Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Irish Whiskey

Although we have proudly introduced our very own aged bourbon whiskey recently, this month is for the Irish. There are several amazing Irish whiskeys, and we are sure you will find one here to will please your palate.

Our selection consists of Bushmill's, Jameson, Tullamore Dew and Red Breast Single Malt 12 year old. Each one hails from a different part of the country, and all are just a bit different.  And like all Irish folk, these spirit masters take pride in their whiskey.

History says that Irish whiskey may be the oldest distilled beverage in Europe. It is said they had learned from missionary monks around the 8th century; however, over the next 700 years, the details are a bit sketchy. Maybe drinking the whiskey had something to do with that...

Here is a little history on this spirit:

In order to be called an Irish whiskey, the regulations are quite simple in comparison to the whiskeys of Scotland and America. Irish whiskey must be distilled and aged in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. It must be distilled to an alcohol by volume level less than 94.8%. (This allows for the aroma and flavor to be more present.) Also, it must be aged at least 3 years in wooden casks. One of the most significant differences is that most (not all) Irish whiskey is distilled 3 times, unlike that of American and Scotch whiskeys which are only distilled twice.

Another interesting note is that although Scotland contains over 90 distilleries, Ireland has only four. Over the course of the last few centuries, the economy has led to an increased number of mergers and closures. The four distilleries currently in operation include:
  • New Middleton - produces Jameson, Middleton, Redbreast, etc. 
  • Old Bushmills - produces Bushmillls, Old Bushmills and Black Bush. 
  • Cooley - produces Michael Collins and Connemara. 
  • Kilbeggan - offers its own name whiskey. 
  • There are a number of independently owned brands including Tullamore Dew 

Just like any alcohol, there is a basic procedure using your sight, smell and taste to appreciate what it is. Irish whiskey is pretty much the same; however, a bit of a different approach gives the best taste. Everything I read about this type of whiskey says to add a bit of water to bring out the true flavor. This is more my style of drinking whiskey.

They also say to use a snifter to get more of the nose of the whiskey. This is a bit different than our American or Scotch which lean toward the use of a tumbler to get the most flavor. Either way, we have some for you to try!

So stop in this week and toast the Irish with a drink in one hand and a bite of our traditional corned beef cabbage in the other!

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