Irish Whiskey is one of the world’s oldest distilled liquors, and it has a rich history. It’s a versatile spirit that can be enjoyed in many ways — neat, on the rocks, in a cocktail or in a few drops of water.
But just like with Scotch, there are some myths about Irish whiskey that have popped up over the years. Let’s take a look at which ones are true and which aren’t!
Jameson is made in the Catholic-rich county of Cork, Ireland. It is a blend of pot still and grain whiskeys which is triple distilled to give it its signature smoothness.
It is also aged in a mix of American oak bourbon barrels and Spanish sherry casks, which gives it its sweet and spicy flavour.
As part of the Pernod Ricard liquor empire, Jameson is a major international brand. It’s a great choice for those who are looking for a high-quality Irish whiskey on a budget.
But, as is often the case with Irish whiskey, there are also plenty of myths surrounding it. One of the most common is that Jameson is catholic, while Bushmills is Protestant.
The Bushmills distillery was established in 1608 along the River Bush, a tributary of the River Lagan. It’s one of the few distilleries in Ireland that still uses 100% malted barley to make triple-distilled whiskey.
The Irish whiskies made here are among the most popular and celebrated in the world. They’re triple-distilled, then aged in a variety of casks — including bourbon and sherry barrels.
The distillery has gone through many changes and owners over the years, but despite the turmoil, Bushmills remains true to its roots and devotion to quality. That’s why the brand’s whiskeys are still a favorite of bartenders and mixologists worldwide.
One of only a few Irish whiskies that celebrates the revival of the ancient tradition of drying barley over peat fires, Connemara Original is distilled in Kilbeggan, a town known for its natural beauty. The smoke rising from these fires and the peat that accompanies it gives this whiskey its distinctive flavor.
Moreover, it is one of only a few Irish peated whiskies that is still made with 100% malted barley.
This single malt is bottled at a low 40 percent abv and no age statement (NAS). The peaty profile here combines the subtle smokiness you’d expect from a single malt with the sweetness of a well-aged malt.
Single Pot Still
Irish single pot still whiskey is a style of whiskey that is native to the island of Ireland. It is produced from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley, and is usually triple-distilled.
It has a distinct flavor, often described as leathery and smooth, that resonates with many whiskey drinkers. Its mellow, spiciness is due in part to its unique use of an unmalted barley component.
The mash bill for a single pot still is a combination of malted and unmalted barley, sometimes blended with other cereals. It is then distilled in a pot still or column still, depending on the type of distillery.
As one of the pillars of the industry, single pot still is experiencing an exciting resurgence. It is the backbone of Walsh Whiskey’s Writers’ Tears and The Irishman blends, and Teeling Distillery in Dublin has just launched a single pot still expression that has been hailed by many as a return to its roots.
Blended whiskey is a mixture of several different styles of Irish whiskey. It combines a variety of whiskeys, including single malt and pot still, to create a new blend.
Whiskey evaluators tend to consider blended whiskey to be the smoothest and most flavorful style of Irish whiskey. The triple distillation process gives blended whiskey a clean taste and it is not overly harsh on the palate.
The concept of blending was developed in the 17th century. The taxation of malt and alcohol in Ireland led to distillers producing whiskies from both barley and wheat to help recoup the costs of production.