Tag Archives: Clontarf Whiskey

3 Whiskeys For Under €20

Update!!! On January 4th 2022 Ireland implemented a Minimum Unit Pricing – MUP – policy on alcohol with all 40% whiskey in 700ml bottles now costing a minimum of €22.09.

With whiskey prices inevitably spiraling northwards & putting many punters out of the buying game – it’s still possible to find a selection of whiskeys for under €20.

At this price point you can hardly expect non chill filtering, natural colour, fanciful back stories, the strain of barley used nor the name of the field it grew in – what you get is plain simple unpretentious whiskey.

Here’s a few I’ve enjoyed over the years.

Clontarf Trinity c/othewhiskeynut

Clontarf Classic Blend, 40%, Aldi

I found Clontarf to be a robust little number.

‘It’d put hairs on yer chest’ some would say – but I say it possesses a proud character all of it’s own.

Plain simple & straightforward ex-bourbon cask matured.

It hits the mark.

Nice! c/othewhiskeynut

Old Samuel Bourbon, 40%, Tesco

It’s cheap, it’s cheerful & it’s more enjoyable than some well established brands.


Tasty! c/othewhiskeynut

JG Kinsey Special Reserve, 40%, Dunnes

This one took me by surprise.

It had flavour, depth & a bit of a pedigree too.

I polished it off in a week – which is highly unusual.

Very pleasant.

Under €20

Being under €20 is no barrier to good taste or flavour. The above 3 demonstrate the variety that is available. Something to suit all palates. You may have to try a few to get the one that satisfies – but at the price point – that’s part of the adventure!

Happy hunting!



Clontarf Irish Whiskey With Ginger & Cola, 5%

Clontarf Ginger.

It’s brown.

It’s fizzy.

It smells like ginger beer – although I don’t believe it’s ever seen a real ginger in it’s short life as ‘ginger flavouring’ is used according to the  back label.

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Clontarf & Ginger c/othewhiskeynut

It even looks like ginger beer.

And it goes down like a ginger beer – which is quite a pleasant & refreshing drink in the summer heat if I say so myself.

But I’m just missing the Clontarf Whiskey.

At 5% this is no soft drink – yet it could be mistaken for one. Only a hint of maltiness among the ginger spice gives the whiskey content away.

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Clontarf & Cola c/othewhiskeynut

The Cola version is in a similar vein.

Not as fizzy – a bit like a flat cola that’s been left in the sun for too long – with that slight maltiness in the background.

If anything – I preferred the ginger. More  refreshing & more spice – but I wouldn’t be a cola drinker anyway.

Just who the market is for these kind of drinks is I don’t know.

As a whiskey fan – these taste like soft drinks.

Not being a soft drinks fan I don’t get the attraction.

I’m not sure if I want a sugary fizzy chemical concoction ruining my enjoyment of a largely natural product using only 3 base ingredients – barley, yeast & water.

But then it’s each according to their own.

Aldi stock them at only €1.49 if you’re interested.


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A Drink With The Neighbours

Over the course of the festive season it’s customary in our little street to exchange Christmas cards with the neighbours.

Unlike the Aussie soap of the same name – we do not have affairs with each other nor bicker nor fight – we actually get along just fine and look out for each other.

I was despatched by the better half to drop round some cards one evening. I popped the first few through the letterboxes and was about to do the same with the last one when the door opened.

” Ah hello there, Merry Xmas to ya, I’m just dropping off a card for you.”

” Many thanks, Merry Xmas to yerself, you’ll be having a drink?”

And so I was invited in for a bit of the hard stuff.

Jameson from Midleton c/o thewhiskeynut

We started off on the ubiquitous Jameson.

A light, smooth mellow blend which is the biggest selling Irish whiskey by far. I learned that this was the drink of choice for some neighbours who always have a bottle at hand.

Conversation flowed as smoothly as the whiskey and on we chatted.

Further whiskeys were produced.

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Clontarf 10 yo Signature Release from Castle Brands c/o thewhiskeynut

A Clontarf 10 Year Old blend care of the local Aldi was politely refused – after all I’d only just finished mine a few weeks before mainly through the medium of hot whiskeys to fend of a cold I’d picked up!

“There is another bottle I have somewhere the lads enjoy drinking”

A well drunk bottle of Dark Rum Finish BenRiach was produced.

BenRiach Dark Rum
BenRiach Drak Rum Finish c/o almada-vini.com

46% non-chill filtered 15 year old single malt – from a well respected Speyside distillery who produce a wide array of wood finished expressions – now this was something to get to grips with.

On the nose the rum was fairly soft – but recognisably there.

On drinking a little – the lovely smooth liquid warmed the mouth leading to a  long gently lingering finish heavily accented by the rum.


” No wonder the lads nearly finished off  this bottle”

We were all set to beat the lads to it when my phone went.

” Where are ya?  2 hours to drop off some cards?  There’s more to be done yet.”

Ah well – it was an enjoyable time. My neighbour also had other engagements to make.

So we had another dram.

Marvelled at the fine taste of the whisky.

Wished each other good health,

and went on our ways.


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