Bourbon, gin, scotch, tequila, vodka: You may have enjoyed one or more of these spirits lately.
But what about Irish whiskey?
Lighter than its cousin, scotch, Irish whiskey is triple-distilled for extra smoothness. The use of unmalted barley in Irish whiskey’s production offers a very different flavor profile from scotch: no smokiness, but a perfumed, slightly sweet character.
Finesse is the word for Irish whiskey. Its mellow yet flavorful character made it the world’s favorite whiskey in the late Victorian era. We love it, and wonder why it isn’t a more visible drink in America.
Some popular brands of Irish whiskey include Bushmill’s, Connemara, Jameson and Tullamore Dew.
We drink our whiskey straight, but here are some delicious Irish whiskey cocktails.
Enjoy Irish whiskey on St. Patrick’s
Day. Photo courtesy Jameson.
WHISKEY vs. WHISKY
Whisky is the Scottish spelling of whiskey. The alternative spelling was chosen to differentiate the national product from Irish whiskey.
The “whisky” spelling is used in Canada, Japan and Wales, as well as Scotland.
In the United States, a 1968 directive from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms specifies “whisky” as the official U.S. spelling. However, it allows the alternative spelling, “whiskey.” Most U.S. producers prefer to include the “e,” as do we. Without it, it looks like something is missing.
And another reason to keep the “e”: Irish whiskey predates Scotch whisky. Check out this brief history of whiskey. Ironically, distillation was discovered in the 8th century in Persia—a country that has not permitted the sale and consumption of spirits since the 1979 Islamic revolution.