Ireland can be said to be the birthplace of whiskey. It was firstly spread from the monastery to the folk distillation. Before King Henry VIII announced the start of heavy taxes, it was once an essential livelihood industry in every country in Ireland.
Irish whiskey became popular in England earlier than its excellent Scottish successor. However, due to the economic recession and heavy taxation in the region, most Irish distilleries must rely on continuous mergers to maintain their lifeblood, so that they can survive until today. Few are left and most of them are controlled by foreign companies.
Origins of Whiskey
Whiskey is a kind of strong distilled liquor made from grains such as barley and aged in oak barrels for many years. The British call it the “water of life”. According to the origin, it can be divided into four categories: Scotch whiskey, Irish whiskey, American whiskey and Canadian whiskey.
The whiskey brewing process is divided into six steps: germination, saccharification, fermentation, distillation, aging, and mixing.
The origin of whiskey is untestable, but what is certain is that whisky has been produced in Scotland for more than 500 years, so it is generally regarded as the birthplace of all whiskey in Scotland.
Irish historians believe that the oldest Scottish distillery (Lslay, Islay) is located across from Ireland, and the oldest whisky distillery, Bushmills in Ireland, was formally established in 1608.
They also proved that the winery had been producing for some time before it was officially established. They used the words in “Description Of Pembrokeshire” published in 1602 to prove the conclusion: “Most of the immigrants from Ireland used to be handicraftsmen. They produced a large amount of’distilled wine’ and then used horses. And mules are carried and sold in the UK”.
Scottish historians used the earliest written records about the use of barley to make distilled spirits to defend their views.
These records were found in the Scottish literature in 1494. In the Chronicles of the British Treasury at the time, there was a record: “The monk John Cole was paid 8 buckets of wheat for making distilled wine.” These wheat were enough to produce more than 1,000 liters of wine.
Regarding the origin of whiskey, whether it is Irish whiskey or Scotch whiskey, it is recognized that they have a common ancestor, which is the “water of life (distilled spirit)”. Later it gradually became whisky in Scots and whiskey in Irish.
Irish whiskey refers to whiskey that has been distilled.
In terms of materials, Irish whiskey is not very different from the Scotch whiskey next to it. The same is the malt whiskey that uses sprouted barley as raw material, distills three times in a pot still, and is aged in oak barrels for more than three years according to law. In addition, the grain whiskey produced by continuous distillation of unmalted barley, wheat and rye is further blended.
However, there are two key differences between the Irish-style approach and Scotland. The first is that Irish whiskey also uses oats as a raw material. The second is that Irish whiskey hardly uses peat as a fuel for roasting malt during the manufacturing process.
In addition to the larger-volume “blended Irish whiskey”, there are also a small number of “Irish single malt whiskeys” that are individually bottled and sold.
Most Irish whiskeys have their counterparts in Scotch whiskies, with the only exception being a type called “Pure Pot Distilled Whiskey”. This whisky uses both malted and unmalted barley as raw materials, and is 100% manufactured in a pot still. Compared to Scottish pure malt whisky,
Using unmalted barley as the raw material gives Irish whiskey a greener, spicy taste.
Pure jug-style distilled whiskey can be bottled and sold separately, or blended with malt whiskey. Usually blended Irish whiskey does not specifically indicate whether the base is grain whiskey or pure jug-distilled whiskey.
The spelling of Irish whiskey is different from that of Britain and the United States. It is not “Whisky” but “Whiskey”. Locals laughed and said that the addition of an “e” means that Irish whiskey is more Excellent (better) than British and American whiskey.