The word “whiskey” is an Anglicization of the first word in the Irish Gaelic phrase, uisce beatha, meaning “water of life” which it truly is! Irish whiskey is a whisky with an ‘e’ and lot more than that . Here is a complete Guide to Irish Whiskey 101
What makes whiskey Irish?
Legally, it’s just whiskey born and raised in Ireland, distilled to no higher than 94.8% ABV. A premium whiskey wood-aged for a minimum of three years. Irish whiskey is typically blended, but that doesn’t mean distilleries aren’t experimenting with single malt. Irish whiskey is also generally unpeated, the malt for unpeated whisky is dried with hot air without any smoke.
- Irish whiskies are triple-distilled—theoretically one reason Irish whiskey is smoother and lighter than Scotch—again that rule isn’t hard and fast.
- Irish whiskey used to be made exclusively in pot stills. But today they can be either pot-distilled or a mixture of column- and pot-distilled spirits.
- Irish whiskey was one of the earliest distilled drinks in Europe. It was very popular with the British, actually. Irish whiskey might have only survived thanks to the high British demand
- A Blend means the Irish whiskey comes from two or more distillates and separate batches of whiskey. In Irish whiskey talk, single malt, etc. isn’t defined as it is with Scotch whiskey.
- The world’s most expensive bottle of Irish whiskey is a 25 Year Old Pure Pot Still Whiskey which dates back to the late 1800s. It is one of the last to be produced at Nun’s Island Distillery in Galway, which closed for good in 1913.
Best Irish Whiskey’s
The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey
This whiskey brings visions of golden barley, and on the palate it’s robust and spicy with black pepper. It’s great for mixing, approachable, affordable, and comes in a damn fine looking bottle.
Redbreast 15 Year Irish Whiskey
This whiskey is rich, spicy and full of dried red fruit.The texture is very velvety and fruity, and has just enough oak to add character and flavor without getting too woody.
Jameson Irish Whiskey
Light gold in color, with a fairly light nose, this whiskey has notes of vanilla, subtle honey, and a hint of the smell of a pencil eraser. Its way more flavorful than expected. Its a very light whiskey with milk chocolaty undertones.