskey were exported to the USA. According to, the annual sales of Irish whiskey in the US have risen 1,482% in the past two decades. 

Brands such as Jameson, Tullamore D.E.W., Teeling, Bushmills, and Redbreast have been driving overseas growth with higher-aged expressions and experimental cask finishes. Meanwhile, an increasing number of distilleries are popping up across Ireland. 

The 2024 San Francisco World Spirits Competition 

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is considered one of the most prestigious contents in the spirits industry. As such, medals can open many doors in terms of sales and marketing for both large and small distillers. 

Make sure to keep an eye on the Awards Series page for the next installment of this series.

Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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