Kilbeggan launch its own Rye whiskey

Boy was I happy when I got the following press release yesterday! Its a whiskey that I have been waiting for since I first sampled it about a year and a half ago. Then again at Whiskey Live 2017. And again in April 2018. And again in August 2018 (funny story on that one actually…….if you ever meet me in a bar I’ll tell you!). And finally at a Dingle chapter of the Irish Whiskey Society last week. It is a great whiskey with a great nod to Irish Whiskey history. Once I pick up a bottle myself I’ll complete a formal review but my advice straight off the bat is pick up a bottle before they are all gone.

Following is the press release from Beam Suntory, owners of Kilbeggan distillery. Tasting notes attached form part of that press release and are not from That’s Dram Good.


Double distilled and matured in Ireland’s oldest continually licensed distillery, Kilbeggan® Small Batch Rye is a category innovation that pays tribute to the golden age of Irish whiskey

(October 18, 2018) – Today, the Kilbeggan Distilling Company celebrates the limited-edition release of Kilbeggan® Small Batch Rye, the only modern Irish whiskey of record to use such a high quality of rye as a primary grain within its mash bill. It is also the first whiskey 100% distilled and matured at the Kilbeggan Distillery to be released since its restoration was completed in 2010. The liquid embodies Kilbeggan’s true community spirit, as this new whiskey would not exist without the townspeople of Kilbeggan working together to keep the distillery alive for more than 260 years.

“Following the restoration of the Kilbeggan Distillery, the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland, our team was inspired to create this remarkable whiskey rooted in Irish distilling heritage,” says John Cashman, Beam Suntory Global Brand Ambassador, Irish Whiskey. “As the first of its kind within the market, its flavor is unlike anything available today.”

Featuring a heritage mash bill of malt, barley and approximately 30% rye, this whiskey hearkens back to the 1890s when many large Irish distillers used rye in their mash. However, this spicy grain virtually disappeared from the Irish Whiskey category around the time of Prohibition and the Irish War of Independence.

Double distilled to 86 proof in Kilbeggan’s copper pot stills – one of which is the oldest working whiskey pot still in the world today – Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye is the first of its kind in today’s market. Due to the nature of its mash bill, the flavor profile of Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye is notably softer than familiar American rye whiskies. The combination of rye, malt and barley produces an oily, viscous, creamy whiskey, bristling with rye and barley spice. As both Irish whiskey and Rye whiskey enjoy a resurgence, Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye is a true innovation within both categories, with a smooth, spicy flavor profile sure to excite whiskey drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts alike.

Due to its mellow and spicy character, Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye is best enjoyed neat. If using this whiskey in a cocktail, we recommend a Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye Old Fashioned: 2 parts Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye, 2 dashes aromatic bitters, and a bar spoon of simple syrup or cinnamon syrup. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and stir briefly. Serve over a large ice cube and garnish with a spring of rosemary.

This limited-edition Irish whiskey will be available in the Kilbeggan Distillery shop from October 18 and nationwide from November with a suggested retail price of €55 (700ml). It joins the International portfolio alongside permanent expressions Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey (40% ABV) and Kilbeggan Single Grain (43% ABV).


AROMA              Soft green fruits combine with a rich creamy aroma and give way to white pepper, citrus and soft ginger spices

TASTE                 Beautiful warming mouthfeel of textured vanilla cream, floral spice, clove and forest sorrel, building to a crescendo of warm spice and biscuit dryness.

FINISH                Immensely long and nuanced, thick buttery coating with a return to the vanilla but with candied jellies and hints of bubble-gum. Spice and oil coating remain long after the finish

Rye bottle

One thought on “Kilbeggan launch its own Rye whiskey”

  1. “A Rye whiskey is heavily controlled in the USA and must contain at least 51% Rye. This is NOT what Kilbeggan were going for.” So glad you’ve noted this!


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