The other contender in the debate of the origins. As shrouded as the mystery of whisky’s origin is, the obscurity can pronounce to an embittering conversation, particularly if you are talking to a Scotsman or an Irish. Leaving history aside, amongst the many similarity there are few significant differences in their versions of this “water of life”.
What’s in the name? What’s in the name? Everything, when it comes to whisky, or whiskey. The Scots spelt their scotch as whisky while the Irish added an “e” as whisk(e)y and they carried the same all the way to America in the 1700s, which is why all American whiskies today are also spelt in a similar fashion. Then I read this very interesting thumb rule somewhere. With most countries now producing whisky, the manner to gauge is, the countries with an “E” in the name, spell the drink as whiskey, otherwise it is whisky. So Irish Whiskey, American Whiskey, Canadian whisky, Scottish whisky. There you go!
Following are the highlights of whiskeys produced in Ireland
This was a popular campaign conceived by the Jameson Irish whiskey folks. To be read as triple distilled, twice as smooth, one great whiskey. This clever marketing line is indeed one of the greatest points of differentiation; Irish whiskies are triple distilled while most Scotch and American whiskies are double distilled. Double distillation produces a much smoother and clearer spirit.
Scotland boasts of over 80 distilleries, however Ireland today has three distilleries that are a result of consolidation across many smaller distilleries. These three are, Bushmills, Midleton (produces Jameson, Powers, Paddy, Tullamore Dew and Midleton) and Cooley (Connemara, Kilbeggan, Locke’s and Tyrconnell).
Bushmill is registered as the oldest distillery in Ireland, in production since 1608. In Scotland, Littlemill is the oldest distillery, opened in 1772. However the oldest working distillery is Glenturret, opened in 1775.
Scotland distilleries use a variety of shapes and sizes of stills to induce a diverse assortment of flavours. Irish whiskies on the contrary use Pot stills, these are short, flat, large stills with a round base, that produce softer and rounder spirits.
Peat, Wood & Smoke
Both Ireland and Scotland smoke their barley, however, the distinction is that while Scottish whisky uses peat, Irish malts predominantly use wood. As a consequence, Scottish malts are far smokier than Irish malts, the latter lighter in character.