O’Briens Wine Beer & Spirits
33 Spruce Avenue Stillorgan Industrial Park Co. Dublin Ireland Ireland
+353 1 2931040 online@obrienswine.ie Monday-Saturday 10:30am-10pm Sunday 12:30am-10pm
  • Irish Whiskey, Two Hellos and One Goodbye

    Irish whiskey is in a time of change with distilleries opening and some great new expressions being released. Sometimes also some old friends must retire. This week I’m looking at two new releases on the whiskey market and one soon to be retired whiskey.

    First up is Roe & Co, a new venture from Diageo making their return to Irish whiskey following the sale of Bushmills distillery. Master Blender Caroline Martin and her team began work on the blend in December 2014 and developed over one hundred different prototypes before settling on the final liquid, a blend of Irish malt and grain whiskeys aged in bourbon casks. Displaying balance between the rich fruity character of the malt and the mellow creaminess of the grain whiskeys and backed up by smooth vanilla, fruit and soft spice from its time in cask. You can pick it up for €40.00 (down from €42.00) in our Irish Whiskey sale.

    Roe & Co is also a great base for cocktails

    This summer saw the opening of the new Slane Distillery with the conversion of the 250-year-old stables on the grounds of Slane Castle. The first release from this new brand is the eponymous Slane Whiskey (currently €30.00, down from €35.00) made in partnership between the Slane castle’s Conyngham family and American powerhouse of the spirits industry Brown-Forman, distillers of Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve amongst many others. Slane whiskey makes use of three cask types to impart its robust, sweet and spicy flavour; virgin American oak casks, Tennessee whiskey casks and Oloroso sherry casks. Expect plenty of caramel, vanilla and toasted oak character with a vein of rich dried fruit beneath.

    Our final whiskey pick this week sees the retirement of a great single grain Irish whiskey, Kilbeggan 8-year-old. Formerly known as Greenore, this multi award winning whiskey from Cooley distillery is soft and easy drinking with crisp barley, tropical fruit and a light touch of spiced oak. If you are an admirer of this whiskey you can pick it up, before it’s all gone, in our whiskey sale for €35.00 (down from €40.00). But don’t worry fans of single grain, it is to be replaced by a new expression in the form of a no age statement, coming in at a higher alcohol content of 43% and partially finished in fortified wine barrels. Coming soon…

    Over 35 great Irish whiskeys on offer

    Please note prices are correct at time of publishing, these offers will end on 26th September 2017, please check our website or stores for the most up to date pricing.

  • Autumnal Reds in our Annual Wine Sale

    There may still be plenty of sunshine about, but It is fair to say that autumn has now taken hold and as the leaves are falling and the evenings begin to draw in, our appetites tend to move towards richer, more robust dishes, the same goes for our wines, so I have chosen below a selection from our Annual Wine Sale, all which are suited to roasts, hearty casseroles and cosy evenings in beside the fire.

    I am starting with a Spanish wine, which is from vineyards located in the Ribota valley of the Calatayud DO at an altitude of 700 – 900m above sea level. La Multa Old Vine Garnacha (€9.95 down from €13.95) is made by Scottish wine-maker, Norrel Robertson MW, who has been making wine in Spain for over 14 years, it is full bodied with fine, soft tannins and well-balanced acidity. Soft raspberry and wild berry fruits give way to a long, smooth, spicy finish. To see it at its best, I would pair this wine with some simply grilled Lamb cutlets.

    Norrel Robertson MW, is one of only three Masters of Wine currently living in Spain

    Next up is a wine from the iconic Portuguese winemaker João Portugal Ramos. When João began his career as a winemaker, the Alentejo region was still widely unknown. Today it’s fair to say that nobody has done as much for the region’s promotion and reputation within the wine world as João Portugal Ramos. His Smart Dog Syrah (€9.95 down from €14.95) displays all the charm that makes Southern Portuguese reds so easy to love; Intense, ripe, red berry fruit undercut with some spice notes leading to a palate which is smooth with soft tannins supporting generous fruit and a full body making it an ideal partner for chunky Lamb burgers or richer pasta dishes

    João Portugal Ramos surveying the crop in one of his many Alentejo vineyards

    Staying on the Iberian Peninsula, the fiercely cold winters and hot, dry summers of the Valdepeñas region allow for great concentration to the fruit.

