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Introducing Whiskey from Ireland

Whiskey from Ireland

The term Whiskey, which literally means water of life, is believed to be first made by the Irish people.

The history suggests that whiskey from Ireland (Irish whiskey) was once world-famous in the globe, although the industry saw a downfall during the nineteenth century.

The historians claim that it was the Irish people who added the letter E to the term Whisky during the 19th century for the purpose of distinguishing this product from Scotch, which was more popular during those times.

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Such is the connection between whiskey and Ireland. Now, let me introduce you the great Irish whiskey for your reference here…

Rise and fall of Whiskey in Ireland

The history of Irish whiskey can be dated back to the twelfth century and hence, the whiskey from Ireland is considered to be one among the earliest distilled drinks of the European Continent.

The history suggests that it was the Irish monks who brought the distilling technique to the country during the 1000 A.D.

The Irish people then made changes in these techniques to get a drinkable spirit. As I mentioned earlier, the Irish whiskey subsequently acquired an important place in the world spirit market and there were more than thirty distilleries in the country during the 1890s.

During the late nineteenth century, the decline of the industry started and the number of distilleries were reduced to just three.

The experts say that a number of internal and external factors were responsible for this decline. After this severe decline, the country saw a slow resurgence in terms of whiskey only during the late 1980s.

This resurgence happened with the establishment of the Cooley Distillery in the year 1987. Subsequently, the growth of the industry picked up.

Ireland and its Whiskey Industry

For the past two decades, Ireland is found to be having the fastest growing spirit in the globe.

The annual growth of the industry is noted to be 15 to 20% per year and there are sixteen distilleries in the country at present.

The growth doesn’t stop with this as there are eleven more distilleries on cards for the country. The annual production of whiskey in the country is found to have crossed 7.7 million cases last year and the annual production is expected to cross 12 million cases by the year 2020.

Key Regulations on Irish whiskey

The Irish Whiskey Act, which was passed in the year 1980, is defining the key regulations. These are found to be relatively simple and include the following important points:

  • The whiskey is to be distilled, as well as to be aged in Ireland
  • The distillation must be done to get the alcohol by level < 94.8%
  • The whiskey must be subjected to aging for at least 3 years in wooden casks
  • The spirits that are containing more than one distillate are to be referred as blended Irish whiskey

Types of Whiskey in Ireland
In the island of Ireland, whiskey is coming in various forms. They are:

Grain Whiskey
This is got from continuous distillation from unmalted grains. Examples include:

  • Kilbeggan Single Grain
  • Teelings Single Grain

Blended Whiskey
As mentioned above, this is made by blending more than one distillate.

Blended Whiskey Examples

  • Black Bush
  • Bushmills Original
  • Clontarf
  • Inishowen
  • The Irishman Potstill
  • Jameson
  • Kilbeggan

Pot Still
There are two sub-categories under this class: single malt whiskey and single pot still whiskey.
The former style is being made entirely from malted barley, while the latter will be made using a combination of malted and unmalted barley.

Examples of single malt

  • Bushmills
  • Connemara Peated Malt
  • The Irishman Single Malt
  • Tullamore Dew Single Malt
  • Tyrconnell

Examples of pot still variety

  • Green Spot
  • Yellow Spot
  • Jameson Pot Still
  • Redbreast
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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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