For a short period during the 19th century, Irish Whisky reigned supreme over the Scottish rival. Although this boom was followed by bust, good times for Irish Whisky are back now with new distillers popping up all over the Emerald Isle. Double distillation & triple distillation, Irish Whisky offers a rich & varied array of styles alongside a unique style of pot still whisky which owes genesis to tax dodge. Ireland ruled the whisky world during the 19th century and the huge pot stills gave their spirit unmatched consistency.
Lost & Found – Paradise Regained
War & independence and political turmoil including Scots fighting back and buying & closing distilleries brought the Irish Whisky industry to its knees. However, every cloud has a silver lining & brighter skies have returned for the Irish Whisky industry. The renaissance of Irish Whisky industry which began in 1988 still continues with more producers entering the market & plans for newer distilleries in the pipeline. No wonder, Irish Whisky is back!
Irish Whisky is Unique Spirit
It is rare that peat is used in the malting process of Irish Whisky. This is to enable Irish Whisky to have a smoother finish as opposed to the earthy & smoky overtones which are common to some Scotches. However, notable exceptions to this include double distilled Connemara peated Irish Malt Whisky from Riverstown, Cooley & County Louth. Although there was a long period of decline from late 19th century onwards which damaged the industry, Irish Whisky was at one time one of the most popular spirits in the world. In fact, during heydays Ireland boasted of over 30 distilleries which during decline had fallen to just three.
Resurgence of Irish Whisky
Nevertheless, popularity of Irish Whisky has seen great resurgence since the late 20th century. In fact, with exports growing over 15 percent each year, Irish Whisky is the fastest growing spirit in the world since 1990s. Existing Irish Whisky distilleries have expanded to meet the challenge and newer ones have emerged. Ireland now has 16 distilleries in operation in 2017 and another 14 are in planning stages.