    From here, Dominio de Artiga Reserva's (€10.95 down from €14.95) ripe berry flavours are coupled with hints of smooth vanilla and rich cocoa, imparted by the French, American and Hungarian oak barrels in which the wine has matured. Wines like this work really well with slow roast pork loin.

    Incredible value for a Reserva level wine, Dominio de Artiga shows just how well-suited Tempranillo is to fine oak-ageing .

    Moving to the south of France now, for a Gorgeously rich vintage of one of our star wines. Gérard Bertand’s Pic St. Loup (€11.95 down from €15.95) is made with a blend of old-vine Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan & Grenache blended from various sites throughout this unique terroir within the Languedoc. It is supremely elegant with wonderful fruit purity. Silky smooth with layers of wild bramble fruit, good without food, this would be a great match for a wonderfully rich Cassoulet.

    A traditional Cassoulet Toulousain would be a perfect match for Gérard Bertrand's Pic St. Loup.

    For my last choice, I am going with a wine from Chile, and Chocalan Origen Gran Reserva Syrah (€11.95 down from €16.95) is one of the very best Syrahs coming out of Chile, thanks to the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean on Chocalan's Maipo valley vineyards.  This Syrah has also been livened-up by the addition of some Viognier which adds floral perfume and texture to the bramble fruit, liquorice and pepper. This is a wine that is crying out for a Rib-eye Steak.

    Our sale finishes up at 10pm this Sunday night, so to be sure not to miss out, why not drop into your local store.

  • Our Sale Wines in the Press.

    When putting together the line-up for our Annual Wine Sale, we were certain that we were going with the strongest selection yet, nevertheless, it is great to have that confidence re-affirmed with a huge number of reviews in the Press, some of which I have picked out below.

    Gérard Bertrand H de L’Hospitalet Sauvignon Blanc , €8.95 down from €14.95

    “Good news for Sauvignon Blanc lovers, with €6 off, this is worth stocking up on. A fresh, clean, French-style Sauvignon Blanc, this is beautifully aromatic with a fruity character and refreshing acidity.”

    Corinna Hardgrave, Irish Independent, Sept. 3rd

    Château Cilorn , €14.95 down from €19.95

    “Elegant cherry fruits underpinned by a fine acidity and light tannins on the finish.”

    John Wilson, The Irish Times, Sept. 9th

    Xovial Albariño, €9.95 down from €16.95

    “An absolute steal. The crisp structure of Albariño pairs beautifully with oysters and white fish, and the classic flavours of apple mean this is also a perfect match with mussels.”

    Corinna Hardgrave, Irish Independent, Sept. 9th

    Follow Corinna's advice and pair Xovial Albariño with oysters for a real treat!

    Gérard Bertrand Pic St Loup €12.95 down from €15.95

    “Medium blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah. Great purity and elegance on the palate with waves of bramble fruit and silky-smooth tannins. Unbelievable value.”

    Matthew Nugent, The Irish Sun, Sept. 9th


    Gérard Bertrand Domaine de Villemajou €15.95 down from €20.95


    "A multi-layered red from with some bottle ageing which has added character to this handpicked Carignan, Grenache and Syrah blend.Very smooth, soft tannins and gamey notes on the palate. A rich, full-bodied red."

    Matthew Nugent, The Irish Sun, Sept. 9th

    Gérard Bertrand Hospitalet Red €16.95 down from €19.45

    “Again, another very approachable red blend – this time Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah in equal measures. A fruit forward wine with delicious soft black summer fruit flavours.”

    Matthew Nugent, The Irish Sun, Sept. 9th

    Gérard Bertrand's stunning Château l’Hospitalet.

    Château Mauvesin Barton, €22.95 down from €27.95

    “You can feel the power in the plush Merlot which dominates this blend. Happily, the Cabernet heart also shines through with leather tones and flickers of deep dark plum over a lengthy, evolving finish.”

