Irish Whiskey

Whiskey is derived from Gaelic term, uisce Beatha or uisge beatha, meaning water of life. Dating back to the 12th century, Irish whiskey is one of the oldest distilled drinks and was one of the most popular ones in the world. Irish Whiskey is a whiskey made in Ireland with cereal grains and aged in wooden cask for at least 3 years.

Irish whiskey comes in several forms. If the whiskey is continuously distilled from unmalted grains, it is referred to as grain whiskey. This lighter and more neutral spirit is rarely found on its own and the vast majority of grain whiskey is used to make blended whiskey, a product made by mixing column still product with richer and more intense pot still product. Irish whiskeys made in a pot still fall into two categories. Those made entirely from malted barley distilled in a pot still are referred to like single malt whiskeys, a style also very commonly associated with Scotch whiskey. The second style of Irish pot still whiskey is the single pot still whiskey, made from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley completely distilled in a pot still. This latter style has also been historically referred to as “pure pot still” whiskey and “Irish pot still whiskey”, Older bottlings often bear these names.

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Many people love Irish whiskey for its signature smoothness and sweetness finish compared to scotch that has the smokier flavor or other whiskeys. Some say this unique flavor is due to two major factors: The whiskey is usually distilled three times, and the barley is rarely dried over burning peat. Of course, just like anything else, there are exceptions such as Connemara peated Irish malt (double distilled) whiskey.

Regardless of whether the blended whiskey is made from combining grain whiskey with either single malt whiskey or with single pot still whiskey, it is labeled with the same terminology. You can drink Irish Whiskey straight, neat or on the rocks. You can club soda and ginger ale as mixers. Irish whiskey can also be added to coffee, as in the classic sweet-and-creamy Irish Coffee.

Unlike Scotland that has about a hundred distilleries, Ireland has only a handful. But they produce a number of different brands and types of whiskey.

  • Powers John’s Lane ($72)
  • Green Spot ($55)
  • Jameson Original ($40)
  • Bushmills Original ($40)
  • Bushmills Black Bush ($50)
  • Powers Gold Label ($40)
  • Bushmills 10-Year Single Malt ($59)
  • Knappogue 12-Year ($50)

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