What is Irish Whiskey?
Whiskey at large is simply a form of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented yeasts such as corn, wheat, and/or barley. Irish whiskey, more specifically, is a type of whiskey made and distilled in Ireland.
Other types of whiskey include Bourbon, Scotch, Tennessee whiskey, and rye, just to name a few. The difference between all types of whiskey, excluding the region of the world in which it’s made in, is the distillation process itself. With that said, there are several key differentiators amongst the world’s whiskeys:
- It’s Origins (i.e. where it’s made)
- Distillation & Fermentation Process
- Grain Selection
- Maturation Process
While Irish whiskey is distinct from other types of whiskey for the reasons listed above, there are also several subtypes of Irish whiskey itself. In fact, there are four (4) primary types of Irish whiskey. Those four types are as follows:
- Single Malt
- Single Pot Still
Irish whiskey is arguably the most desirable, popular type of whiskey, and for good reason. Because of its unique and elaborate distillation process, Irish whiskey provides a smooth and decadent taste, unlike its counterparts that are stronger and more bitter.
So, how is Irish whiskey made? Great question…
How Irish Whiskey is Made
Irish Whiskey is distilled and produced in a similar fashion as its counterpart in that of Scotch. The primary difference? A blended approach to the use of malted AND unmalted barley. otherwise, the process of making Irish Whiskey is almost identical to that of the process of making Scotch.
First, you dry the barley. Next, you ground and steep it in water. This is, in short, the fermentation process. Once fermented, the distillation follows; typically thrice when it comes to most Irish whiskeys. The final step is the aging process which can take up to three years in old oak barrels.
Depending on the type of Irish Whiskey we’re discussing, there may be an additional step that involves blending grains pre-bottling. All that’s left do now once Irish Whiskey is aged and bottled is to, of course, pour, raise a toast to the pleasures of whiskey, and enjoy!