The Irish are hailed as being the original producers of whiskey in the British Isles, and their innovations and techniques were so successful, that neighbouring Scotland were quickly influenced by them in the 15th century. Centuries later, it was the Irish who brought whiskey to America, and their style of whiskey has since become popular all over the world.
However, it wasn’t always plain sailing for the Irish whiskey industry - from being a dominant force in the 19th century, whose produce was considered far superior to that of Scotland, political upheaval and war saw the Irish whiskey almost disappear forever in the early 20th century. Today, the Irish whiskey manufacturers are back on their feet, and they are once again proving that the original is often the best. With new distilleries opening every year, it is safe to say that Irish whiskey is very much back.
Irish whiskey differs from Scotch whisky in a number of ways, and not least the spelling - the extra ‘e’ was said to be added in the 19th century as a way of distancing the Irish drink from what they saw as an inferior Scottish product. Irish whiskey was traditionally made in enormous stills, as a way of ensuring consistency from bottle to bottle, and maintaining the quality and complexity their reputation was founded on. The typical tasting notes of fine Irish whiskey include apple and vanilla, alongside spicy and sweet touches of nutmeg and fresh hay, making this a highly pleasant and smooth drink, made for relaxation and stimulating conversation about times past.