Pogues WhiskeyCeltic punk rockers The Pogues like whiskey. Who knew? Maybe it’s those imbibe-induced Pogue tales like “Streams of Whiskey” and “Whiskey You’re the Devil” or its decades-inebriated frontman Shane MacGowan.

Even though most band members don’t touch the juice these days, it was only appropriate to have an Irish Whiskey in their name. Royal Flush got a first peak, and taste (neat, please), of The Pogues Irish Whiskey at Paddy Reilly’s Pub in New York City and even chatted with founding member and tin whistle player Peter “Spider” Stacy (Pogue James Fearnley also in attendance) over a glass.

Produced by one of the last, independent distillers in Ireland, West Cork, the Irish spirit was two years in the making, said Stacy, dapperly buttoned up in suit with bowler hat topping. “I’m still amazed that it’s finally here,” he said. The band was approached by West Cork Distillers and have been hands on (literally) in its production with only a handful of Pogues band members and other friends in bands helping with the tasting process along the way.

Blended from 50 percent 10-year single malt and 50 percent 5- to 7-year grain, the whiskey is far from harsh and even finishes off with a drop of amarena cherry. The Pogues is approachable enough for a beginner (whiskey) drinker with enough layers to impress a whiskey snob.

The Pogues

The Pogues

“Some people like bad whiskey,” Stacy told Royal Flush. “Some people like good whiskey. Others like a single malt scotch made by a one-legged man in a cave. For other people, they just want something to drink.”

Stacy said that whiskey seemed like the obvious choice for a band like The Pogues. “It’s the most identifiable Irish spirit,” said Stacy, who recalled the words of poet James Joyce: “The light music of whisky falling into glasses made an agreeable interlude.”

“If you’re going to make a spirit and put your name on it, nothing is better than Irish whiskey,” he said. “For The Pogues, whiskey makes complete sense. All other drinks are pretenders to the throne.”

Slàinte to The Pogues!

Tina Benitez-Eves

A Royal Flush vet, Tina started writing for the magazine in 2003. Her work has appeared in Men’s Journal, Wine Spectator, AOL and more.