Northcross Triple Wood Irish Whiskey Review & Tasting Notes


Irish whiskey has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity. It wasn’t too long ago when the once-most-popular whiskey in the world became an endangered species.


John Teeling and his sons Stephen and Jack are probably the most well-known people regarding modern-day Irish whiskey. That’s because when John opened the Cooley Distillery in 1987, it was the first new distillery in Ireland in over 100 years! The Cooley Distillery operated as a contract distiller, making whiskeys for brands that did not want to invest in a distillery, aging warehouses, etc. Teeling’s business plan was so successful it caught the eye of Beam Suntory, and in 2011, it purchased the Cooley Distillery.


John invested his money in the shuttered Great Northern Brewery in nearby Dundalk. It was famous for producing Harp Lager. Constructed in 1896, the Teelings converted the brewery to a distillery, and in 2015, Great Northern Distillery was born, and the pot and column stills were up and running. Three years later, the first matured whiskeys were bottled.


The Teelings took John’s plan of contract distilling at Cooley and duplicated it. Great Northern produces private-label whiskeys, retail-owned label whiskeys, and bulk whiskeys to help smaller distilleries supplement their stocks.


Northcross Triple Wood Irish Whiskey is one such example. It is crafted entirely at Great Northern and owned by Latitude Beverage. Northcross is brand-new to the market, established just this year.


"The triple maturation process used to craft Northcross brings an impressive level of flavor and complexity to the spirit, especially considering the $25 price point. It's a distinctive alternative to other similarly-priced Irish whiskeys, making it a great option for not only cocktails but also for sipping neat or enjoying on the rocks.” - Terry Lozoff, Spirits Director at Latitude Beverage


Northcross Triple Wood is a blend of pot-distilled malt whiskeys aged in ex-Bourbon, Oloroso sherry casks, and virgin American oak. It is non-chill filtered and bottled at 43% ABV (86°), and a 750ml package has a suggested $24.99 retail price. There is no age statement, but Irish whiskey must be aged at least three years to be legally labeled as such.


Distribution is limited to a handful of states, but its footprint is growing. The question, obviously, is, Is this any good? and the only way to answer that is to #DrinkCurious. Before I can do that, I must thank Latitude Beverage for providing me with a sample in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.


Appearance: I poured this Irish whiskey into my Glencairn glass with a plan to sip it neat (while I may do a cocktail down the road, I review every whiskey neat). Inside, it appeared as a dullish golden liquid. A thin rim formed thin, fast tears.


Nose: The first smells included graham crackers, cocoa, and malt. Delving further, I found citrus, raw almonds, and apples. Drawing the air into my mouth revealed a strong taste of honey.


Palate: The creamy, weighty texture offered flavors of honey, vanilla, and almond on the front of my palate. At my palate’s midpoint, I could swear I had Nestle chocolate syrup in my mouth. The back featured toasted oak, marshmallow, and leather.  


Finish: At the first sip, I wondered what I missed. Then I took a second and, from there, a third. This whiskey’s finish is gone so fast that it is a challenge to figure it out. The toasted oak and leather remained the longest – if you could call that “remaining.” Something was dry in my mouth, likely from the Oloroso sherry cask.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: The smell and taste were attractive despite the finish. Northcross Triple Wood is highly-affordable, drawing it into my #RespectTheBottomShelf realm. My only complaint is that elusive finish, which isn't a deal-breaker considering the rest of what’s tendered. I see this appealing to newbies to Irish whiskey and those who prefer Irish to Scotch. It certainly beats the snot out of the standard-bearers of this price range (**cough cough** Jameson ** cough cough** Bushmills White **cough cough**). I’m happy to have this in my whiskey library, and considering everything as a whole, it takes my Bottle rating. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.