    Tomás Clancy, the Sunday Business Post, Sept. 10th.

    Irish Wine Geese Family, the Bartons have been at the heart of Bordeaux for 10 generations, Château Mauvesin-Barton is their latest acquisition.

    Château Bentejac, €8.95 down from €17.95

    “Probably the best value basic claret around just now, the value for money being underlined by the fact that the price is down from the original €17.95…… Great with grilled steak and also with soft cheeses.”

    Tom Doorley, Irish Mail on Sunday, Sept. 10th

    Our Annual Sale continues until Sunday, September 24th  but as some of these wines may sell out, be sure not to leave it too late to visit your local O'Briens store.

  • O’Briens World Exclusive Jameson Caskmates IPA

    The flagship Jameson whiskey, finished in barrels that previously held craft IPA beer. Interested? We thought so! A very limited production and only available for retail in O’Briens this is an Irish whiskey special edition not to be missed!   Light floral & bright citrus on the nose leading to a creamy body with soft oak tones blending with the lively citrus character. Smooth finish with fresh citrus notes & a subtle hint of hop bitterness.

    If you’d like to try before you buy drop in between 5-8pm to the following stores:

    O’Briens Galway Sept 14th | O’Briens Beacon South Quarter 15th Sept | O’Briens Cork 16th Sept | O’Briens Navan 21st Sept | O’Briens Citywest 22nd Sept | O’Briens Naas 23rd Sept | O’Briens Westend Village 28th Sept | O’Briens Limerick 29th Sept | O’Briens Newbridge 30th Sept

  • Stunning Whites in our Annual Wine Sale

    In my blog last week, I picked out a selection of reds from our annual wine sale, so it is only fit and proper that this week I should turn the spotlight on to some of the Stunning Whites included in the line-up.

    To start off, I have picked a Pinot Grigio From the Friuli region of Northeast Italy where Pinot Grigio tends to be richer and more complex.  Puiattino (€11.95 down from €17.95) is a great example of this style, with a fresh and grassy nose with hints of green apples, leads to a palate which has a touch of honeyed richness but is dry, crisp, and steely on the finish.

    Puiattino's Pinot Grigio vines grow on the rolling hills of the Collio region, in the Province of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

    We cross over to Chile for my next selection, Novas Viognier (€9.95 down from €16.95) which is made with 100% organically grown grapes from Chile's No.1 organic estate’s vineyards located 300 metres above sea level. This is an extremely aromatic, richly flavoured white with peach and apricot fruit, all kept in check by the refreshing acidity.

    Back to Europe now, and the next wine is from the Rías Baixas region of Northwest Spain. Rías Baixas, unlike most other Spanish regions, has a Cool Climate with significant rainfall thanks to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.  Xovial (€9.95 down from €16.95) is a Classic Albariño, citrus and floral aromas, with a touch of stone fruit, all beautifully balanced with the vibrant zingy acidity.

    To ensure vine health in the cool and rainy Rias Baixas region, the vines are trained across pergolas, promoting free movement of air and preventing excess moisture from building up.

    Moving to the Southern French Languedoc region now. From a small family-owned, organically-farmed estate located at Limoux, high in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Domaine Begude 'le Bel Ange' (€10.95 down from €16.95) is a Chardonnay and Chenin blend with beautiful pure pear and apple fruit and a fresh as a mountain stream zesty finish.

    Domaine Begude's owners left behind a hectic City life in london to follow their dream; making great wine in the South of France.

    For my final choice, we have to go back to the Southern Hemisphere and Marlborough, New Zealand in particular. Needing no introduction Simon Waghorn’s Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc is a firm favourite at O’Briens, however, his Awatere Sauvignon Blanc (€16.95 down from €22.45) is an extra special Astrolabe taken from several cool climate vineyards within the Awatere Valley subzone.  It is marked out well-defined minerality & acidity, flavours of lime zest, elderflower and fresh herbs with a dry, savoury finish and it is a real treat for Sauvignon fans.

