Irish whiskey is a unique beast. First, there aren’t area particular Irish whiskeys per se. There’s a transparent distinction between Northern Irish whiskey like Bushmills and Republic of Eire whiskeys like, say, Jameson. However, there’s not Highland or Islay-like designations in play right here.
What is in play are the only monikers. Irish whiskey is available in single malt, single pot nonetheless, single grain, and blended types. Three of these four we already know. Where Ireland swerves is with the “single pot nonetheless” class. A unique pot nonetheless whiskey makes use of each malted barley and unmalted or raw barley within the mash invoice.
That’s not to say there aren’t Irish whiskeys with peated smoked malts. There are. Connemara famously makes use of peated malts and has a pleasant smoky presence. However, that’s extra the outlier than the usual in terms of Irish expressions.
One other massive distinction is that Irish whiskey is triple distilled, mainly. Again within the 1800s, Irish distillers had been ruling the whiskey world and needed to guarantee that Irish whiskey was all the time higher than their neighbor’s scotch. Triple distillation turned a hallmark of the island. At present, not all Irish whiskeys are triple distilled; however, most single malts and single pot nonetheless expressions can be. One other ripple in Ireland is with the grain whiskeys. Usually, these expressions are distilled in a column nevertheless, or Coffey and never a pot.
From there, now we have a similar technique of malts to grist to fermentation to distillation to barreling. Usually, Irish whiskeys can be aged in ex-bourbon barrels and ex-sherry casks after which blended right into a single expression for bottling. That’s not a common reality, after all, and new barreling processes are coming into play, most famously with huge manufacturers like Jameson barreling in stout or ale casks.
Placing apart blends and grains, single malt scotch and single-pot Irish whiskey are two very completely different beasts. One is made solely with malted barley that’s nearly at all times malted utilizing native peat within the kilning process.