Philadelphia, PA - The origin of Irish whiskey is a little cloudy, no one is actually sure when it was 1st created, it is surmised that brewing started sometime in the 12th century. Whiskey, also known as whiskey, is as much a broad categorization of spirits as it is a spirit type. If you aren’t a whiskey enthusiast, you might be wondering what the difference is between whiskey and whiskey, or what the deal is with whiskey vs. bourbon or scotch.
The Origin and History of Irish Whisky
One determinant between whiskey and whiskey is where it is produced. Whiskey from Ireland and the United States is usually spelled with the “e.” Whiskey from Scotland, Canada, Japan, and elsewhere is spelled without the “e.” So, regional grammar is why you’ll see Scotch Whisky but Irish Whiskey on the shelves. Most whiskey distillers use the plural form “whiskeys” to hint that they are referring to whiskey; whereas whiskey is usually pluralized as “whiskeys.” The difference between types of whiskeys like bourbon, rye, or scotch is a bit more complicated. Along with country of origin, the kind of whiskey or whiskey is also determined by the grain used in the distillation process. Different grains produce different taste characteristics. Couple that with varying distillation methods by region and producer, and you get a wide range of flavors from sweet to spicy and from smooth to bold and smokey. Explore more about the types of whiskey below:
History of Whisky
Irish whiskey is barley, malt whiskey made in Ireland. Irish whiskey resembles Scotch whiskey in that its ingredients and formulation is slightly different.
Note that Irish whiskey is written differently. Peat is rarely used when malting Irish whiskey, resulting in a whiskey with a smoother, sweeter flavor. In most Irish whiskeys, the smoky, earthy flavors of Scotch are absent.
Conventional wisdom says that the Irish invented whiskey, but it is speculated that the Scots perfected it. Both claims are open to doubt, if "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," then "perfection is on the tongue of the glass holder." In other words, it is a question of taste. The word whiskey comes from the Irish Gaelic term "uisce beatha" which translates as "water of life" ("uisce" is pronounced ish-ka).
There are fewer distilleries of Irish whiskey than there are distillers of Scotch. Economic difficulties in the last couple of centuries have led to a significant number of mergers and closures.
Currently, only three distilleries are operating in the whole of Ireland (although each produces some different whiskeys.) Irish whiskey, like Scotch, comes in several forms. Like Scotch whiskey, there is single malt, (100% malted barley and grain whiskey.
Grain whiskey is much lighter and more neutral in flavor than single malt and is rarely bottled as a single grain. It is instead used to blend with single malt to produce a lighter blended whiskey.
Unique to Irish whiskey distilling and something that the Scotch have never followed on is pure pot still whiskey (100% barley, both malted and unmalted, distilled in a pot still). The "green" unmalted barley gives the pure pot still whiskey a spicy, unique Irish quality. Like single malt, pure pot still is sold as such or blended with grain whiskey.
Irish whiskey is believed to be one of the earliest distilled beverages in Europe, dating to the mid-12th century). The Old Bushmills Distillery also lays claim to being the oldest licensed distillery in the world since gaining a license in 1608.