We hear a lot about scotch whisky but, what happened with the irish one? Let’s go through many curious things that you probably didn’t know:
Irish monk made the first whisky: Irish whiskey was first produced in the mid 16th century. Initially distillation was a secret process, known only to monks during the middle ages, until Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries in 1541.
Irish whiskey was once the number one spirit in the U.S.
The World Wars and Prohibition caused a lot of Irish distilleries to close. Scotch whisky took advantage of that and ran with it until now. It is only in the last decade that Irish whiskey has made a comeback.
Irish whiskey is the fastest growing spirit category:
Two or three years ago, there were only three distilleries in Ireland and now the projection is 12 to 14 distilleries in the next two years, so there’s a massive resurgence and pride in Irish whiskey.
Erin Go Braugh!
Irish whiskey must be distilled and aged in Ireland, it must be aged in wooden barrels for at least three years. There are two big name brands within Irish whiskey – Jameson, by far the most popular Irish whiskey on the market, has a smooth and spicy taste, closely followed in by the light and almost fruity tones of Bushmills. However less well known brands such as Knappogue demonstrate how Irish whiskey can be full of interesting flavours.
Irish whiskey is distilled three times, helping to give it a smooth taste, whereas its Scotch counterpart is traditionally only double distilled and american whisky is continuously distilled.
Try it if you think whisky is too strong for you
Irish whiskey has a different taste to Scotch whisky, due to the malting process used. Unlike many whiskies from Scotland malted barley in Irish whiskey is dried in closed ovens, so no smoke comes into contact with the barley. After the barley has been dried, the grains are mashed and then put into fermentation, where yeast is added to turn the sugar in the mash into alcohol.