    Of course, the wines I have chosen above are just some of my own favourites, there are over 100 wines included in the sale, why not browse the full list here, or even better, drop in to your local O’Briens store where there will be a selection of sale wines available to taste all week long.



  • Great 'NAS' Whiskeys

    The rising popularity of Irish whiskey both here and abroad means there is a scarcity of aged stock. This has in part lead to a move towards no age statement (NAS) whiskey expressions, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity for whiskey producers. The age statement was a clear definition and mark of what one should expect in quality from a whiskey however its removal can allow for greater innovation in whiskey expressions.


    The age statement is a declaration of how long the whiskey has spent in wooden cask and refers to the youngest component whiskey. If a 7 year old whiskey is blended with a 12  year old then the resulting whiskey bottle would be labelled as a 7 year old. In the past the quality and desirability of a whiskey was often judged by the age on the bottle with conventional wisdom holding that the older a whiskey is the better it ought to taste, however this is not necessarily the case. Other factors than just time are at play in creating a great whiskey, the quality and make up of the original distilled spirit, the quality and type of oak used and of course the skill and knowledge of the distillation, maturation and blending teams.


    The release of a NAS whiskey allows for a great degree of innovation and creativity when designing a whiskey. It unties the hands of the blender who could in theory use a portion of lively 3 year old to balance flavours in an 18 year old. With an age statement, the resulting liquid would need to be packaged as a 3 year old whiskey, diluting the perceived value of the whiskey. This doesn’t mean that whiskey can contain any old spirit (or should that be any young spirit?) By law products labelled as Irish whiskey must be aged for a minimum of three years in wooden cask. In fact, one of the most celebrated Irish whiskeys Midleton Very Rare is no age statement and contains some very old stock.

    NAS whiskey allows blenders to be more creative in designing a whiskey giving greater scope to develop different flavour profiles. In the end, what matters is how it tastes. For me, a good NAS whiskey should offer both quality and value for money, with that here is a small pick of some great no age statement whiskeys from our  Irish whiskey sale. You can pick these up on offer from Wednesday 6th of September to the 26th of September.


    Teeling Single Malt (€51.95 down to €45.00)

    Made from a range of different ages including malt whiskey distilled in 1991 and matured in five different wine casks including Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon. Expect great balance and complex citrus, spice and wood flavours.

    Green Spot (€59.95 down to €55.00)

    One of the most recognised NAS whiskeys is a pot still aged between 7 and 9 years with 25% aged in sherry cask. Bursting with honeyed spice and orchard fruits.

    Writers Tears Red Head (€50.00 down to €45.00)

    The newest release from Walsh distillery is a single malt aged exclusively in Oloroso Sherry butts. The sherry influence is clear with dried fruit and nuts balanced with fresh tropical fruit and spice

    Jameson Black Barrel (€51.95 down to €40.00)

    A blending of pot still and grain whiskeys and aged in bourbon and sherry cask. The bourbon barrels get an additional charring for increased body and richer flavour of toasted wood and spice alongside tropical fruit notes.

    Glendalough Double Barrel (€38.00 down to €33.00)

    This is a single grain whiskey aged in bourbon cask and again here seeing time in Oloroso cask for six months to finish. Light and bright and very moreish, smooth caramel, vanilla and fruity tones.

  • Exciting New Reds in Our Annual Wine Sale

    Our annual wine sale kicks off today, with over 100 wines included and discounts ranging up to 50% there is something for everyone, not only old favourites but also many brand-new wines, so I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight some of the exciting new reds in the line-up.

    From the cooler-climate Uco Valley, (shown above) comes El Salvaje (€16.95 down from €19.95), which is a wonderfully-perfumed Malbec, floral & spicy on the nose, with deep dark berry fruit on the palate, perfectly balanced by the surprisingly fresh finish.

    Emiliana, who are Chile’s leading organic estate, and makers of the iconic Coyam also make Novas Pinot Noir (€9.95 down from €16.95), which has lovely aromas of strawberry and cocoa. The red berry fruit flavours, soft smooth tannins and good acidity combine to form a fine, persistent finish.

