For a period in the 19th century, the whiskey world was dominated by the Irish instead of the Scots. Widely credited as being the first to distil whiskey and introducing the British Isles to this process, Ireland has historically produced expressions in a range of styles and production methods, each adding something unique to the country’s impressive portfolio.
Whiskeys from the Emerald Isle are known to be pure pot still whiskey and are often noted for their smooth bodies and fruity flavours, as well as their triple distillation process. Popular offerings from this unique region include the renowned Jameson, Tullamore DE.W., and Bushmills drams, both iconic blends loved the world over. Ireland also boasts a robust range of single malts, including the award-winning whiskies from Tyrconnell and Connemara.
Discover more of what makes Irish whiskeys unique and what they have to offer below, or order your very own bottle from The House of Whisky below.
- A Dwindling Industry
- A Promising Comeback
- Irish Whiskey vs Scotch Whisky
- The Character and Style of Irish Whiskey
- Irish Whiskey Spotlight - Connemara
Sadly, the initial success of the Irish whiskey industry did not last. The Scots eventually fought back by buying and closing distilleries, and war and political conflict left only two distilleries, namely New Midleton and Bushmills, standing.
Since this deterioration, however, Ireland’s whiskey industry has been rejuvenated thanks to the international success of whiskeys such as Jameson, Bushmills, and Tullamore D.E.W. The last 20 years have also seen the re-introduction of double distilled single and peated malts, as well as the now thriving pot still Irish whiskey style.
This renaissance has only been strengthened with the emergence of additional producers in the industry. With plans for even more distilleries in the pipeline, Ireland’s whiskey industry is sure to keep growing and thriving.
A production method unique to the Irish whiskey trade, single pot still whiskey is made from a combination of malted and unmalted barley. With some exceptions, the malted barley is dried in closed ovens to prevent the smoke from influencing the taste of the spirit.
This is in contrast to Scotland’s standard production method, which involves drying malted barley over fire and smoke and distilling their whiskey only twice.
The use of this distinct Irish production method has had a considerable impact on the flavour profile of Irish whiskeys, making them lighter, smoother, and more approachable to casual whiskey drinkers.
The quintessential Irish whiskeys are yellow and gold in colour with a light, smooth texture and spicy finish set against a backdrop of freshly harvested grain. Their traditional flavours include
While there are some exceptions, the majority of Irish whiskeys are unpeated, triple distilled, and made in a pot still. All Irish whiskey must be aged for a minimum of three years in wooden casks with a capacity of fewer than 700 litres.
A bona fide heavyweight in the world of Irish whiskey, Connemara is a vibrant, smokey whiskey designed to be enjoyed straight, undiluted, and sip by sip. Since 1996, Connemara has become Ireland’s most decorated whiskey, winning eight gold medals, including a double-gold and the title of “Best of Irish” at the 2004 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
It is Ireland’s first contemporary peated single malt offering and boasts a flavour profile of smoke, leather, and earth with a woodfire aroma, light, aromatic body, and luxurious finish. It also boasts a 60% alcohol by volume, stronger than the usual 40% found in other drams.
The spirit’s distillers believe that this single malt truly captures the beauty of the region it is named after. The weathered coastline, mystical mountains, and rain-soaked peated bog all work together to create a beautiful, majestic landscape, similar to how the ingredients in the Cooley Distillery’s flagship whiskey combine into a remarkable dram any connoisseur will enjoy.
Place your order for your bottle of Connemara with The House of Whisky today to taste this exceptional Irish whiskey for yourself.