The Irish are best known for their production of whiskey, which comes from the Gaelic term- Uisce Beatha ‘Water of Life’. It is said that Irish whiskey is like its people- strong, bold, packs a punch and yet sometimes sweet. Whiskey is only considered Irish whiskey if it comes from Ireland, has gone through a distillation process of <94.8% alcohol and has been aged in wood barrels for a minimum of 3-years. The barrels tend to be ex-Bourbon (which impart caramel, vanilla, tropical fruit and citrus notes); or Sherry barrels (which will add dried fruit, cinnamon, chocolate, coffee and tannins.) The finished product should have a nice body, be smooth and have a subtle sweetness.
Types of Irish Whiskey:
Single Malt Whiskeys– These whiskeys are often called Malt Whiskeys and are made at a single distillery in pot stills with only malted barley. The flavors are influenced by the wood of the barrels, as they can spicy or peaty or have floral, dried fruit and bread notes.
Single Pot Still Whiskeys– These whiskeys are produced in pots still, but use a combination of malted barley (>30%), unmalted barley (>30%) and other cereal grains. These are the most intense with flavor featuring a lot of spicy and can have an oily mouthfeel.
Single Grain Whiskeys– These whiskeys are often called Grain Whiskeys. They are made in a single distillery and are comprised of malted barley (<30%), unmalted barley, corn or wheat. The flavors of the whiskey tend to be sweeter.
Blended Irish Whiskeys– These whiskeys are simply created by blending together at least two Irish whiskeys. These whiskeys can easily be consumed neat, as they are generally smoother in taste.
Irish Blended Whiskey Reviews
Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey