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Erin Rosar
March 17, 2015 | Whisky | Erin Rosar

​A Wee bit about Irish Whiskey

While Irish monks are given credit by many for being the first distillers of whiskey, this is highly contested by their neighbours in Scotland.  However, what is agreed upon is that the Bushmills distillery, in Northern Ireland is recognized as being the world's oldest licensed distillery, having been founded in 1608.  So what makes Irish whiskey different from other whiskies? Here are the facts:

What are the legal rules for Irish Whiskey

  • It must come from and be made in Ireland
  • The whiskey must be aged for at least 3 years in wooden casks
  • Must be distilled 3 times – Scottish whisky is distilled twice and bourbon once.
  • If the spirit is made from two or more grains then it must be referred to as Blended Irish Whiskey
  • Must be distilled to an ABV (alcohol by volume) less then 94.8%

Types of Irish Whiskey

  • Single Malt – Made from 100% malted barely by a single distillery in a pot still.
  • Pot Still whiskey – a blend of both malted and unmalted barely distilled in a pot still. Pure pot still is a style of whiskey that is unique to Ireland.
  • Grain Whiskey – a blended whiskey made in a continuous still.
  • Potcheen – Irish moonshine. A whiskey that doesn't meet the legal requirements to be labelled as an Irish whiskey. These are gaining cult like followings and growing in popularity. Generally, the whiskey has spent little to no time in barrel.


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