    For Nero Oro Appassimento (€9.50 down from €18.95), grapes are selected from two specific areas of Sicily renowned for producing some of the best Nero D’Avola on the island – Belice and Agrigento are on the western coast. These grapes are then partially dried prior to fermentation. This makes for a bright and fruit-driven modern Nero d'Avola, with buckets of vibrant dark cherry and plummy fruit, balanced with very good structure.

    For their Reserva (€12.95 down from €15.95), or premium expression of Porta 6 the winemaker pulled out all the stops, it is rich & smooth, without being heavy and with dark plummy fruit, this new addition to the Porta 6 family is very well-balanced & thoroughly delicious, but don’t just take my word for it, this wine is on the tasting table in all O’Briens stores this weekend, so why not pop in and give it a try.

    From the same family winery that makes one of our favourite Bordeaux wines, Château Claymore comes Château Cilorn (€14.95 down from €19.95), this is a Bordeaux Supérieur from a great vintage so there's a plethora of ripe fruit such as plum and blueberry along with a lick of liquorice spice, vanilla and silky tannins.

    la Tournée (€9.95 down from €15.45), is the first wine produced in the Languedoc by top Rhône winery, Ferraton. Stylistically this wine offers a great value alternative to Cotes du Rhône, it is a silky-smooth Syrah/Grenache blend with masses of red and black berry fruit nicely complemented by a sprinkling of pepper spice.

  • Last of the Summer Sauvignons

    As Ireland’s favourite grape variety, Sauvignon Blanc surely needs no introduction but as the wines tend to be so well suited to summer, I thought I would use this week’s blog to highlight some of the superb Sauvignons we currently have on offer.

    While France’s Loire valley can claim the title of being Sauvignon’s spiritual home, New Zealand is undoubtedly the driving force behind the explosion of Sauvignon Blanc onto the world stage, thanks to New Zealand, Sauvignon’s popularity has never been as high as it is now and it shows little sign of slowing down, so I am starting my selection in Marlborough.

    Theo, Alex, & Marcel Giesen in their Marlborough winery.

    The Giesen brothers, originally from Germany made their way to New Zealand in the 1980’s to set up a winery that today is one of the largest in Marlborough, their Bay and Barnes Block is a benchmark Marlborough Sauvignon packed with ripe tropical flavours; passionfruit, grapefruit, kiwi & lime beautifully balanced by the crisp finish.

    Sue White proudly displaying her wines at our spring wine fair last May.

    At Whitehaven, owner, Sue White leads a small, talented, committed team who together are carving global recognition for the Whitehaven label. The ‘Greg Label’ is their Premium Sauvignon Blanc which was created in memory of Sue’s Husband Greg White. Richer and more complex than the regular Whitehaven, and in true Marlborough-style is hugely aromatic on the nose and delivers masses of fruit on the palate.

    Gérard Bertrand's stunning Hopitalet estate.

    We have to make our way back to France for my next two selections, our first stop is in the Southern Languedoc region, and to the Hospitalet estate,  where multi award-winning winemaker Gérard Bertrand makes a very classy Sauvignon which is grown in exceptional limestone vineyards on the Mediterranean coast giving it some chalky notes to go with the ripe gooseberry and citrus fruit.

    Arnaud, Lionel, Jean-Marie, and Jean-Christophe Bourgeois amongst the vines in one of their family vineyards.

    I am finishing up with a classic from Henri Bourgeois, who is one of the Loire's most celebrated premium producers.

    Their Porte de l' Abbaye Pouilly Fumé is a truly stunning expression of Sauvignon Blanc with a lovely lemon curd aroma plus gooseberry but also the appellation's signature stony mineral character.

  • New Brews & An Old Favourite

    August is an unusual month for craft beer releases as the weather becomes a little more unpredictable and we move away from summer styles but before we move into the darker Autumn/Winter styles. However, that does mean we get some great variety in seasonal releases. Here is a pick of some new arrivals to our shelves this month with some seasonal releases and a couple of new entries to our core range.

