Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey Review & Range

Quite Simply a Fine Irish Whiskey

Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
Tullamore D.E.W. is among the biggest names in Irish whiskey and can be used to create some amazing whiskey cocktails. ignat.gorazd/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Tullamore D.E.W. is a smooth and malty Irish whiskey that has been distilled in the small town of Tullamore in County Offaly since 1829. It is tagged as "The Legendary Irish Whiskey" and is one of the most popular Irish whiskey brands in the world.

While it is not the oldest whiskey of its kind (Bushmills claims that title), Tullamore D.E.W. is rich with history and a favorite for many whiskey drinkers for a good reason.

It is, quite simply, a fine Irish whiskey.

The Story of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey

The story of Tullamore D.E.W. began in 1829 with Michael Molloy and after his death in 1887 it was left to Captain Bernard Daly. However, it was not Daly who transformed the whiskey into a competitive place in the widening Irish whiskey market, instead, it was one Daniel E. Williams.

Prohibition in the U.S. and trade issues with England in the first part of the 20th Century broke many Irish whiskies and created havoc with the country's whiskey industry. In 1959, Tullamore D.E.W. was sold, the original distillery closed, and the operation was consolidated with many other popular brands into one of the two distilleries that continue to produce most of the Irish whiskey we enjoy today. 

While the Midleton Distillery was home to Tullamore D.E.W. for many years, it all changed in 2014. A new distillery was once again opened in Tullamore, County Offaly, which is where the whiskey is now produced.

The Range of Tullamore D.E.W. 

As of 2016, Tullamore D.E.W. has a nice portfolio of whiskies and there is something here for every whiskey connissuer at every price point.

  • Tullamore D.E.W. Original - The benchmark of the brand's portfolio and a very approachable whiskey. It is triple distilled, aged in a combination of bourbon and sherry barrels for just around 3 years and blended.  
    • 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
    • Retails for around $20-30/750ml bottle
  • Tullamore D.E.W. 10 Year Old Single Malt - A blend of whiskies aged for 10 years in four different casks that once housed either bourbon, dry oloroso sherry, port or madeira. A unique flavor often compared to a traditional "Christmas cake."
    • 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
    • Retails for around $35/750ml bottle
  • Tullamore D.E.W. 12 Year Old Special Reserve - A very complex whiskey, this is also triple-distilled, the blend has a higher concentration of pot still and malt whiskies. Aged in bourbon and sherry barrels for 12-15 years.
    • 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
    • Retails for around $42/750ml bottle
  • Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix Limited Edition - Triple-distilled blend of golden grain, malt and pure pot still whiskey with a high concentration of pot still whiskey aged in oloroso sherry casks that give it distinct sherry and spice notes.
    • 55% alcohol by volume (110 proof)
    • Only available in airport stores.
    • Retails for around $55/750ml bottle
  • Tullamore D.E.W. 15 Year Old Trilogy - A blend of three triple-distilled whiskies aged in three different barrels - bourbon, oloroso sherry and rum.
    • 55% alcohol by volume (110 proof)
    • Retails for around $80/750ml bottle
  • Tullamore D.E.W. Old Bonded Warehouse Release - Created for the 2012 opening of the brand's visitor centre, this whiskey is triple distilled and triple blended with a concentration on pot still whiskey.
    • Only available at the Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre.
  • Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask Finish - A limited bottling that happens just once a year, the whiskey is finished in cider barrels to create a unique layer of flavors.
    • Only available in airport stores.
    • Retails for around $60/1-liter bottle

Drinking Tullamore Dew Original 

Tullamore Dew is a supreme whiskey and one of my personal favorites to keep in stock for every day drinking. You will notice subtle barley, a clean, smooth taste and rich oak tones throughout the experience. This makes it great for sipping straight with a splash of water to open it up and it is ideal for cocktails.

Try it in some of Tullamore D.E.W.'s original cocktails like the Merry Irishman and Irish Gold or in the delightful Shamrocked shooter. It is also fantastic with a touch of ginger ale or tonic water and makes a wonderful Irish Coffee.

Tasting Notes

Tullamore D.E.W. Original is a mild whiskey that opens with lemon and malt notes along with slight charred wood undertones. The palate is well-rounded and buttery with sweet spices, warms malts and, again, hints of wood. Its finish is super smooth and the complexity lingers.