Irish whiskey is also known as “uisce betha,” which means “water of life” in Gaelic. Some of the most famous Irish whiskeys include Bushmills, Kilbeggan, Teeling, and, Jameson. Irish Whiskey actually predates Scotch whiskey. And although once nearly wiped off the map, Irish whiskey is on the rise, and we are thoroughly enjoying its time in the spotlight. Only four distilleries remain—New Midleton, Cooley, and Kilbeggan and Bushmills which was founded in 1608.
Legally, whiskey born and raised in Ireland is classified as Irish Whiskey. The only other requirements are that it must be distilled to no higher than 94.8% ABV and matured for at least three years.
Irish whiskeys are all about the art of the blend and are generally unpeated (with the exception of Connemara). But there are some distilleries experimenting with the single malt style. Another classic trait of Irish Whiskey? Being triple-distilled in copper pot stills. This technique gives the whiskey its signature light, fruitiness.
When it comes to maturation, Irish whiskeys have been aged in a plethora of casks including Madeira, Sherry, bourbon, and even rum barrels, giving way to limitless possibilities of experimentation. The modern Irish Whiskey flavor profile features anything from grassy, herbal notes, to subtle fruit, honey, almond, toffee, butterscotch, clove, apples, and golden raisin flavors (and beyond). Explore the fascinating world of Irish Whiskey below.