    Keeping it fresh and fruity this month is Grand Day, a new release from The Porterhouse Brewing Company. The first can release from these venerable brewers is a juicy and fruity pale ale, perfect for when the sun creeps through the clouds. Wicklow Wolf have a great summer thirst quencher of a different sort with their Summersalt Gose. This is light and refreshing with blackcurrant fruit alongside a slight sour and salty note.

    For those looking for a bigger punchier flavour profile then check out the new limited releases from Dot Brew and YellowBelly. Dot Brew’s Teeny Tiny is a chardonnay barrel aged session pale ale packing a lot of flavour in to such a small beer. Meanwhile YellowBelly nails the style category for what they refer to as ‘old skool American style IPA’ with G'Way IPA. Expect punchy flavours of sweet resin and tropical fruit.

    A new core addition to the O’Briens shelves this month is the excellent Weihenstephaner Dunkel. This is one of the top rated Dunkelweizen (dark wheat beer) in the world displaying classic flavours of creamy caramel malt alongside clove and banana. My final selection is the return of an old favourite in the form of Stone Barrel’s Sundown Amber Ale. The latest release of the Sundown has seen a slight recipe tweak to make it a little lighter and more sessionable while retaining the smooth body and zesty citrus hop notes.

    You can pick these up and many more new releases instore or online. These beers were also our picks for the August Craft Club Box.  If you would like to get new releases and the freshest seasonal brews delivered direct to your door along with a booklet to guide you through each beer, with tasting notes and background information, you can sign up for a 3 month or 6 month subscription here.



  • Wood Key Brewing

    Wood Key Brewing began when Simon and Brian had been working in an Off licence in north Dublin, one of their customers, Andrew, came in and pitched the idea of setting up a business. Andrew was doing an MBA and wanted to put that learning into something he was passionate about. Craft beer came instantly to mind and Simon and Brian where the people who knew beer.

    They worked on a few brews and experimented with different recipes with the idea of creating a few batches to test demand, ‘we didn’t think it would end up where we are now’ Simon chuckled when I caught up with him recently. That was in 2015 and Wood Key’s popularity has grown amongst fans of craft beer and picked up a number of awards in the meantime. They have also recently made the move over from bottle to exclusively packaging their core range in cans. Why cans? For Simon it’s about freshness, convenience and eco friendliness.

    These 13th century pewter tokens unearthed in Dublin are the inspiration for Wood Key's designs

    What has attracted fans to Wood Key from the start has been their emphasis on creating malt forward balanced beers. Hops are an important part of creating great tasting balanced beers and Wood Key don’t shy away from their use but their focus is on creating ‘traditional beer styles that showcases malted barley’. As Simon views it, ‘Ireland grows world class barley, we should lead with what Ireland does best’.

    That focus on malt can be seen throughout the Wood Key range. Their flagship brew, The Pilgrim, is a soft red ale with a complex blend of malt flavours of red fruits, smooth caramel and a light toastiness. For the rerelease in cans they have slightly altered the recipe for the Pilgrim and this is the version that won ‘Best in Category’ award for Ale in the recent Alltech Dublin Craft Beer Cup.

    The Ravens is their rye ale which again has seen a couple of tweaks with for the can rerelease including bringing the Abv down, to make it more sessionable while still displaying bright citrus hop notes over toasted caramel and rye spice.

    The Hunted Dear IPA is the newest addition to the Wood Key range. This is a softer take on a traditional IPA, again with a focus on the malt aspect with Irish malts alongside a variety of wheat with Calypso, Huell Melon and Cascade hops giving those strawberry, guava, pear and soft citrus notes.

    The newest release for Wood Key

    Along with these we can expect 2 to 3 more seasonal releases out this year, with Wood Keys take on a sessionable NEIPA being brewed this week. They also have a ‘few stouts in mind’ as they have a couple of stout recipes they have been working on for a while that they are looking forward to releasing. In the meantime, you can check out the core range with all three of the Wood Key cans at 6 for €15 in our mix and match can offer for August.

    Part of our 6 for €15 can sale

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